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In his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell asserts that all heroes’ journeys follow the same basic cycle. He calls this template “the heroic monomyth,” which begins with a call that pulls us away from our familiar world and, if we’re successful, ends with our returning home transformed. We have come close to the end of our epic journey together, having hopefully gained revelations and possible transformations, and it’s almost time to complete the circle and return home. But there is one more trial: the final exam. Your exam and last essay are wrapped up in one. Its aim is to pull together your best writing skills with all your understanding of myth, applied to a modern mythic story.
First, you should select a movie which is mythic; that is, it should NOT be a portrayal of an ancient Greek myth, but should be a story of a journey which follows the monomyth pattern. Such movies are too numerous to name, because it is a familiar life pattern followed in so many films, mostly because this pattern rings true to human experience. A few obvious examples would include Star Wars, Matrix, Aladdin, any of the Lord of the Rings films, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, any Indiana Jones, and so on. Sometimes the not-so-obvious examples make for more interesting essays.  {NOTE:  Harry Potter films cannot be used since these were already explored in this class.]

Essay length: minimum of 5 paragraphs, but more may be necessary
A good pattern for a 5-paragraph essay would be:
1. Introductory paragraph (including an overview of the monomythic pattern). Your introduction should briefly define Campbell’s idea of the monomyth, and then the body of your essay should discuss in detail the elements of the monomyth that are present in the movie of your choice.
2. Separation/initiation of the hero paragraph (with details)
3. Trials of the hero paragraph (with details)
4. Revelations/Transformations/Return of the hero paragraph (with details)
5. Conclusion (perhaps applying this theory to wider applications)
Make an intelligent conclusion, avoiding the all-too-common “In conclusion…” and especially avoiding the even-more-common summary of everything you just said. Let your conclusion push beyond the analysis of the film.
There is no need for a Works Cited page or citations, since you will be naming the movie in your introduction, and since you should be making your own conclusions, without using sources.
I recommend that you review Campbell’s monomyth (a good site for review is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth, which includes a diagram of the stages) and I also recommend that you take notes while watching the film to find specific examples that will support general points made in your essay.
Submit essay as an attachment.
* * *
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”
“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”
-Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Characteristics of an A paper
Has an INTRODUCTION that is well-developed, leading smoothly to thesis
THESIS clearly and effectively indicates your focus
Is WELL-DEVELOPED, with ideas fully explained and supported with details/examples
Is WELL-ORGANIZED in a way that makes the ideas easy to follow
Provides EVIDENCE from the myths to support your ideas; Includes ANALYSIS
LANGUAGE is appropriate and sophisticated, using a rich vocabulary
FLOWS smoothly, with effective transitions and varied sentence structures
If QUOTATIONS are used, they are woven effectively into student’s own writing, without overusing quotes
Has a CONCLUSION that avoids simple summary and that says something substantive
Is written in COMPLETE SENTENCES, without run-ons and fragments
Has been PROOFREAD carefully to eliminate errors

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