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A Hero's Guardian - Dante's Inferno, Smoke Signal, Whirligig

Uploaded by Gotskillz on Jun 13, 2004

A Hero’s Guardian

The monomyth pattern is demonstrated when the protagonist of a story separates himself from the “known”, an environment of his understanding, and crosses the threshold into the “unknown” to fulfill his objective in the story. By making this bold move, the protagonist becomes a hero, and must overcome impeding obstacles before he can complete his mission. Consequently, after the hero concludes his journey, he returns home with a new retrospect as well as a gift to share with family and friends. Throughout the hero’s psychological expenditure in the unknown, he is accompanied by a resourceful guide. The guide will assist in the commencing of the trip, as well as with the ultimate achievement, and return to the known. This monomyth scheme is presented in Chris Eyre’s film, Smoke Signals, Dante’s poem, The Divine Comedy Vol. I: Inferno, and Fleischman’s young adult novel, Whirligig. In each literary work, a Supernatural Aid helps the adventurer on their psychological journey through the unknown terrain in which they find themselves.

Victor Joseph, the hero and protagonist of Smoke Signals, is aided psychologically as well as physically by Thomas Builds-a-Fire and Susie Song. Victor is raised in an abusive home on account of his father’s brutal behavior. His father, Arnold Joseph, suffers from a severe alcoholic problem and in fits of rage, beats Victor and his wife for little or no reason. On one occasion, Arnold disappears from his wife and son’s lives after a heated dispute. This grave incident greatly saddens Victor, and leaves him with many unanswered questions. Now, as a young man, Victor receives an urgent message informing him of his father’s death and telling him that he must travel to Arizona to collect his father’s ashes. Due to the untimely call, Victor cannot afford the bus fare to reach Arizona. Victor’s childhood friend, Thomas Builds-a-fire, offers to finance the voyage, so long as he may accompany Victor on the voyage. Victor reluctantly accepts, and the two companions leave the Indian Reservation in Idaho and enter the unknown world of Arizona, after a grueling bus ride. Thomas stimulates Victor’s mind with stories of Arnold during the bus ride. Thomas recollects that one day, while he sat at the bridge watching the tide, Victor’s father took his hand and the two dined at Denny’s, the restaurant. Thomas remembers the generosity that Arnold encompassed, for he was allowed to purchase anything on...

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Uploaded by:   Gotskillz

Date:   06/13/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   7 pages (1,568 words)

Views:   14427

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