Mean Girls – the Hero’s Journey Character Analysis

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Explore through any film of your choice using either Vogler’s, Voytilla’s or Cochrane’s model, the concept of the Hero Journey as discussed by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero of A Thousand Faces. In a world whereby diverse cultures and religions collide amongst the disparate and polarized people of our planet, there are few pervading threads that adhere the seams of human life and experience as vividly and profoundly as mythology.

Emerging from the first primordial peoples of the earth, from the Occident to the Orient, mythology appears to be an almost innate and inbuilt feature of the human psyche; as religion fuels the contention of superhuman gods who perhaps once sowed the seeds of life, mythology yields the direction and guidance that we all individually require whilst balancing on the beam of existence.

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Timeless in nature and endlessly influential, the mythic structure reflects the journey we all experience from the cradle to the grave, whereby the fantastical monsters and heroes of yesterday now act as allegorical agents for surviving the trials and obstacles of today. These archetypes, the mystic guides we associate wholeheartedly with fantasy and exaggeration, are found not only in ancient scriptures and folklore, but also deep within the recesses of our unconscious where these characters facilitate the uncertain and perilous path of living.

They exemplify how the human psyche sculpts separate dimensions to our personalities to cope with the theatrics the world stage may throw at us, whereby psychologist Carl Jung (1961) identified a particularly strong correlation between dream characters and the mythic archetypes; he postulates that they are both originating from the same source, the collective unconscious, whereby the human psyche manifests itself through mythic figures in dreams. Jung, 1961)

Myths are therefore psychologically accurate; they represent the inner mechanics of our minds, the universal cogs and gears constantly rotating the Cosmogonic Cycle of our lives (Campbell, 1949). And although one may regard mythology to be slowly sinking amidst contemporary practices, the indwelling interconnection between mythic archetypes and the human psyche is forever omnipresent; the bond is imperviously shielded from fragmentation because it is integral to human existence.

Anthropologist Joseph Campbell is particularly familiar with the mythic structure, whereby his text ‘A Hero with a Thousand Faces’ has had colossal impact within the mythic sphere. Pioneering a study regarding the hero’s journey, Campbell unearthed an intrinsic mythological passage, the monomyth, whereby the heroes and legends of yesteryear all encountered corresponding journeys to enlightenment (Campbell, 1949).

Adapting his concept, Christopher Vogler explores the hero’s journey in his text ‘The Writer’s Journey’, whereby this monomyth is clearly prevalent throughout the modern film industry; specifically, the film ‘Mean Girls’ exemplifies the hero’s journey whereby Campbell’s and Vogler’s theories manifest on the silver screen. Emigrating from Africa to America, the audience meets protagonist Cady Heron, a teenage girl who has only experienced education in the comfort of her own home. Automatically, one can detect her hero identity as ‘Heron’ derives from the Greek ‘heros’ meaning ‘hero. Her new Western lifestyle enforces an adventure upon her. She must integrate into the public school system, whereby hostile encounters seek to destroy her.

All that was familiar has vanished, her habitual light faded into darkness. The audience is aware Cady will undergo the most dramatic transformation because she will experience a journey of self-discovery and realisation, a fundamental attribute within the hero’s journey whereby ‘…the nuclear moment when, while still alive, he [the hero] found and opened the road to the light beyond the dark walls of our living death’ (Campbell, 1949, p. 59). The little girl in the big city, the orphaned child trying to make sense of the world, and the addict attempting to quit old habits; these are all examples of the hero’s journey, whereby the protagonist undergoes a series of challenges to reach a higher and clearer consciousness. This character development, divided into separate steps by Campbell and subsequently condensed further by Vogler, excavates the human psyche to reveal the very real psychological veracity that mythology nurtures.

Cady will traverse the path of enlightenment, facing foes and obstacles, forming alliances and allegiances, seeking truth amongst the chaos and terrors of girl world. Uprooting Cady from Africa, her parents instigate the transformation she will experience in her journey of integration within American society. In spite of the fact that Cady’s adventure has already begun, the film opens with a scene presenting her in a particularly ordinary situation; preparing Cady for her first ever day at school, her parents represent the last connection to her known world.

Vogler observes how essential it is for the audience to meet the protagonist in their customary environment; presenting Cady in normalcy allows the audience to identify with her, whereby the monotonous hardships of daily life contrast against the marvels of the ensuing Special World (Vogler, 1992). The events in the ‘Ordinary World’ therefore act as catalysts to the hero’s impending adventure, whereby the pollutions of daily existence enacts one to feel despairingly set for change.

Cady arrives at Northbury High School, which is emblematic of lands unchartered; the sea unknown that Jason and the Argonauts so famously traversed to seize the Golden Fleece (Bulfinch, 1979). Campbell employs Freud’s concept regarding the sense of detachment emulated from anxiety, through which ‘…all moments of anxiety reproduce the painful feelings of the first separation from the mother, […] of the crisis of birth’; the human psyche consequently activates archetypal images, ‘symbolising danger, reassurance, trial, [and] passage’ (Campbell, 1949, p. 2), thereby encouraging Cady to feel perturbed in face of unfamiliar territory; the monomyth ball is in motion.

A visual sequence and voiceover briefly informs the audience of Cady’s position, whereby her backstory acts as an indicator that she is somewhat hesitant about the changes imposed in her life; Campbell (1949, p. 51) asserts that before embarking on a journey, the hero must desire an alteration to their current circumstances where ‘…the old concepts, ideals, and emotional patterns no longer fit; the time for the passing of a threshold is at hand. Enduring the Ordinary World, the audience is aware that Cady will encounter what Campbell and Vogler term ‘the call to adventure’ (Campbell, 1949, p. 49); now that Cady has expressed a need for change, the call triggers the hero to depart ordinary routine and take action; to seize the sword and paint one’s own destiny on the world canvas. Renowned in the four corners of the world, Jason and the Argonauts epitomize the call to adventure that could not remain unanswered.

On returning to Thessaly to claim his rightful throne, Jason’s Uncle, Pelias, cunningly issued Jason a challenge to test his valour and nobility, whereby his quest for the Golden Fleece so famously manifests (Bulfinch, 1979). Pelias is the herald of Jason’s adventure, the escapade initiator, whereby Jason must respond to the call to claim his crown. Equivalently, when Cady is passing through the lunch hall at school, she encounters a character named Jason; he purposely bewilders her, but is quickly disarmed with the Plastic’s intervention.

Inviting Cady to lunch with them for the rest of the week, Regina, Gretchen, and Karen are the heralds to Cady’s approaching adventure; Vogler affirms that the herald archetype symbolises a change in the wind for the hero (Vogler, 1992); Campbell develops this further, explaining how the call ‘…marks what has been termed the ‘’awakening of the self’’’ (Campbell, 1949, p. 51); the Plastics induce Cady’s inner-self to feel inspired by the call, whereby ‘the resulting vibrations spread out through our lives until change is inevitable’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 0).

The trumpets have sounded and just like Jason and the Argonauts, Cady must answer her call to obtain her boon; establishment of herself in American society and mastery of the social politics of the high school universe. The call to adventure signals an imminent change in a hero’s life, yet the call itself cannot initiate any transformation; Cady must respond to it to demonstrate she is committed to the cause. Yet before she fully immerses herself into the challenge, she expresses feelings of doubt and hesitation to new friends Janis and Damian.

Vogler (1992) maintains Campbell’s term the ‘refusal of the call’; the hero balks at the idea of the unknown and appears unwilling to persevere. She must overcome this hurdle to prove she is worthy of heroic stature; Campbell (1949) indicates that the hero archetype is always founded on the idea of self-sacrifice. Freud’s (1923) concept of the ego, the aspect of our personalities that detaches from the mother and considers itself individual and distinct from the rest of humanity, is the dominant feature within a hero’s personality at this stage.

Campbell (1949) explains that it is through the journey that one transcends the parameters of the ego and subsequently elevates to a higher level of consciousness; Cady must answer the call to signal that she is willing to sacrifice herself in order to obtain her boon. Vogler also illuminates the significance of a hero’s self-sacrificial mentality, as ‘the pause to weigh the consequences makes the commitment to the adventure a real choice in which the hero, after this period of hesitation or refusal, is willing to stake her life against the possibility of winning the goal’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 27). Answering the call is therefore a hero’s first physical action connoting an emotional transition, where ‘the protagonist’s emotional need is manifested physically, where the literal journey presented gives an opportunity to aid/force his internal transformation’ (Batty, 2010, p. 301).

The hero’s journey is a path of individual growth, and Cady must initiate the change; by doing so, her ‘…personality is able to absorb and integrate new forces, there will be experienced an almost superhuman degree of self-consciousness and masterful control’ (Campbell, 1949, p. 4). Yet the boon Cady seeks is currently insurmountable; the journey promises fearful encounters whereby Vogler (1992) explains a hero’s hesitation informs the audience of the severity and reality of the task at hand. Cady’s refusal symbolises that her adventure is no mere expedition but a mammoth undertaking; the audience is therefore assured a wild and exciting unfurling of events will materialise, whereby Cady requires a spot of confidence before immersing herself in the Special World.

As Cady lingers in the Ordinary World, her Refusal of the Call is quickly addressed by outside forces, Janis and Damian. She is apprehensive about socialising with the Plastics until Janis convinces Cady to persist with her spying endeavours. Vogler (1992) has suitably termed this ‘The Meeting with the Mentor;’ after refusing the call, the hero crosses paths with ‘…a protective figure […] who provides the adventurer with amulets against the dragon forces he is about to pass’ (Campbell, 1949, p. 69).

Cady requires wisdom at a time of uncertainty; the mentor archetype provides protection, knowledge, confidence, and occasionally, magical instruments (Vogler, 1992). Janis actively reassures Cady to overcome any insecurities, and although not strictly conducive to Vogler’s or Campbell’s chronological pattern, Janis and Damian had previously bestowed Cady with a school map and a pink shirt, obliging to Plastic’s ‘Pink Wednesday’ doctrine. The map is clearly synonymous with Daedalus’ magic ball of thread, which Adrianna had given to

Theseus so he could escape King Minos’ labyrinth after slaying the Minotaur; both are symbolic of the power of love, whereby Vogler states ‘Adriane’s thread is an elastic band that connects a hero with loved ones. A hero may venture far into madness or death, but is usually pulled back by such bonds’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 193). The pink shirt is also symbolic of the protective sheath any hero requires whilst pursuing battle, such as the armour Hephaestus crafted for Achilles in his vengeance against Hector for killing Patroclus in the Trojan War (Bulfinch, 1979); both ‘amulets’ signify to the audience that the Ordinary World will soon recede.

Although magical amulets are a physical projection of the reassurance a mentor provides to a hero, predominately it is the emotional confidence that stimulates a hero across the first threshold. Vogler (1992) illuminates the fact that the mentor archetype is incessantly substantial within myth, whereby the relationship between hero and mentor is symbolic of the relationships we form in the real world.

Vogler comments how ‘…audiences seem to enjoy relationships in which the wisdom and experience of one generation is passed on to the next’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 38), thereby indicating how the human psyche projects this essential archetype within myth because it is ubiquitously relevant to real life. One can encapsulate the mentor archetype with the Egyptian God Thoth, who is credibly known ‘…as a peripheral character in other people’s tales where, invariably, he acts as a calming influence and displays great wisdom’ (Tyldesley, 2011, p. 82); Janis is therefore an essential ally to Cady, whereby her wisdom and support emulates the emotional reassurance we all require every so often.

Crossing the first threshold is an intimidating prospect for any hero, but now that Cady has emotionally consented to her journey, the audience bares witness to her physical initiation into the Special World. After disclosing to Gretchen that she has feelings for Regina’s ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels, Cady receives a phone call from Regina expressing her consent. Unknowingly to her, Regina has schemed a ‘three-way phone attack,’ whereby Gretchen is also connected into the conversation.

Cunningly, Regina manipulates Cady into slandering Gretchen; this is Cady’s first experience in the Plastics cosmos, whereby the new rules and politics of girl world juxtapose against the life Cady has now left behind. This also reveals Regina’s ‘femme fatale’ personality, whereby her virtuous mask has been lacerated, exposing her true intentions; Regina is also of Latin descent meaning ‘queen,’ symbolising her distinctive character role throughout the film.

Vogler (1992) illustrates how the shapeshifter archetype generates suspense on the screen, thereby initiating a sense of adventure. Cady has fully withdrawn from the Ordinary World, and now comes into direct contact with ‘threshold guardians’; characters that test the hero’s caliber and dedication (Vogler, 1992). Bulfinch (1979) tells of Psyche and Cupid, separated lovers ironically asphyxiated by Cupid’s love-inflicting arrows. To win the blessing of Cupid’s mother, Venus, Psyche must descend to the underworld and acquire some beauty from Proserpine.

On her journey, she must overcome threshold guardians, Charon and Cerberus. Bribing Charon with a golden coin, she successfully traversed the river Styx. Similarly, feeding Cerberus three honey-cakes, Psyche infiltrated the realms of Pluto. Threshold guardians are barriers, but Voytilla explains how ‘the hero must bypass these obstacles, and use any method available: ignoring, outwitting, overcoming, appeasing or befriending’ (Voytilla, 1999).

Cady accepts the fact that she is now in girl world, and just like Psyche, realises that sugar catches more flies than vinegar; befriending Gretchen, Karen, and Regina will therefore accelerate Cady’s familiarisation with the new Special World she has entered. Batty suggests that the bravery emulated from crossing the threshold signifies ‘the protagonist giving up his ego, venturing forth for the sake of others, which will eventually result in him becoming a superior being; becoming heroic’ (Batty, 2010, p. 02); Campbell (1949) terms this ‘the belly of the whale. ’ Surpassing the threshold, Cady undergoes a transformation (Campbell, 1949). So when Aaron invites Cady to a Halloween party, she arrives costumed as a dead bride; symbolic of the death she will experience shortly. Regina kisses Aaron in front of Cady thereby inflicting a metamorphosis, whereby she emerges like thunder, reborn and fuelled for the journey. Emerging from the ashes, Cady and Janis orchestrate a stratagem to avenge Regina’s cruel betrayal.

The audience observes how Cady’s metamorphosis has ignited a spark within her inner-self; the road ahead requires Cady to overcome a succession of obstacles that threaten her journey, thus it is imperative she masters the conventions of the Special World. Vogler (1992) has termed this ‘Tests, Allies, and Enemies. ’ Cady distinguishes the three elements that sustain Regina’s popularity in the high school cosmos; her relationship with Aaron, her beautiful physique, and her ‘army of skanks,’ whereby threshold guardians Gretchen and Karen resurface respectively.

Cady’s shadow begins creeping onto the screen, whereby the dark internal forces of her psyche manifest through her tactical dethroning of Regina (Vogler, 1992). Hinting to Gretchen that Regina isn’t fond of her leads to a catastrophic meltdown, whereby the scriptwriters cleverly use Shakespeare’s play ‘Julius Caesar’ to symbolise Gretchen’s dismay; Gretchen imitates the role of Brutus, who initiates a conspiracy to kill tyrant Caesar, Regina’s alias. Subsequently, Gretchen betrays Regina’s trust and reveals to Cady that Regina is cheating on Aaron.

At this stage, Cady’s shadow is feeding off her triumphs, whereby she personally tells Aaron of Regina’s deception. Voytilla comments how ‘…the Comic Hero often resorts to an extreme, drastic solution that sends him Through the Threshold into an outlandish Special World of deception’ (Voytilla, 1999, p. 237). Cady is clearly taking control of the Special World. She even persuades Regina that a particular weight-gaining snack bar will assist her in losing weight; slowly but surely, the audience watches Cady blossom amongst the wreckage.

Cady’s final assault manifests in an ironic turning of tables, whereby she initiates a phone attack on Regina, resulting in Karen cutting off ties. All of these events signal to the audience that Cady has grown and transformed; Vogler (1992) stipulates that this character development compels the audience to feel actively involved in the escapade, whereby Cady’s rise to power prepares her for the dangers ahead. Now that the stakes have been raised, Cady’s Shadow consumes her.

The dark might of her psyche is in full swing, whereby Vogler explains ‘when the protagonist is crippled by doubts or guilt, acts in self-destructive ways, […] gets carried away with his success, abuses his power, or becomes selfish rather than self-sacrificing, the Shadow has overtaken him’ (Vogler, 1992). Devoured by dark energy, Cady begins behaving erratically; confrontation with teacher Mrs. Norbury leads to Cady submitting false accusations against her within the Plastics’ bible, the ‘Burn Book. ’ Furthermore, now that Cady has exiled Regina from the plastic kingdom, her arrogance ultimately usurps her own crown.

Cady throws a secret party, but Regina unearths her deception. Coincidentally, when Cady is confessing her love to Aaron, Regina enters the scene and for the first time in the film, Cady and Regina physically confront each other. Vogler (1992) has termed this the ‘Approach to Inmost Cave’; the hero has reached the border of the most treacherous part of the journey. Cady also severs the bond between her and mentor Janis, who illuminates the fact that Cady has undergone a shocking transition into a mean girl herself; Batty (2010, p. 03) affirms ‘this moment of crisis physically pushes him [the hero] to his limits, forcing him to call upon the physical tools provided by the Mentor, and everything thus far acquired from the journey, in order to survive. ’ In spite of the fact that Cady appears dishevelled and debilitated, Vogler explains how ‘heroes may have disheartening setbacks at this stage while approaching the supreme goal. […]

Though they may seem to tear us apart, they are only a further test of our willingness to proceed’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 74). The approach is therefore a final test where Cady must ‘…reorganize the depleted ranks, remember the dead and wounded, and rekindle morale with a Hero’s or Mentor’s rally cry’ (Voytilla, 1999). Infused with rage, Regina’s wrath is far from over. Herself and Cady are still to face each other; the Approach to the Inmost Cave is only a beacon signifying that crisis resides on the horizon. In fury of Cady’s deception, Regina concocts her own plan to overthrow Cady’s influence at Northbury.

After including herself in the Burn Book, Regina produces it to the principle, Mr. Duvall, who subsequently summons the only girls not included in the journal; Gretchen, Karen, and Cady. During their intervention, Regina extends on her revenge by dispersing copies of the journal all over school, whereby turmoil hijacks the hallways. Reminiscent of the consequences Pandora faced after opening that mystic box (Bulfinch, 1979), all the secrets and gossip contained within the Burn Book provokes a chaotic upheaval of confrontations across the school.

Diffusing the situation, Mr. Duvall employs Mrs. Norbury to initiate a team building exercise, whereby each girl confesses their crimes publicly. Cady fears retribution and attempts to escape the task, whereby mentor Janis decides to speak on her behalf. Revealing their entire plot, the gauntlet is thrown down and Regina and Cady cannot escape battle; Vogler (1992) labels this the ‘Supreme Ordeal,’ he asserts ‘the fortunes of the hero hit bottom in a direct confrontation with his greatest fear.

He faces the possibility of death and is brought to the brink in a battle with a hostile force’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 25); yet the situation worsens as the argument escalates, and dramatically, Regina is hit by a bus. This is extremely symbolic. The hero experiences death at this moment of their journey; actual or metaphorical, Vogler (1992) comments how a hero must die before he is resurrected with greater insight. The bus hitting Regina therefore symbolises the exorcism of Cady’s Shadow, whereby the heat of the crisis finally melts her plastic mask.

Underneath, nothing remains, as ‘the unrecognised or rejected parts are acknowledged and made conscious despite all their struggling to remain in darkness’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 190) The audience subsequently experiences a ‘black moment,’ whereby Vogler comments how the ordeal initiates suspense and tension as the fate of the hero hangs in the balance (Vogler, 1992). Bulfinch (1979) discusses the fate of Phaeton, whereby his ego enforced him to pursue his father, Apollo, after his friends mocked him for claiming divine descent.

Granting Phaeton any wish he desired, Apollo reluctantly allowed him to drive the Chariot of the Sun, whereby Phaeton’s ignorance resulted in a near destruction of the world and tragically, Phaeton plummeted to his death with Zeus’ intervention. Similarly, Cady’s incomprehension shattered her entire world; inasmuch as the chariot represents Phaeton’s unruly ego, the bus hitting Regina is emblematic of Phaeton’s incapacity to control the reins of light, resulting in darkness and death.

The confrontation with Regina has subsequently fully transformed Cady’s ego, whereby her resurrection symbolises that she has reached a higher level of consciousness; ‘…ego is not annihilated in them; rather, it is enlarged; instead of thinking only of himself, the individual becomes dedicated to the whole of his society’ (Campbell, 1949, p. 156); Cady therefore attains enlightenment. Campbell explains further that ‘when we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness (Campbell, 1988, p. 26);

Cady has therefore ‘moved her centre from the ego to the Self, to the more god-like part of her’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 199). Breaking the shackles of her Shadow and resurrecting anew, Cady experiences an ‘Apotheosis’ (Campbell, 1949); Cady transcends the pairs of opposites whereby the knowledge and insight gained symbolises the death of her old self and in result, a sense of unity and wholeness emerges; ‘the hero has become a god with the divine ability to soar above the normal limits of death and see the broader view of the connectedness of all things’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 199).

The enlightenment gained can be exampled in Cady’s revelation, whereby she remarks ‘When you get bit by a snake, you are supposed to suck the poison out. That’s what I had to do; suck all the poison out of my life’ (Mean Girls, 2004); so when Regina survives the bus incident, Cady apologies and presents her with a bouquet of flowers. Flowers are symbolic of life and death; they remain alive only for a short while, but will blossom once again. Thus, they represent the life cycle, death and resurrection, which Cady and Regina have both just experienced. Furthermore, admitting to Mr.

Duvall that she fabricated the lie regarding Mrs. Norbury in the Burn Book, further develops Cady’s self-sacrificial disposition; ‘A hero risks individual life for the sake of the larger collective life and wins the right to be called hero’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 199), thereby demonstrating how Cady’s transcendence conveys her new heroic identity. Transcending the parameters of her ego, Cady can now obtain her reward. This manifests when Cady wins ‘Spring Fling Queen;’ at the beginning of her journey, Cady sought acceptance amongst her peers in the unknown territory of the high school cosmos.

Prevailing against all the odds, Cady’s new ‘queen’ status symbolises to the audience that she has evolved physically and emotionally, whereby Batty affirms ‘the protagonist’s physical Reward acts as an outward expression of his emotional transformation’ (Batty, 2010, p. 305). The audience has grown with Cady on her journey, and Vogler (1992) suggests that the reward ‘allows us to catch our breath after an exciting battle or ordeal’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 205). However, Cady exhibits her new esurrected self even further when she publicly admits her faults in front of the entire school and snaps her plastic crown in half; this symbolises that the wrath of the Plastics is finally over, and by distributing pieces of the crown out to the on looking crowd, Cady demonstrates the new sense of unity and wholeness she has gained.

Her epiphany suggests that she has discovered her true self, whereby Vogler comments ‘heroes can sometimes experience a profound self-realization after tricking death. They see who they are and how they fit into the scheme of things’ (Vogler, 1992, p. 10); Cady’s new perceptions demonstrate she has already began traversing ‘The Road Back’ and has resurrected, cleansed and rejuvenated (Vogler, 1992). The last scene shows Cady returned in the Ordinary World, whereby her new insights and knowledge has transformed Northbury High, and girl world is finally at peace. The monomyth echoes the trials and obstacles we all face in the real world; Cady’s comical journey does not solely represent the hardships and cruelties of girl politics, but perhaps also the journey we all experience when enduring adolescence.

This rite of passage, omnipresent and universally relevant, suggests that myth acts as a ubiquitously fantastical example of the realities of the cosmos; we can all identify with these imaginary characters because they are archetypes to our very own existence. Campbell and Vogler have illustrated a distinct pattern that is timeless and forever reproducing; the fact that the mythic structure is still breathing new life into the film industry suggests that Jung’s theory regarding the archetypes of our psyches is a true representation of the power of the unconscious and its innate relationship with myth.

Traversing the path of enlightenment is not an easy task, as one can gather from Cady’s journey. Yet the reward we seek, be it treasure or knowledge, may distract one from realising we all acquire illumination in times of darkness; releasing the inner hero in oneself will only shepherd our insecurities, fears, and impurities to the surface, whereby enlightenment serves to shelter the soul from the daily storms of life.

The hero’s journey is not just a map of how myths and films operate, but also a glimpse into the mysterious depths of our own psyches; the unknown promises danger, and one can be hesitant on taking the first jump. But life itself is an uncertain entity, and we all lose our way occasionally; mythology acts as a universal compass, where ‘wars and temper tantrums are the makeshifts of ignorance; regrets are illuminations come too late. The whole sense of the ubiquitous myth of the hero’s passage is that it shall serve as a general pattern for men and women, wherever they may stand along the scale’ (Campbell, 1949, p. 121).

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