Chelsea Bones

Chelsea Bones

09-08-2021

13:38

What is The Heroine’s Journey? 🧵  First, let’s discard “Taming Savage Beast,” thō it is ancient and powerful story:

Beast is tamed not by protag’s loving, but by her leaving. Beautiful, sweet lady gives him taste of domestic bliss, then she takes it away. Testing whether he will agree to leave beastly behavior outside and behave himself inside her home.

Home belongs to woman - it doesn’t matter if man pays bills or even built house with his hands. Energetic man isn’t happy if he spends too much time inside. “Welcome: eat, sleep, sex, play with children, then go back out.” Manly man can only be tame temporarily, we know&like this

BDSM is sad parody - usually practiced by ugly women and weak men. Violence is distraction from reality: she doesn’t have a man who can be strong where it counts: against other men/monsters/nature/problems. He hits woman because he’s weak coward and that’s the best he can do.

Male fantasy - woman who is beautiful, kind, sexy but only for him, not for the world.  Female fantasy - man who is dangerous, dominant, predatory - but only for the rest of world. In her home with her children he is tame.

Template for every romance novel ever, hot stuff but not heroic. I also reject Murdock’s analysis bc it’s basically a journey of self-discovery. Heroism is not about helping self, rather the tribe. Moving on...

Heroine’s Journey has 3 parts: -transgression of important rule -> descent into Chaos -quest for knowledge (not power), and performing tasks that create order -rescue back to the world, or self-sacrifice

Most interesting (to me) is that the parts can be played by different characters. Heroine doesn’t have to do them all herself and frequently would be doomed to failure if alone. Even the transgression can be forced upon her. But let’s start with one where she chooses

Certain temptation is offered almost exclusively to beautiful young woman: something for nothing. Villain tempts Heroine with valuable, she knows is wrong but in greed she takes. Is inversion of husband providing for her material needs, while she does work of home/children.

Fruit is interesting symbol. The food that wants to be eaten. Meat runs away, grain/vegetables must be worked for, fruit advertises itself...”eat me” I think usually symbolizes unchaste sex but open to other thoughts. That’s definitely fruit’s meaning in Goblin Market

Chastity is important to maintain stable society per Unwin (h/t @FoundationDads)

Another transgression is mother abandoning child, preferring freedom/sloth. Heroine can be repentant mother but more often neglected daughter. Gretel, Snow White, Cinderella, Labyrinth, even Elsa wouldn’t have hurt Anna if the queen got out of bed to watch her toddlers

Heroine can be forced to violate rule, or forced into Chaos by another character’s violation of important rule. Creon refused to bury Polynices, forcing Antigone‘s hand. Sextus Tarquinius raped Lucretia.

In Chaos, Heroine seeks knowledge of how to create order and escape. Explores (thru actions) what bonds of love&friendship mean. Some themes are cleaning a house, or performing kindness to magical creatures or people.

She can’t survive w/o friends, maybe they can’t survive w/o her. She’s frequently rescued at the end - not bc she’s helpless - prince is her reward for fulfilling quest&repairing damaged community. From one where people abandon each other into one where they help each other.

2 endings: escape by resolution of transgression, or self-sacrifice. Snow White’s mother tried to kill her, but she was saved by love. In Mat 4:8 Christ resists a temptation of something-for-nothing, echoing Eve’s sin. Usually ending is act of love.

Self-sacrifice = doomed culture. Rape of Lucrece - tension between Roman laws/values, and the power of a king. Tarquin raped his soldier Collatine’s wife. Visited when husband was away, she showed him hospitality and fed him, then he crept into her room, raped her, and fled.

First blaming lust, the night, her absent husband, she concludes the chastity of a Roman aristocrat must be maintained. Not because her husband would blame her - but because society depends on order. Lucrece killed herself in front of father and husband to defend Rome.

Rules/home/family as building block of society vs. powerful warlords imposing their strength/will.  Which would win? In this story, rules and order won. Lucrece’s body cried out for justice, the Tarquinius were overthrown, and Rome has never since been ruled by a king.

When woman commits suicide in literature is sign that societal collapse is imminent. If virtuous, heroic woman cannot live w/o moral compromise - then she cannot live. Reminds me of BAP “noble person cannot tolerate slavery.”

I think Hero’s Journey is about power, building and shaping society.  Heroine’s Journey is about love and duty. Reinforcing and maintaining society. Would love to hear what my friends think. Please tag anyone who’s interested in stories or archetypes, thank you!



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