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Countless quest narratives – ranging from modern texts all the way back to ancient texts – have all conformed to a certain archetypal structure. Christopher Vogler writes:
All stories consist of a few common structural elements found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams, and movies. They are known collectively as The Hero’s Journey. Understanding these elements and their use in modern writing is the object of our quest. Used wisely, these ancient tools of the storytellers craft still have tremendous power to heal our people and make the world a better place (xxvii).
Being one of the world’s most popular art forms, it was inevitable that these archetypes would find their way into film as well. In this essay I will argue that the films Pulp Fiction, Taxi Driver, Watership Down, and Trainspotting are all versions of The Hero’s Journey, consequently demonstrating just how prevalent these archetypes have become in modern cinema. And that mythology and storytelling are important parts of each culture because they prevent the darkness in our hearts from spreading.
In The Hero with a…