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The Hero's Journey

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Yes, you are thinking of the right thing. I've got Star Wars on my list already. I'm getting really excited about doing this with my son in the Spring. We'll probably spend 3-4 months on it. I'm going to choose a 3-4 of these books: Beowulf, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, Epic of Gilgamesh, Lord of the Flies, Treasure Island, The Once and Future King. So many to choose from!! . Oh, and The Writer's Journey.

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I'm not sure what exactly you're looking for, but Oak Meadow's 9th grade English deals with the hero's journey all year. You could probably find a pretty inexpensive used copy of the syllabus on Amazon or ebay. 


They use the following books:

  • The House of the Scorpion,by Nancy Farmer
  • Kidnapped,by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
  • Into the Wild,by Jon Krakauer
  • Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  • House of Light, by Mary Oliver


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If you are going to use Campbell, it might be worthwhile to look at some critical views of his perspective.  I enjoyed reading The Hero With 1000 Faces in high school, but I saw an interview with him in university where he contrasted two myths by cutting of the end of one and the beginning of the other, and I could never take his analysis all that seriously after that.  And I think there is a fair amount of critical material so you could easily just read an essay or something.


As far as novels, one you might try is The Manticore by Robertson Davies - it's fairly explicitly about the idea of the hero journey, or at least that is one of its leading ideas..

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