Who Is The Hero's Journey In Moth Smoke

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In Moth Smoke, we do learn about the key events in Mumtaz’s life that have led to her current situation, but her backstory is not as elaborated as that of the main character. What we do know about her is that she met her husband, Ozi, in New York City during her senior year in college. Until she became pregnant, Mumtaz describes their married life as “perfect”. They lived in a one bedroom apartment with a view of Washington Square Park, him working at a big law firm, her having an editorial job at a magazine. She describes how their life was filled with love, dancing, and quiet conversations over wine. She felt as if she could be completely open with him, more so than with anyone else. The downturn in their relationship occurred…show more content…
Mumtaz’s call to adventure is when she is provided with the opportunity to become an investigative journalist under the pseudonym Zulfikar Manto. According to Campbell, the phase that follows the call to adventure is the refusal of the call. But because Mumtaz’s storyline and background are limited, there is not enough information to determine whether or not this stage existed in Mumtaz’s journey; nor do we know how her call to adventure came to be. Another aspect that differs from Campbell’s monomyth is the order by which the phases occur. Instead of the call to adventure being followed by the introduction of a supernatural aid, Mumtaz’s next phase was the crossing the first threshold. This is the point when the hero actually leaves her old world and finds herself in an unknown and possibly dangerous new world, where the rules and limits are unknown. This is when Mumtaz’s double life truly begins, and just like Campbell’s description of this phase, this new world is indeed a dangerous and risky adventure. Working as Zulfikar Manto, Mumtaz investigated the dark side of Lahore, taking great risks by speaking to policemen accused of murder, prostitutes in dark alleys, and lawyers that provided safety to fugitive women…show more content…
After realizing that her husband had known about their affair all along, and that he was happy to hear about Daru’s arrest, she decided to leave him as well. “I made up my mind. I decided that I couldn’t stay in this house any longer, that I needed to abandon my family to save myself,” she explained (242). In doing so, she decided to leave her son behind as well, as she believed that he would be better off without a mother, rather than having an emotionally distant mother like her. Mumtaz’s confrontation with her husband corresponds to the “atonement with the father” in Campbell’s monomyth. This phase is where the hero has to confront the ultimate power in her life. This is the center point of her journey, as all her decisions have led to this moment of change. As a result of her “atonement with the father”, her character then undergoes what Campbell refers to as “apostasis”. According to Campbell, this stage is where the hero dies a spiritual death. Throughout the book, Mumtaz had managed to live a double life, balancing between her old and new self, but when she decided to leave her family, she left the old heroic side of herself behind. She has fully transitioned into the non-heroic self, hence her heroic side suffering the spiritual death that Campbell is referring
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