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Oskar Schell And The Hero's Journey Essay

673 words - 3 pages

"A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of wonder" said Joseph Campbell, who had identified the basic pattern found in many heroic tales and narratives called the monomyth, or the hero's journey. Although nine-year-old protagonist, Oskar Schell from the 2011 movie, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close directed by Stephen Daldry, does not seem like the ordinary hero, he is definitely a heroic character and he goes on a hero's journey with the call to adventure, the crossing of the first threshold, and finally, the attainment of the ultimate boon.

The first step of the traditional hero's journey is called the "Call to Adventure". The hero begins in a mundane situation of normality, which in Oskar's case, is being a normal, but autistic kid living in New York. Oskar had lived a pretty standard life up until then. He went to school and had a good relationship with his parents. Unfortunately, like many other kids, he had lost his father in the September 11 attacks, initiating a hard period in his life due to his inability to cope with his father’s death. The protagonist then receives some information that acts as a summon to depart to the unknown. This is portrayed in the film when Oskar knocks over a blue vase and discovers a key in a paper envelope with the word "Black" written on it while looking through his father's belongings in his closet after the "worst day". This incident prompts Oskar to travel all around New York to find Black and uncover what the mysterious key opens.

Furthermore, the following step that is showcased in the movie is the "Crossing of the First Threshold". This is the point where the principal character actually enters the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his world and venturing into an unknown and possibly dangerous realm where the rules, laws, and limits are ambiguous and unknown. In the motion picture, this step is demonstrated when Oskar...

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