Jump Start is a high school summer program facilitated by Skyline College. In addition to Math, English, Career, and Media courses, this 6 week summer program facilitates team building and group activities on Friday’s that relate back to the work students are doing in class. On Friday, June 22nd, Jump Start students took concepts from Joseph Campbell’s A Hero’s Journey and applied them to Steve Carell’s Despicable Me movie.
Assignment for Jump Start Students:
- In the comments or “Leave a Reply” area below (include your name and email in the fields indicated), identify concepts from A Hero’s Journey that are symbols seen in the movie Despicable Me.
- After watching a movie through the lens of A Hero’s Journey, what are other movies that you have seen that can relate to some of the same points from Joseph Campbell’s book? Please explain why you think the movies you pick relate to A Hero’s Journey.
- Be original with your thoughts and do not copy an early response from any of your classmates.
- Due Date: Monday, June 25, 2012 at 4pm.
Feel free to ask questions or make comments in the comments section below.
To help review the steps in A Hero’s Journey:
- The Call to Adventure – The call to adventure is the point in a person’s life when they are first confronted or given a choice/ notice that will change everything. Many times, this significant point is not known.
- Refusal of the Call – Often when the call is given, the future hero refuses to accept it or take it on. This may be for many reasons including having a sense of duty/obligation, fear, insecurity, feeling inadequate, or reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.
- Supernatural Aid – Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his or her guide and magical helper appears.
- The Crossing of the First Threshold – This is the point where the person crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are not known. Hint: Think of the roller coaster in the movie from today.
- The Belly of the Whale – The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero’s known world and the self. It is sometimes described as the person’s lowest point (i.e. like failing a test), but it is actually the point when the person is between or transitioning between worlds and selves. The separation has been made, or is being made, or being fully recognized between the old world and old self and the potential for a new world or self. By entering this stage, the person shows their willingness to undergo a metamorphosis, to die to him or herself.
- The Road of Trials – The road of trials is are a series of tests or ordeals that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes (remember the importance of the number 3?).
- The Meeting with the Goddess – The meeting with the goddess represents the point in the adventure when the person experiences a love that has the power and significance of the all-powerful, all encompassing, unconditional love that a fortunate infant may experience with his or her mother. It is also known as the sacred marriage, the union of opposites, and may take place entirely within the person. This is a very important step in the process and is often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely.
- Woman as the Temptress – At one level, this step is about those temptations that may lead the hero to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. For Campbell, however, this step is about the revulsion that the usually male hero may feel about his own nature, and the subsequent attachment or projection of that revulsion to women. Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life, since the hero-knight was often tempted by lust from his spiritual journey.
- Apotheosis – To apotheosize is to worship or revere as a god. When someone dies a physical death, or dies to the self to live in spirit, he or she moves to a state of divine knowledge, love, compassion and bliss. This is a god-like state; the person is in heaven and beyond all strife. A different way of looking at this step is that it is a period of rest, peace and fulfillment before the hero begins the return.
- The Ultimate Boon – The ultimate boon is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step. The person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds.