Monday, March 31, 2014

The Obstacles in a Hero's Journey

By Eliana Lerman
What Makes a Hero
A person or fictional character is not considered a “hero” unless they go on a hero’s journey. One can not simply go from point A to point B with no obstacles and retrieve the “treasure” and still gain the same recognition as someone else who faced multiple obstacles and maybe even death, before they successfully completed their journey and returned with the prize. A hero can be a real world hero such as Martin Luther King, or a fictional hero such as Superman. Though the two are vastly different, both types of heroes go through similar stages in their journeys.

Obstacles, Threshold Guardians, and Archetypes
There are often many different people or events that stand in the way of the hero from reaching the goal or treasure. Based on Vogler’s version of the Hero’s Journey, Archetypes are recurring patterns of human behavior, symbolized by standard types of characters in movies and stories. Although there are allies and mentors, the shadows, threshold guardians, tricksters, and shapeshifters tend to be more involved with the hero. The mentors give advice and then tend to disinvolve themselves from the hero’s actual journey. Allies are normally on the outskirts of the journey, fighting whatever other threats they can to protect the hero. On the other hand, the “bad guys” are constantly trying to stop the hero from completing his or her journey, and creating obstacles to do so. Without the obstacles that prevent the hero from an otherwise pleasant and easy journey, the hero would not be considered entirely heroic or brave.


  1. A Hero’s challenges
    The first part of this blog was defining a hero which many student’s probably did as to clarify a hero and the point they are getting to. They then go on to compare and contrast the differences and likeness of fictional heroes and real world hero’s like the example given of Martin Luther king. Pleasantly worded and clearly written this author’s next insight on their topic, saying that the many different types of people and or events are repetitively occurring human behaviors in these hero archetype stories. I like this example given it made me think that these hero tales could be seen as life lessons through stories real or not. I felt that this person said a lot with not as many words and is overall a well done blog.

  2. Everyday Hero’s
    I also do enjoy the coffee shops that are not internet cafe’s, I never really felt that beverages and electronic should mix. This author seems to be interested in the stories of people and their journey also comparing that to living in New Mexico and what brings people here. Later goes on to state that we all have our own hero’s journey and the connection of we have as belonging to the human race.

  3. What a great definition of the Hero's Journey. Very concise. It can easily be applied to any hero story. It answers the question what makes one a hero?

  4. Being a hero is not easy! Even the smallest set back can make a hero's journey harder to achieve their goals.

  5. I completely agree, how boring would it be to read about a hero with no obsticales. That would not be a hero but a person with wasted talent. The challenges forge the hero and defines there character.