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Monomyth Part II Crossing the First Threshold Threshold Guardians The Belly of the Whale Belly of Whale Examples: Initiation Inside the Initiation The Road of Trials ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Monomyth

  • Part II

Crossing the First Threshold
  • The Crossing of the first threshold gets the hero
    out of the real world (and its relative safety)
    and thrusts him into this new, exciting, and
    dangerous dream-like world.
  • Often, he encounters a threshold guardian
    (generally a powerful monster) he must best in
    some sort of trial.

Threshold Guardians
  • The hyenas - even though they are evicting Simba
    rather than trying to keep him out of the new,
    dangerous world
  • The Wicked Witch of the East - Thankfully,
    Dorothys house eliminated her
  • The Cicones who significantly reduce Odysseus

  • The threshold guardian in Bless the Beasts and
    Children is the boys own insecurities.
  • Best demonstrated by the boys adventure to the
    movie theater to see The Professionals
  • Proves they can defeat the camp system and can
    work together 

The Belly of the Whale
  • The hero is fully engaged in a place of
    supernatural shadows.
  • Low point emotionally for Hero
  • dream-like place that carries symbolic meanings
  • Ex In Red Riding Hood story the Belly of the
    whale is the woods scary, filled with
    adventure, and dangerous.
  • Woods serve as a symbolic representation of our
    inner psychological growth during adolescence
    from naïve innocence of childhood to the darker
    realities of adulthood.

Belly of Whale Examples
  • For Simba, the Belly of the Whale is the desert
    outside of the Pride Lands where he almost dies.
    This represents the utter despair of being cast
    out of a group alliance.
  • The field of poppies Dorothy encounters on the
    way to the Emerald city is Dorothys Belly of the
    Whale. Again despair, and its accompanying desire
    to give-up is seen.

  • The Underworld, where Odysseus meets with the
    shades of Tiresias and his mother
  • symbolizes obedience or the lack of obedience to
    a higher authority
  • The land between Box Canyon Boys Camp (the
    diner, Flagstaf, etc) and the buffalo perserve is
    the Belly of the Whale
  • symbolically representing mans greed and cruelty

  • The second major stage of the monomyth
  • primarily the heros testing stage where he
    encounters a series of tests designed to teach
    him the values and mores of his culture
  • story becomes more individualized as each author
    presents the most important values and mores from
    his or her society

Inside the Initiation
  • The Road of Trials
  • Meeting with the Goddess
  • The Temptation
  • Father Atonement
  • Apotheosis
  • The Ultimate Boon

The Road of Trials
  • Trials (tests) greet the hero. If the hero fails
    a test, under certain circumstances, as in The
    Odyssey, the hero may get a redo.
  • During these trials his helpers may provide
    specific help for the hero.
  • Tests represent important values of culture or
    traits that culture desires in an idealized
    member of society.

Examples of Trials
  • Simba faces a test of adaptability when he
    decides to eat grubs, rather than zebra.
  • Dorothy encounters a trial of friendship and
    sacrifice when she risks her life to save the
    Scarecrow from the Wicked Witch of the Wests
  • Odysseus faces trials of leadership with the
    Cicones and the Lotus Eaters.

  • All heroes face a trial of sacrifice at one
    point. As a Christ-figure many of Cottons trials
    are tests of sacrifice.
  • Inviting the losers into his cabin is a sacrifice
    of his status
  • Giving up his dream of joining the marines is a
  • Attacking the Apaches during the baseball game is
    a sacrifice, since he knows he cannot win

Meeting with the Goddess
(Sacred Marriage)
  • Some heros will encounter a powerful woman who
    symbolically represents the unification of the
    inner self (anima) and the outer self (persona).
  • Jung theorized that to become whole an individual
    must understand both the anima, which takes on
    the characterstics of the opposite gender, and
    the persona, which is the face (and obviously the
    gender) an individual shows the world.
  • This stage is about the hero coming to grip with
    his own self-identity.

  • Simba is reunited with a much older and
    definitely more alluring Nala who reminds him of
    his commitments  
  • Dorothy, as a female, finds The Wizard, and
    discovers that true power is within herself
  • Odysseus encounters Calypso who offers him
    immortality as well as herself. 
  • John Cotton, as a Christ-figure, does not
    encounter a Goddess

The Temptation
  • Sometimes represented as a woman who may lure the
    hero away from the Goddess, temptation may also
    show up as a general temptation.
  • If this shows up in the monomyth, it is a test in
    which the hero must prove himself worthy of the
    Goddess by resisting the temptation.

  • Arthur in The Once and Future King falls to his
    temptation, his half-sister Morgause, and this
    eventually leads to the destruction of his
    kingdom. It is interesting to note that Guenever
    is always barren in these stories, perhaps a
    punishment for Arthurs failure to resist
  • At Alcinous Hall, Odysseus is tempted by
    Alcinous daughter (as well as her father) who
    offers him his daughter and his kingdom as an
    inheritance. At this point though, Odysseus has
    finally realized the importance of home and so he
    resists the temptation.

  • Odysseus does not face a father atonement, per
    se. Unless you take the view that Poseidons big
    character flaw is his hubris, which is also
    Odysseus so that by triumphing over his hubris
    (the last test Odysseus faces) he has in essence
    conquered his inner father demon.
  • Cotton does not have a father atonement, since
    one can argue as a Christ-figure he has not
    wronged his father, nor is his father an evil

Father Atonement
  • Hero faces a trial that pits him against his
    symbolic father
  • Hero must come to understand his place in
    society, he is not a reproduction of his father
  • symbolically represents the time in life in which
    a young person loves and respects a parent, but
    may disagree with that parent on certain issues
  • an analysis of an individuals strengths and

  • Simba faces Scar, his uncle. In essence Simba
    must choose to become like Scar, or to become
    like Mufasa, who represents the noble and
    idealized member of society.
  • Dorothy faces the Wicked Witch of the West. Once
    she faces this fear, she learns that its power
    wasnt really all that great. Here the witch
    represents the parts of Dorothys self she fears,
    the wicked, nasty parts in all of us that we try
    not to acknowledge.