The Monomyth and Fahrenheit 451 Relation
The Monomyth and Fahrenheit 451 Relation
Writing Guide for Fahrenheit 451 For your final essay in this course you will relate the stages of the Monomyth, which you studied in World Foundations 101, to the novel Fahrenheit 451. Since it has been some time since you studied the stages of the Monomyth, you will be provided with a brief review of those stages in this writing guide. Writing Assignment Write a two-page paper in which you relate the stages of the Monomyth to Fahrenheit 451. Those stages include (a) Stage One: Departure, (b) Stage Two: The Initiation, and (c) Stage Three: Return. Use at least one significant quotation from Fahrenheit 451 for each of the three stages and explain how the quotation illustrates the Monomyth stages. Avoid summarizing the story, as the instructor is already very familiar with it; instead try to include as many insights, connections, and original thoughts into the essay as possible.
The paper should meet the following criteria: (a) Two pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman/Arial/or Tahoma, and 12-point font. (b) At the top of your paper, you should have the following information: name, activity name, course title, and the current date. It should be formatted like the example below: Jane Doe Essay on “Fahrenheit 451” World Foundations 201 January 1, 2009 (only with the current date) (c) Save your file using the following file name convention: First Name_Last name_activity name. Please use an underscore, not a space, between parts of the file name. It should be saved as either a Word (.doc) file, a rich text file (.rtf), or a plain text file (.txt). The complete file name should look similar to the example below: Jane_Smith_Fahrenheit451Essay Review of the Three Stages of the Monomyth Each of the following pages outlines one of the three stages in the Monomyth.
After you read through each stage, try to define it in your own words. As you read the variations within each stage, see if you can relate one or more variations to the characters and events in Fahrenheit 451. Note those examples in the space provided after each variation. Stage One–Departure (Separation) In Stage One, the hero finds him/herself in a world of adventure that is not the same as the “real” world of the reader. Possible variations include: 1. The call to adventure (or the Quest). An accident, or blunder, reveals to the hero an alternative “world,” one in which supernatural forces are at work. The hero usually does not understand these forces at first but must come to respect them and work with them if they are to complete the journey successfully. 2. Supernatural Assistance. The first encounter on the journey often involves a protective figure (sometimes female figure, sometimes an old man, etc.). This individual customarily provides the hero with special items (an amulet, a ring, or perhaps even a magic flute) to aid the hero in surmounting the forces they will soon encounter. 3. Crossing the threshold. The hero (sometimes in the company of a fellowship of travelers) encounters a guardian, or custodian, that protects the entrance into the adventure. According to Campbell, this custodian guards the four possible directions that bind together the limits of the hero’s life-horizon. The world beyond the threshold is both unknown AND dangerous. 4. The “Belly of the Whale.” A form of “birth” symbolizes a transition into a world of adventure. The hero may be swallowed into a realm of darkness and appears to have died. Stage Two–The Initiation (Challenge) In Stage Two, the hero must successfully meet and defeat several challenges, which are often mortal. Possible variations include: 1. The Road of Trials. Through this series of challenges the hero discovers that a superhuman or even divine power is assisting them. This power is often manifested through artifacts of power discovered in Stage One (amulets, rings, flutes, etc.). 2. The Goddess. The hero journeys to the very edge of the world of adventure and encounters the Goddess of the World. The Goddess reveals the purposes of the hero’s trial. In some variations, the hero may even marry the Goddess, uniting the power of earth to the power of the heavens. 3. The Temptress. The Goddess is occasionally revealed as an impure influence. Often the hero is considered “defiled” if he gives in to her will. He can no longer rest in a state of innocence for the Goddess is revealed as also being potentially the Queen of Sin. Keep in mind that the Goddess and the Queen do NOT need to be the same person in the myth. The dual aspects of Goddess/Temptress may be represented by multiple individuals. 4. Father Figure and Atonement. The hero must endure the wrath of a father figure, whose power holds the hero captive “over the Pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider . . . over the fire.” The father figure’s wrath burns (figuratively, or literally) the hero. 5. Apotheosis. The powers of the father figure may reveal underlying compassion and pity. The hero becomes like the father figure when adopting these qualities. The father figure often moves abroad in disguise, appearing in the hero’s hour of need. 6. The Ultimate Boon. The hero acquires, reveals, sometimes steals, or actually becomes the Ultimate Boon that will bless all humanity (if the hero can escape back into the world of “reality”). The hero’s ability to transcend all challenges builds the strength of character necessary to benefit his or her entire community, nation, planet, universe, etc. The hero often has some transcendental vision of a higher reality in which all experiences, all symbols, all divinities are understood. The hero achieves and realizes a higher state of being, with the ability to sing the Song of Nature, bringing new life from what was once dead. Stage Three–Return (Restoration) In Stage Three, the hero, having completed the journey successfully, must find a way back into the mundane world. Possible variations include: 1. Refusal to Return. The hero enjoys the new reality far too much to return. The new reality may include a Golden Fleece, a beautiful princess awakened with a kiss, or the enjoyment of true love. 2. The Magic Flight. The father figure and the Goddess bless the hero and give him some way of returning (a magic potion, a magic carpet, or even a flying bicycle!). If the hero has to steal a trophy from the guardian, the return often involves a spirited chase, which can (in the case of magical beanstalks and giants, for example) prove comical.
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