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Deaman’s Hero Journey, Essay Example

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Essay

Looking at the human history and its depiction in literary works, the first impression is usually that history or any story line repeats itself. From one perspective it might be viewed that human behavior and human beings in general are predictable. On the other hand, it might be argued that certain actions are conditioned by situational characteristics and that particular type of human beings would act according to the existing pattern. In this context, the phenomenon of hero is probably one of the most interesting cases. From one point of view, it is often considered that everyone would like to become a hero and that it is one of the psychological disorders, when an individual wants to become a hero, in other words, the syndrome of messiah is in action. On the other hand, the crucial precondition for a hero to be a true hero is actually reluctance to be one and becoming one due to a necessity of the situation rather than inner desire of fame or misperception of the role, on the first place.

Returning back to the actual discourse of this essay, it should be outlined that easiness with which hero’s journey can be predicted in this or that literary work is because the pattern of hero’s journey exists and almost every story can be analyzed in terms of the cycle of hero’s journey. Thus, the aim of the present essay is to discuss the Daeman’s path from the point of Hero’s Journey scheme, developed by Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. In this context, Deaman’s evolution as hero shall be viewed in terms of conquering three thresholds.

Threshold 1 – Departure.

The very beginning of any adventure is actual necessity of an adventure to take place or rather the call for it. The first step in terms of the First threshold is “The Call for Adventure”. In this context, a future hero-to-be is asked to “transfer his spiritual centre of gravity from within the pale of his society to a zone unknown” (Campbell 45). In this context, it can be argued that Deaman, who came to visit his cousin’s birthday and aimed nothing else but to seduce her, was involved in challenging the existing order of their lives. In this regard, the call for action did not come from him but from Ada and Harman, with their questions about flying jets – jinkers. Until certain extent, discussion of the lack of logic in the existing order was a challenge for Deaman’s narcissism and selfishness.

The next step of hero’s journey is “Refusal of the Call”. In this context, an individual has a natural reaction of denying a necessity for change; therefore, he is reluctant to cross the line between the known world and supernatural. It is a completely normal human reaction – the fear of unknown (Campbell 54). In this context, it can be argued that, among three friends, Deaman was the least interested in the journey they were about to take. The only thing he cared for was his sexual desires and a need to compete with Harman.

The third step is “Supernatural Aid”. Although, in many stories, this stage is usually more vivid than in “Ilium”, I think that one of the reasons why Deaman agreed to make the journey was because he was eaten by allosaurus. Although he was not aided by supernatural forces like Destiny or gods (on the other hand, we do not know for sure), he was still reconstructed in Paris Crater (Simmons 74). This event resulted in the further questioning of the existing order and the fact that Voynix did not protect Deaman. In this regard, the supernatural aid is in his resurrection and finding new information for further actions – like finding the witch Savi.

The fourth step of departure is “the Crossing of the First Threshold”. In this regard, an individual crosses the line between known and unknown worlds. In the case of Deaman, such a step was following the clues they were left by provision and faxing to node 8849. The main discovery and actual limit of Deaman’s knowledge of the world surrounding him ended there. The fact that there was no pavilion to fax and discovery that they were on Mount Erberus (Antarctica) challenged their understanding of the world. Deamon’s insecurity in their position and his world are best described in his question: “There can’t be a portal without a node pavilion. Right?” (Simmons 117).

The fourth step of this stage is crossing the threshold. In this context, the known world of three friends is no more and the entrance to the unknown starts with encountering of the Wondering Jew Savi, who missed her faxing 1400 years ago. In this regard, Savi is the holder of the unknown knowledge the keeper of the threshold. She expands their world perception. In this regard, her further description of the actual reality and their place in it changes Deaman and his self-perception. The knowledge that with each faxing they literally die and are constructed by node robots from scratch, which transformation of their inner knowledge into the new bodies made Deaman reconsider himself and his position in the world. Thus, the final step of departure was achieved – “Belly of the Wale”.

Threshold 2 – Initiation.

The first step of initiation is “The Road of Trials”. This step is self-explanatory – the hero needs to go through various trials and challenges in order to find his true self. In this regard, events in the Mediterranean Basin, Atlantis, Earth Orbit and Equatorial Ring are the best examples trials. In this context, Deaman had to encounter new creatures like Calibani, learn how to fight Voynix and Calibani, and also how to run form them. Although Simons has followed the pattern of the hero’s journey so far, the next two steps are a bit entwined and blurry unlike the first few.

The next two steps are “The Meeting with the Goddess” and “Woman as Temptress”. In this context, the first case was about appearance of female character that would show the meaning of the true love to the hero. In other words, the hero should gain balance as a human being – combine male and female energies into a whole. Until certain extent, harmony of the soul and body should be achieved at this stage (Cassandra 133). On the other hand, the next stage was aimed at temptation of the main hero with the material values and desire for female delights. In this context, the emphasis could have been placed either on the previous female character who embodied purity of love and emotional connection or on a negative character who had to seduce the main hero and drive him away from his goal (Campbell 111). The main morale lesson from these two steps would be that female love although an important part of hero’s self-comprehension should not distract him from his goal and quest.

In the case of Deaman, the situation with women was entirely opposite. He began as a self-centered man who wanted to seduce his young cousin. So, his initially moral values were distorted. Thus, as a hero, he needed to learn how to control these emotions and learn how to love without placing emphasis on sexual and material aspect of the feeling.  In this regard, the author shows that the steps Deaman had to take for the spiritual growth were a bit different from classic ones. In other words, one two steps regarding women, he had first of all learn how to love his cousin as a family member and how to gain respect for her and other female characters, particularly elder Savi (Cassandra 131). Thus, the temptation part was more about him fighting his inner desires and letting Ada go and make her choice of the man she loved.

The step “Atonement with the Father” usually refers to acquaintance with a supreme force which is opposed to the main hero and is quite often of male gender (Campbell 116). In this context, the main challenge and fear Deaman had to fight was Caliban as an embodiment of primitive male dominance. It can be argued that Caliban embodied archetypal symbol of father or male animalistic instinct hidden within each man (Cassandra 134). In this regard, the hero had to encounter him and understand his meaning for himself – face the fear and fight it. In this regard, Deaman was not ready yet to fight his fear.

The step “Apotheosis” refers to the focal event when someone literally dies. It can be the hero himself or someone close to him (Campbell 138). In “Ilium”, this step is the death of Savi from the hands of Caliban. The meaning of this step is that the hero can realize his responsibility and actual meaning of his path. The next step of the Journey is “The Ultimate Boon”. The essence of this step is in the actual achievement of planned journey (Campbell 159). In the case of Deaman, the final achievement is his acquaintance with Prospero, as an embodiment of divine power and the subsequent explanation of his role. In this regard, the heroic deed becomes obvious to Deaman – to fight Caliban, free other people from infirmary and destroy the whole place.

Threshold 3 – Return.

The step “Refusal of Return” is not that exact in “Ilium”. Deaman had no time to challenge his desire or reluctance to return home, he fought Caliban in a very short time and managed to get to sonie in order to survive and obviously to return home. Although a subconscious struggle between going home and going further might have taken place, it was not very vivid in the novel. The step “The Magic Flight” was in Deaman’s ability to get to sonie in the last minute before the exposition and his further safe return home. On the other hand, the step “Rescue from Without” was even vaguer than the previous two. There was no external help which brought Deaman home or assisted him in travelling back. At least, no particular emphasis was placed on such assistance.

On the other hand, the last two steps were quite vivid. The step “Master of Two Worlds” is in the incorporation of wisdom from the journey into everyday life. In this context, Deaman can see the implications of his deed in changes of life in his community – absence of Voynix, turin cloths and inability to use infirmaries. In this context, Deaman realizes that although he needs to explain people what happened, certain knowledge is better kept hidden. The final step “Freedom to Live” is that the hero is no longer afraid to die. He gains an opportunity to live without fear and make decisions how to live. Deaman is no longer scared, self-centered person; he is a leader who takes responsibilities. So, he decided that he would free 9000 out of the Jerusalem Blue Light (Simmons 560).

Works Cited

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Print.

Cassandra, Jackie. “Ilium. Book Review”. Library Journal, 128.9 (2003): 131-136. Print.

Simmons, Dan. Ilium. London: Harper Torch. 2005. Print.

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