The Monomyth of Harry Potter
- Pages: 7
- Word count: 1543
- Category: Harry Potter
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The heroic monomyth (also known as the Hero’s Journey) describes the common stages of a hero’s journey found in many stories. Joseph Campbell first described the monomyth in 1949 in his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. Although the nature of the monomyth may not be appealing to everyone, it is very interesting to those who actually take the time to learn about it and how it applies to stories and movies in today’s modern world. Take for example, popular movies, stories, and comics such as the Matrix, Star Wars, the Ender’s Game, and the Lord of the Rings. The protagonists in these movies go through the same stages: Departure, Initiation, and Return. This essay will discuss the five stages of monomyth in Harry Potter; ”The Call to Adventure”, “Belly of The Whale”, “Atonement with the Father”, “The Ultimate Boon” and “Freedom to Live”. First of all from the “Separation” part, “Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone” discuss ”The Call to Adventure”. The hero’s journey starts with a call and the hero has o leave from his/her home. In “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, shortly before Harry’s eleventh birthday, the letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry comes to Harry, but Uncle Vernon destroys it before Harry can read it.
The series of the same letter are sent Dusley’s house by magic or owls. Finally Vernon decides to move to another place to get away from the letters. Vernon takes the family to a small island. As they are settling in, Hagrid bursts through the door to tell Harry what the Dursleys have kept him from finding out: Harry is a wizard and has been accepted at Hogwarts. In this letter, the headmaster of school, Dumbledore, says that Harry has special powers. He is pleased to inform Harry that Harry has been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry is very surprised, because he thinks that he isn’t special. Harry’s normal life with his relatives isn’t happy, for this reason he decides to go to Hogwarts, leave his normal life and face adventure without thinking. Harry’s journey starts with this call and new adventures wait for him.
Moreover, from the “Separation” part, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” discuss “Belly of The Whale”. The hero understands that there is no return and she/he has to complete the mission. In “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, Harry and his two friends go to the three-headed dog’s chamber. Harry meets with Quirrell who serves Voldemort. At Voldemort’s bidding, Quirrell removes his turban, revealing the face of Voldemort on the back of his head. Voldemort/Quirrell tries to grab the Stone from Harry, but simply touching Harry causes Quirrell’s flesh to burn. After further struggles Harry passes out. He wakes up in the school hospital, where Professor Dumbledore tells him Voldemort left Quirrell to die, and is likely to return by some other means. Dumbledore had foreseen that the Mirror would show Voldemort/Quirrell only themselves making the elixir of life, as they wanted to use the Philosopher’s Stone; Harry was able to see the Stone in the Mirror because he wanted to find it but not to use it. Harry understands that he had to fight Voldemort until Voldemort will die. Harry sees that there is no way to live in peace until Voldemort’s death, for this reason Harry decides to protect wizarding world from Voldemort.
Then, from the “Initiation” part, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” discuss “Atonement with the Father”. The hero meets his or her master/father figure. In “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, Harry learns that one of his father’s, James’, best friend Sirius Black serves Voldemort. Sirius betrayed Potter family. Sirius Black is also a godfather of Harry. In the newspaper, Harry sees news about Sirius Black’s escape from Azkaban and he thinks that Sirius escaped to kill him. Sirius Black comes to Hogwarts to talk with Harry. Then Black explain that the real murderer of Harry’s parents is not Black, but Peter Pettigrew, who has been presumed dead but really hidden all these years disguised as Scabbers. Black transforms Scabbers into Pettigrew, who squeals and hedges but ultimately confesses, revealing himself to be Voldemort’s servant, and Black to be innocent.
Harry faints and awakens in the hospital wing to hear Snape and Cornelius Fudge discussing the fact that Sirius Black is about to be given the fatal Dementor’s Kiss. Harry and Hermione protest, claiming Black’s innocence. Then Dumbledore enters the room and suggests that Harry and Hermione travel back through Hermione’s time-turning device, and save both Black and Buckbeak, the monster which Hagrid has. Then Harry and Hermione fly to the tower where Black is imprisoned, and they rescue Black, sending him away to freedom on Buckbeak’s back. The next day Dumbledore meets with Harry and gives him wise fatherly advice on the events that have happened. On the train ride home, Harry receives an owl-post letter from Sirius that contains a Hogsmeade permission letter, words of confirmation that he is safe in hiding with Buckbeak and that he was, in fact, the sender of the Firebolt, and a small pet owl for Ron. Sirius behaves like Harry’ father, helps Harry and because of these Harry is very happy. Finally Harry succeeds in his father figure, Sirius Black.
Following, from the”Initiation” part, “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows” discusses “The Ultimate Boon”. In this stage, the hero reaches his/her the final goal. In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, Harry surrenders himself to death at Voldemort’s hand. Voldemort casts the Killing Curse at him, sending Harry to a state between life and death. There, Harry learns that when Voldemort used Harry’s blood to regain his full strength, it protected Harry from Voldemort harming him; the Horcrux inside Harry has been destroyed, and Harry can return to his body despite being hit by the Killing Curse. Harry also learns that he became the true master of the Deathly Hallows by facing Death, not by seeking to avoid or conquer it. Harry returns to his body, feigning death.
He shows that he is still alive. Harry and Voldemort engage in a final climactic duel. Harry reveals that because he willingly sacrificed himself to death by Voldemort’s hand, his act of love would protect the Wizarding community from Voldemort in the same way the sacrifice Harry’s mother made protected Harry. Harry also reveals that Snape was never the master of the Elder Wand. Draco was the master of the Elder Wand after disarming Dumbledore, but Harry disarmed Draco at Malfoy Manor, making Harry the true master of the Elder Wand. The wand refused to kill the one to whom it had allegiance, further protecting Harry. During the duel, Harry refuses to use the killing curse and even encourages Voldemort to feel remorse, one known way to restore Voldemort’s shattered soul. Voldemort dies when his own killing curse backfires; he and his Death Eaters are finally defeated. Harry reaches to him aim, the wizarding world is able to live in peace with Voldemort’ death.
Thereafter, from the “Return” part,” Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” discusses “Freedom to Live”. In this stage with the journey complete and the hero integrated back into the world, she/he is now free to live his/her life as he/she sees fit. In “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows”, it closes with a brief epilogue set 19 years later, in which Harry and Ginny Weasley are a married couple with three children: James Sirius, Albus Severus, and Lily Luna. Ron and Hermione also get married and have two children, Rose and Hugo. The families meet at King’s Cross station, where a nervous Albus is departing for his first year at Hogwarts. Harry’s godson, Teddy Lupin, is found kissing Bill and Fleur Weasley’s daughter Victoire in a train carriage. Harry sees Draco Malfoy and his wife with their son, Scorpius. Neville Longbottom is now the Hogwarts’ Herbology professor and remains friends with the two families. Harry comforts Albus, who is worried he will be sorted into Slytherin, and tells his son that one of his two namesakes, Severus Snape, was a Slytherin and the bravest man he had ever met. He adds that the Sorting Hat takes one’s choice into account, like it did for Harry. The book ends with these final words: “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.” The golden trio finally starts to live in peace without Voldemort and their journey completes with that event.
All in all, Campbell describes seventeen stages along the heroes’ journey and Harry Potter’s story as a hero’s journey, contains some of the stages of monomyth. Myths can contain all stages or many stages. They may have as a focus only on one of the stages. Harry Potter contains the stages of monomyth in his journey, because in Campbell’s opinion people’ heroes are similar. They do similar quests in their journeys, for this reason Campbell’s monomyth theory is true. In Harry Potter, Harry fights Voldemort and finally Harry kills him. He finishes his journey with Voldemort’s death. As a hero’s journey, I think Harry Potter’s journey is a perfect example of monomyth.