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Thursday, July 5,2012

Spider-Man 4

By Liz Sterling  

 

One of the most influential books of the 20th century was Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. It’s had a substantial impact on story-telling and movie-making and we clearly see this exemplified in the upcoming movie, The Amazing Spider- Man, scheduled for release on July 3rd , just in time for Independence Day. Stories built on the model of the hero myth have an appeal that can be felt by everyone, because they reflect common concerns. They deal with universal questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where will I go when I die? What is good and what is evil? What must I do about it? What will tomorrow bring? Where did yesterday go? Is there anybody else out there?

Spider-Man is a movie that takes us on an adventure much like the hero’s journey. Like most teenagers, we discover that Peter Parker/ Spider- Man, (Andrew Garfield) is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy, and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance - leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr Curt Connors, his father’s former partner. As Spider- Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make lifealtering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

Let’s explore the hero’s journey for a moment since each of us is the hero of our own saga. Whether or not you have been on hero’s journey, the stages will surly help you to recognize the power and impact of walking this path.

The Hero’s Journey has 12 stages. They are:

  1. Ordinary World

- The hero’s normal world before the story begins

   2. Call to Adventure

- The hero is presented with a problem, challenge or adventure

   3. Refusal of the Call

- The hero refuses the challenge or journey, usually because he’s scared

   4. Meeting with the Mentor

- The hero meets a mentor to gain advice or training for the adventure

   5. Crossing the First Threshold

- The hero crosses or leaves the ordinary world and goes into the special world

   6. Tests, Allies, Enemies

- The hero faces tests, meets allies, confronts enemies & learn the rules of the Special World.

    7. Approach

- The hero has setbacks and may need to try a new idea

   8. Ordeal

- The crisis

   9. Reward

- The hero has survived the crisis, overcomes his fear and now earns the reward

   10. The Road Back

- The hero must return to the Ordinary World

   11. Resurrection Hero

- Another test where the hero has to use everything he’s learned

   12. Return with Elixir

- The hero returns from the journey with the “elixir”, and uses it to help everyone in the Ordinary World

We root for the hero and believe that good prevails over evil. Just like Spider-Man, we live, laugh, love and fight for what we believe in.

Throughout this month of July, the month of Independence, may each of us be free to rise above the gossip, the judgments and the competitiveness that beseeches our small lives and be inspired to walk the path of the hero’s journey and craft a and meaningful life.

 

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