Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Power of Myth Essay examples -- Literary Analysis, Joseph Campbell

According to Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, one archetypal mythic hero appears in diverse cultures in different forms. Two protagonists in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki share similar heroic characteristics despite their different backgrounds and cultures. One of the concepts explained in The Power of Myth is the stages of human development. Campbell states that â€Å"As a child, you are brought up in a world of discipline, of obedience, and you are dependent on others. All this has to be transcended when you come to maturity, so that you can live not in dependency but with self-responsible authority† (Campbell 87). Thor and Santiago both experience the stages of human development, from dependence to maturity. In The Alchemist, Santiago decides to become a shepherd and travel the world, disobeying his parents who want him to be a priest. When his father says â€Å"Amongst us, the only ones who travel are the shepherds†, Santiago makes up his mind to become a shepherd. (Coelho 9). In Kon-Tiki, Thor was disappointed and discouraged because his theory is rejected and ignored by people. However, soon, he decides to sail the sea with few other people to show that his theory is right. Thor says to his friend, â€Å"I’m so sure the Indians crossed the Pacific on their rafts that I’m willing to build a raft of the same kind myself and cross the sea just to prove that it’s possible† (Heyerdahl 23). Santiago’s making his own decisions and Thor’s taking action to get out of his helpless situation show their developments to the more mature human beings. According to The Power of Myth, one of the characteristics of hero is to encounter troubles. He explains, â€Å"The trials are designed to see to it that the intending hero sh... ... by giving money to prepare sailing, and equipments that they need while sailing. Also, when they struggle to settle on the land, the native people help Thor and his companions. Native people helped them settle the raft on the island, and to reach the destination. According to Thor, the native inhabitants â€Å"pointed westward indicating that they were heading toward dangerous reefs† (Heyerdahl 182). Listening to this, they got prepared for the dangerous way and succeed go through there. These examples demonstrate that the two protagonists escape from their troubles with the help of other people. In conclusion, the two characters in The Alchemist and Kon-Tiki share similarities in their stages of human development, encountering troubles, and getting help from other source. These supporting details illustrate the universality of the characteristics of mythic heroes.