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Abdulrahman Zeitoun and The Hero with a Thousand Faces - Essay Example

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This paper attempts to apply John Campbell’s criteria for heroic deeds to a real life case. For this, Campbell’s description of a Hero’s life and the different stages of the journey are enumerated first. …
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Abdulrahman Zeitoun and The Hero with a Thousand Faces
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Download file to see previous pages He has specified three main criteria pertaining to the Hero’s adventures. Then, the paper takes the experiences of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian American and evaluates his actions on the basis of Campbell’s criteria. Zeitoun’s actions have transformed him into a modern-day heroic figure whose case can serve as an example to inspire people around the world on how to emerge unscathed and victorious from adversity. Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces has tried to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding religious and mythological figures with the help of examples. The mythological texts have glorified personalities who have displayed courage to undertake superhuman deeds. In the first stage, the Hero ventures from the ordinary world to a supernatural realm. During the course of his journey, he encounters great forces and ultimately prevails upon them. Finally, he returns to his land with special powers which he then imparts to his fellow men. Therefore, the adventure path of the hero usually passes through three different stages: separation, initiation and return. In ancient mythology, whoever desired to embark on a journey of life and explore the way was encouraged to carry on: “Whosoever desires to explore the Way – Let them set out- for what more is there to say – “ (Campbell 23) This idea conveys that embarking on the journey of life helps man to discover his inner self. He realizes the true identity of his soul and learns about the mission that he has been sent to accomplish. The idea about the completeness of life is unraveled to him. The journey of life is embodied on the concept of a continuous endeavor to move forward without stopping to think and procrastinate. This resembles the journey of the Hero in his quest for glory. The mythological accounts of the heroic achievements of men have served as an inspiration to the future generations of civilization. (Campbell xxiv). In his book, Campbell describes vividly each of the three stages in a typical adventurous journey of the Hero. He illustrates his description with suitable cases from ancient religion and mythology. The first stage of the Hero’s Departure or Separation from the ordinary world begins with the Hero receiving Supernatural’s Call to Adventure. Though he turns down the Call at first, the Hero receives the assurance of Supernatural assistance. Thus he ventures on his journey and begins to cross the thresholds of his course. The second stage elaborates on the Hero’s “Initiation” to the Supernatural World. His journey to this ethereal world is filled with numerous trials and tribulations, but he emerges victorious with the help of his extra powers. As a reward, the Hero has the good fortune of meeting the Goddess. However, his experiences in this world are not free from temptations and in some cases, the Hero is compelled to submit to these provocations. Inspite of this, The Holy Father gives him a chance of atonement and the Hero is washed of his sins. The Hero is thus elevated to a divine status and receives supreme powers as a mark of his divinity. The final stage describes the Hero’s “Return” from the ethereal realm to the common world. The Hero is transported back to his own ordinary world through a magic flight. He overcomes the “Return Threshold” and reaches his native place. Endowed with supernatural powers, the Hero now becomes the Master of both the ordinary and the ethereal world. (Campbell 45-221) David Egger’s book Zeitoun is a non-fictional work regarding the Zietoun family in New Orleans. It is a true account of the deeds of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-American, when his family encountered the Hurricane storm Katrina and the events that followed thereafter. It is a challenge to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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