From Achilles to Harry Potter and beyond: How does the hero’s journey help, or limit, our storytelling?
The concept of the hero’s journey was popularized by Joseph Campbell, and outlined in his 1949 book The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Campbell based the hero’s journey framework off of myths from around the world. Since then, the idea of the hero’s journey has been used in books and movies like Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and many more.
But, despite its popularity, Campbell’s hero’s journey framework has faced a number of criticisms, including that he left women out of the story. Maria Tatar’s new book, The Heroine with 1001 Faces, changes that.
This hour, we look at the impact of the hero’s journey, and its limitations.
- Maria Tatar: Professor of Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University, whose new book is The Heroine with 1001 Faces
- Jeff Garvin: Author of books including The Symptoms of Being Human, and co-host of “The Hero’s Journey” podcast
- Lev Grossman: Author, best known for his Magicians trilogy, whose newest book is The Golden Swift
Colin McEnroe, Cat Pastor, Jonathan McNicol, and Gene Amatruda contributed to this show.