A Space Odyssey As A Hero's Journey

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2001: A Space Odyssey as a Hero’s Journey
Chloe O’Connor Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey can be considered something of a pseudo-hero’s journey story, with a greater focus on the ultimate reason the hero must make their journey. In this iteration of the hero’s journey, humankind is the hero. The quest they must depart on is evolution to a higher form through Dave Bowman’s individual journey, though he is certainly not the ultimate hero, merely the catalyst for the hero to truly be heroic. While 2001 certainly does not follow the traditional structure of a hero’s journey, it may still be considered to be so, as evolution of the hero is central to the idea of the hero’s journey and this is unmistakably a story of metamorphosis. For …show more content…

The ordinary world is introduced first in part two mainly through the actions of Dr. Heywood Floyd, a scientist on the verge of a discovery that may well alter humanity’s perception of life. The monolith, or TMA-1, proves itself to be the first sign of extraterrestrial intelligent life. When this is realized, humanity has officially crossed the threshold from the ordinary world, to a new one (another facet of the hero’s journey). Part two provides the reader insight into the ordinary world. Marked differenced can be observed between the ordinary world and the world that exists in the following sections. For example, family plays an integral part of Ordinary World Life. Close, loving families make their life on the moon, have children (such as Halvorsen’s daughter), grow food, and complete the tasks humans need to survive. The author presents these residents of the ordinary world as far more human than he does those residents of the world after. Even Dr. Floyd, who arguably is the one to harken in the new age with his research on the monolith takes time to make a call to earth from his spaceship about such mundane things as a tennis tournament and his video player. However the threshold is crossed from old to new world at the end of part two when, …show more content…

It is in this part of the story that Clarke strays farthest from the traditional hero’s journey structure. The hero does not get a return home, in the traditional sense. Rather, Bowman, and thus the entire human race, evolve into something greater than they could ever have been before. Going back home entails a regression; a return to the old way of life. Insteadhumanity moves on to something new and better. However, upon making contact with the alien species, Bowman gets a simulated return home in a fabricated room in space made to resemble earth and a rush of memories from his life. The author does this to both give Bowman a last look at what he has left behind and to show him how it pales in comparison to what is to

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