Myth and The Hero's Journey in the Blogosphere - AWBU 2012


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We blog to tell stories, and most stories are based on an ancient story structure typically referred to as The Hero's Journey. We can enhance our blogging and writing by understanding the structure of the hero myth.

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Myth and The Hero's Journey in the Blogosphere - AWBU 2012

  1. 1. Angie Albright @AngieAlbright @AGrowingSeason Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged, 2012,
  2. 2. Myth and the Hero’s Journey in the Blogosphere Yes, you and Gilgamesh and Ferris Buehler have something in common.
  3. 3. Why do we tell stories? Why do we blog?• For the same reason humans have since they could utter sound or use sticks to write on clay.• Why do you blog? You have a story to tell.
  4. 4. Why do we tell stories?“For, while the tale of how we suffer, and howwe are delighted, and how we may triumph isnever new, it always must be heard. There isn’tany other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve gotin all this darkness.”James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues”
  5. 5. What is myth?• “A myth is something that is “’more than true.’” Myths are stories that are universal, that are true for all humans regardless of culture or time period.”Linda Seger, “Creating the Myth”
  6. 6. What is myth?• “Myths are stories of our search through the ages for truth, for meaning, for significance.” We all need to tell our story and to understand our story, which includes passages from birth to life to death.• “We need for life to signify, to touch the eternal, to understand the mysterious, to find out who we are.”Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
  7. 7. Where do we find myth?• Movies• Books, stories• Our friends and family• Television – sitcoms, dramas, reality tv• And . . . wait for it . . . Blogs. Your blog.• Your story. Your life. All of these stories in whatever form resonate with us because the hero’s journey story is our story.
  8. 8. Examples of the hero’s journey• Gilgamesh • Shrek• The Odyssey • Survivor• Wizard of Oz • Sully the Pilot• Star Wars • Story of Jesus• Ferris Buehler • Story of Buddha• Oh Brother, Where • Your kids Art Thou? • You• Gone with the Wind • You as a writer• The Help
  9. 9. I. Departure Stage • Departure – hero departs on the adventure – The Call to Adventure – Refusal of the Call – Supernatural Aid – The Crossing of the First Threshold – The Belly of the WhaleStages of the hero’s journey myth are adapted from “Hero’s Journey: Summary of Steps”– Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI), Maricopa Community Colleges
  10. 10. II. Initiation StageInitiation - hero is being intitiated into thenew world:–The road of trials – juiciest stories of thetale–The meeting with the goddess–Woman as the temptress–Atonement with the Father – center pointof the journey–Apotheosis–The ultimate boon
  11. 11. III. Return Stage• Return – hero returns back into the “real” world and assimilates into old life – Refusal of the return – The magic flight – Rescue from without – Crossing the return threshold – Master of the two worlds – Freedom to live
  12. 12. The CastArchetypesDefinition: Symbols (including characters, images, and themes) that have a universal meaning for the entire audience.
  13. 13. The CastCommon ArchetypesWise old manGood motherShadow figureTricksterAnimalsScapegoatsFrom: Seger, “Creating the Myth” and Bedford St. Martin’s World Literature glossary
  14. 14. You as the Hero• You are on the hero’s journey!• What stage of the hero’s journey are you telling?• How can you structure your story in a way that maximizes the universal nature of your story?• Who in your life fits an archetype?• What events in your life, in your day, in your week tell the story of your journey?• Add depth to your stories by playing up the