Sophie Bouey

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    The Heroine's Journey

    Maureen Murdock created the Heroine’s Journey as an alternative to Joseph Campbell’s famous the Hero’s Journey. She believed that the Heroine’s Journey would align better with the female experience.

    Analyze the possible applications of the Heroine’s Journey in writing. Compare the Hero’s Journey and the Heroine’s Journey. What do the differences between them imply about society and our perceptions of masculinity and femininity? Are there any examples of the Heroine’s Journey prevalent in literature and pop culture?

    • I am not as familiar with Murdock's work as I am with Campbell's work and Vogler's interpretation of the Hero's Journey in his book "The Writer's Journey." That being said, Vogler suggests that the real difference between male and female journeys may be in their form: that men's journey is more linear, "proceeding from one outward goal to the next," while women's journey may spin outward, inward and outward again. I think this form suggests that a woman' journey is more introspective than a man's, who--according to Vogler--must achieve his needs of going out and conquering, possessing and achieving. – Paula Rai 9 months ago
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    • I'd love to see an article about this topic! – Sean Gadus 7 months ago
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    • Great topic! Cheryl Strayed's novel-made-film Wild (2012, 2014) would be a great text to examine through the Heroine's Journey. There's a clear quest structure (leaving home, enduring trials, etc.) along with a lot of movement between the outward and inward and a lot of treatment of the mother/daughter relationship.How we look at something affects what we see end up seeing. It'd be interesting to examine how we get different things from a single text if we look at it through Campbell's model or through Murdock's model. – JamesBKelley 7 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    I loved this article! You’ve inspired me to check out FernGully.

    Five Animated Musicals That Are Not Disney

    Interesting article!

    According to Steve Kaplan in his book “The Hidden Tools of Comedy”, comedy occurs when “an ordinary guy/gal faces insurmountable odds to what he/she wants to achieve, without adequate skills to achieve it, yet never losing hope.”

    He stresses how the gap between the skill set of the character and the skills required to achieve their goal creates comedy. For example: watching a character played by Danny DeVito in a high jump competition is likely to be funnier than watching a character played by LeBron James attempt the same feat.

    If we argue that the ability to perceive moral consequences is a skill required to function in society, then it would make sense why “bad people” who lack this skill would be entertaining to watch.

    "It's Always Sunny" and Why We Laugh at Bad People

    I second Kristian Wilson’s suggestion of Arthur Plotnik’s “Spunk & Bite”. “Elements of Eloquence” by Mark Forsyth is another fun and fascinating read for anyone interested in language.

    Essential Books for Writers