As an added bonus, here's Roy and Moss from The IT Crowd with a little play-by-play.
Yay, welcome back real American tackle football!
I said that the Hero’s Journey made rather an odd life, with a distinct lack of what most people do, such as making things and having children. Lois said that traditionally in most cultures men went out and came back again, off to have adventures and then home to settle down and inherit from their father, whereas women went out and didn’t come back, inheriting from strangers—their husband’s parents. You can see this in a lot of fairy tales.Can you think of a heroine who leaves home and journeys and is changed by what happens to her? The first one that came to mind for me was Tazendra, part of Steven Brust's Khaavren Romances. She plays the Porthos character based on the Dumas d'Artagnan Romances, so her role is part of the ensemble rather the starring role.
There aren’t many books that give a heroine a Campbellian Hero’s Journey. If there is a parallel canonical Heroine’s Journey it’s one that ends with marriage, and that’s seen as a kind of ending. In genre romance, the woman’s agenda wins. But in many books ending in marriage closes the doors of story, as if it isn’t possible to see past that—once the heroine has chosen her man there’s no more to be said. And there are the stories where the adventure ends with becoming a mother—I thought about the great line in Mockingbird “The longest trip I ever took, from being a daughter to having one.”
In fairy tales you have the hopeful young girl. Her great virtue is kindness to the helpless. She is often aided by those she has helped, by animals, old people, servants, and dwarves. She has a good mother who is dead, or turned into a tree or animals, who may give magical help on occasion. She has a bad shadow mother, often a stepmother. She may have rivals, sisters or stepsisters, but she rarely has friends or equals. Her aim is to survive, grow up, and marry a prince. Older women are represented by the two formats of mother, and old women by witches, who may be benevolent but are generally tricky to deal with.
In myth it’s rare to have women who journey, who are changed by what happens to them.
Lois said that traditionally in most cultures men went out and came back again, off to have adventures and then home to settle down and inherit from their father, whereas women went out and didn’t come back, inheriting from strangers—their husband’s parents.
These anthropologists are leaving their own culture and traveling into a strange culture and finding a family there. That does feel right. It’s surprising how often the protagonists do “go native” and settle down on the planet. I find this an intriguing thought...
It’s also especially interesting when thinking about another book that almost fits — Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead. Seeing Ender as on a heroine’s journey in that story rather than a hero’s journey makes a lot of sense.The Incredibles, because Brad Bird starts with a brief glimpse into heroes in their prime (which is to say, 'single') and then jumps forward and picks up his story after most people's 'happily ever after, the end.' I thought that was a simple but brilliant idea and it paid off handsomely. Elastigirl (Mrs. Incredible) straddles the line between the hero's journey and the heroine's journey. It is an even more (heh) incredible aspect of an already fun and thought-provoking film.
|On the range with an M4 Carbine|