“Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination”-Drake.Joseph Campbell’s monomyth or the hero’s journey is a quintessential framework that can be established throughout many narratives from around the world.
This extensive theory is distributed and best described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The monomyth shows the steps a hero must take to obtain knowledge and control of his or her own lives, in the world they exist. Not all monomyths necessarily contain the typical 17 stages. Some myths may focus on only one of the stages, while others may deal with the stages in a somewhat different order. The hero throughout his or her journey will be able to find themselves and better help the community around them. They must find their inner selves to become a better individual (Segal). The monomyth, it would appear, is highly social; the hero moves into the unknown only to return with the message that redeems his society.
Yet at some point, the hero may drop out of the closed system of the monomyth and, act only as an individual and concerned only with his final relationship to the infinite (Phillips). Campbell’s archetypal pattern is displayed across a vast majority of writings, movies, and poems. Some of these archetypal patterns include hero, mentor, threshold guardian, herald, shapeshifter, shadow, and trickster. The study of archetypes in psychology was really set in motion by Carl Jung (1875-1961). For Jung, archetypes originate from the collective unconscious.
The collective unconscious is distinct from the personal unconscious, which is each individual’s own collection of experiences which they are unaware of. The collective unconscious, on the other hand, is a reservoir containing the archetypes and these archetypes are shared by all people. Furthermore, the collective unconscious does not develop but is something which is inherited. So when each of us is born, we are infused with these universal images which we are not immediately aware of. According to Jung, the archetypes represent important motifs of our experience as we evolved over time.
That is why they evoke a strong emotional response and feature in myths from all over the world (Jung).