Marlin’s Ordinary World
The Ordinary world is the first step in the hero’s journey, and it depicts the world the characters lived in before moving through the stages of a hero’s journey. In the movie “Finding Nemo”, Nemo was the only egg remaining after an angry shark attacked his mother and her eggs. That incident would define the world he only knew, being a single dad raising his only son in the coral reefs was Marlin’s Ordinary world. In the book “The Odyssey”, Odysseus lived in the peaceful land of Ithaca where he is married to the love of his life and serves as a respected king.
The next stage in a hero’s journey is the Call To Adventure. The Call to Adventure signifies the start of the journey in a story plot. In Finding Nemo, Marlin first experiences the Call to Adventure when his son, Nemo, gets abducted by scuba divers after Nemo attempts to touch their boat. In the Odyssey, Odysseus experiences the Call to Adventure when he is drafted into the Trojan War and asked to attack Troy.
Call To Adventure and Refusal of Quest
The Refusal of Quest/Accepting the Call stage is described to be the stage in which the hero initially feels fear, or insecurity when heeding the call but subsequently comes to the realization that there is no better person qualified to accept this responsibility. In Finding Nemo, Marlin wants to find his son, but is scared to venture out into the deep sea as he has not attempted that since his wife died. Eventually, Marlin believes in himself and begins searching for his son, in what feels like the neverending sea. Odysseus however, tries to refuse the call to war by pretending to be insane. He would plow a field with a donkey to prove his point that he is in no shape to go to war. Odysseus was tricked when a soldier used his son Telemachus to determine whether he was putting on an act. Odysseus ultimately revealed his sanity and his love for his child. Marlin and Odysseus both realized that they had no choice but to heed the call and rescue their loved ones, their sons.
Entering the Unknown
Upon Entering the Unknown, Marlin is determined to find his missing son, but is not sure how to go about it and is grateful that Dory, his new friend, can read the address on a mask that belonged to one of the scuba divers. In the Odyssey, Odysseus Enters the unknown, when he joins the army, and leaves Ithaca to go to the Trojan war.
Throughout their adventures, both Odysseus and Nemo experience the tests and trials that expose their vulnerabilities. For example, Odysseus and his men were in search for food and stumbled across a cave. Upon entering the cave, they were confronted by a Cyclops, whose name was Polyphemus. He was large and thus was very intimidating to Odysseus and his men. The cyclops was not happy that Odysseus disturbed him, and in revenge rolled a huge stone against the mouth of the cave to block the entrance. The Cyclops became enraged, grabbed two of Odysseus’s men, smashed their heads against the rocks, and subsequently ate them. Odysseus dared do nothing to the Cyclops, since only the Cyclops was strong enough to move the stone away from the mouth of the cave. Odysseus and his men had to formulate a plan, which included creating a spear using timber found in the cave. As the Cyclops awoke from his nap, he moved the stone that was blocking the cave. Odysseus executed his plan and offered the Cyclops wine, causing the Cyclops to fall into a drunken sleep. Now that there was a clear exit, Odysseus threw the spear in the Cyclops eye, and then quickly fled the cave. Furthermore, Odysseus encountered a witch named Circe who later turned all his men into pigs, and made him stay on the island for a year before being able to escape. In Finding Nemo, Marlin also faced tests and trials of his adventure, which included an encounter with Bruce, the Great White Shark, surviving a sea of jellyfish, and being chased by trench fish.
Supreme Ordeal Stage
The Supreme Ordeal is the essential stage in a Hero’s journey, as it aids in the connection between the audience and the hero. In this stage, the hero faces his biggest challenge and is ultimately reborn. In Finding Nemo, Marlin makes eye contact with Nemo after days of being apart, which is one of the most important parts of the movie. In the Odyssey, this connection happens when Penelope mentions that she will marry the suitor who can string the bow, and who can then shoot an arrow through a line of twelve axes. Odysseus manages to shoot through all twelve axes, which ultimately impresses Penelope. The two characters, Marlin and Odysseus, manage to fiercely advance throughout the hero’s journey up until this point.
The Reward of the Hero’s journey is typically depicted when the hero accomplishes his goal. When Marlin finally rescues Nemo, he finds the puzzle piece that he was missing in his life. For Odysseus, he finds his way home, kills his suitors, and gets his power and family back. Both stories have the typical ending to every hero’s journey, restoring the world where order is being restored in the journey. For Marlin, he was finally able to venture out and handle the world outside of his anemone, along with saving his son; For Odysseus, he is once again King of Ithaca and his family is reunited.
In the end, it is my opinion that Marlin is more deserving of the title. Losing his wife and babies, running away from sharks, going through a maze of jellyfish, and entering the dental office, all in an effort to be with the one person he loves the most, his son Nemo.