Monomyth Archetype

Good Essays
Recognized and documented by Joseph Campbell, the monomyth archetype, or the hero’s journey is an essential paradigm of human experience that serves as the foundation to many stories. It often involves a hero partaking in an adventure, becoming victorious in a conquest and returning home forever changed. “The Step Not Taken” written by Paul D’Angelo follows the story of a man on a moral quest to determine the ethical reaction to the suffering of others. The man within the story is seen going through three consecutive stages. These stages represent the hero’s journey of separation, struggle or initiation and return or reintegration.
The archetype of the monomyth begins with a call to adventure known as separation. In this stage, everything
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It is here within the monomyth that the protagonist confronts his fears, deepest regrets and experiences an epiphany. Frustrated in his lack of actions during the young mans breakdown, he began imagining each scenario that could have caused the young man to burns into tears, was it because “he just visited the doctor and been told that he ad an incurable disease…was he having marital problems”. Not content with how he had handled the situation, Paul reached out to others for help. Many reassured him that his actions were correct, stating “he did the right thing, by leaving the young man alone”. However, deep down he knew “they were…show more content…
He is aware he should have stayed with the young man, “I should have reached out a hand and patted him on the back”. His conscience acted as the guide to remind him that it was time to return home with new wisdom and insight that had been acquired. He was able to give society the new knowledge gained as he shared is experiences within is essay, “The Step Not Taken”. This act symbolized his reintegrated within society. His goal with sharing this knowledge was to let the man know that, “… I am thinking of him, that I was wrong, dreadfully wrong, not to step forward in his time of need”. He was able to comfortably resume to his daily life as he had found a new balance and is able to live with a sense of freedom knowing he will be able to morally act on a situation in the future.
It is the internal conflict of being told by others that he acted correctly, but feeling as though he should have done more that leads him to his epiphany, “I should have given him the opportunity to unload his sadness onto my shoulders”. His epiphany is relevant to todays society as many individuals often do not act upon scenarios when they see someone ‘breakdown’. It is important to understand that it is okay to evaluate the situation afterwards and know to act correctly the next
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