The book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell proposes that all myths are essentially hero-quest stories, each of which rings a unique change on a universal pattern; a pattern he calls the “monomyth.” According to Campbell, the hero’s journey consists of three main moves: departure, initiation, and return. Within each of these categories is a number of stages common to the plots of all hero-quest stories, and can be compared to Daniel Suelo’s adventure throughout his life. According to the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the first move of the journey is departure which starts with the call to adventure. The call of adventure is how the journey starts and with Daniel Suelo it starts with him leaving the last of his money in a telephone booth and going for the adventure (accepting the call to adventure), so there is no direct indication of a call of adventure but leaving behind the money is probably the closest.
Sometimes the hero does not accept the call to adventure and refuses it which turns the story to the negative, they lose their power and instead of the saving people, they are the one to be saved for refusing. After refusing their life changes from beautiful and colorful to boring dry and empty, and this is not the same as what happens to Daniel Suelo, but his life before was meaningless and he always wanted to take on the adventure (life with no money), so he probably refused the call before and accepted it later on.
And for those who did not refuse the call, accepted it and took it on, the first thing the hero meets is a figure that is protective of them, and provides the hero help against whatever comes up on his or her journey. According to Daniel Suelo’s story, he has no supernatural aid, and no one on his side to help him with his journey,but later on in his life he does find a man, and has a relationship, and that relationship is possibly what kept him going, because he was very lonely, and his friend protected him from the feeling of being lonely.
According to Joseph Campbell, the hero continues his journey until he comes to a threshold guardian, where he must cross the first threshold. This is where the hero must be brave to step in through the threshold to experience the unknown and compared to Daniel Suelo’s story, he accepted the call to adventure and gets a supernatural aid, then must go through the threshold which is possibly him leaving his house and leaving his money in the phone booth and taking the world on without any money.The passage of the magical threshold is symbolized in the womb image of the belly of the wale. After the hero taking on the threshold, the hero will easily be sucked into the belly of the wale, and will appear as dead. Daniel Suelo’s adventure starts with him leaving his money, and ending up living in a cave in Utah, and that is where all his adventures start, and the cave is where he sleeps, which makes him appear as dead, then second day he wakes up hes stronger and hes ready to take on everything.
The second big move of the hero is initiation that starts with the road of trials that the hero must go through and experience, to get to the end of his journey. The hero must survive the trials, and this stage in a story in known to be the favorite phase of adventure, where the hero will meet the unknown and be ready for the unexperienced. The trials in Daniel Suelo’s life is probably everything he has to face everyday to live human beings, to animals.Sometimes Daniel Suelo had to try his best to keep his cave up in Utah from police officers that wouldn’t allow him to live on unused government property. He also how to go through trials asking for food, because Daniel used to only take food from those who offered, or from dumpsters, which is something that some businesses didn’t like. For Daniel Suelo, everyday is a road of trials. After comparing Daniel Suelo to the archetypal hero Campbell refers to, its possible to see similarities him and the hero, but it is also hard to find much concrete similarities between the two. In the end, according to Campbell, I believe that Daniel is actually an archetypal hero that had to go through trails that each other hero went through in movies, old stories, and modern day story telling.
Courtney from Study Moose
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