Does The Hero’s Journey Limit Heroism?

The origin story of the phrase “the hero’s journey” comes from Joseph Campbell’s work and his book “A Hero with a Thousand Faces”.  Campbell took a look at myths and stories across many different cultures and throughout history for similarities.  It brings forward questions like: What makes a story a story?  and What makes stories so important to humans?  Campbell has been a conscious influence on everything from “Star Wars” to “Community”, and a subconscious influence on countless others.

His work is basically, exactly my jam.  These are the questions I ponder and struggle with and argue about with friends and loved ones.

His work is used as a kind of writer’s 101.  When you’re stuck, or the story isn’t working, or you don’t know what should happen next, check your story against the framework of “The Hero’s Journey”.

The thing is, I worry that some heroes are left out of this model. Like maybe the heroes from my stories? Continue reading