• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Journey Through the Unknown: Raju and Saleem Through the Hero's Journey.

Extracts from this document...


Mary Collins Postcolonial Novels 3/11/03 A Journey Through the Unknown: Raju and Saleem Through the Hero's Journey When examining the word "hero" a great deal of confusion or uncertainty may come over the thinker regarding the actual definition of the word. This sense of indecision has to do largely with the ambiguous nature of the word hero. In truth, a hero can be the protagonist of a story or a person who exhibits a set of ideals and acts in a certain honorable or admirable way. Oftentimes it is difficult to ascertain whether or not a character deserves to be called a hero in the later sense of the word. (Kiley) An excellent device for determining hero-status is following the character through the story using the model of the Hero's Journey. Joseph Campbell first published extensive literature on the idea of the Hero's Journey in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces where he examines "The Adventure of the Hero:" "The whole sense of the ubiquitous myth of the hero's passage is that it shall serve as a general pattern for men and women, wherever they may stand along the scale. Therefore it is formulated in the broadest terms. The individual has only to discover his own position with reference to this general human formula, and let it then assist him past his restricting walls. ...read more.


This is one of the first challenges that Saleem faces. Survival is obviously an issue in the dark and dangerous unknown, but there are several other dangers as well. Temptation is a common challenge that heroes face. Saleem and his companions encounter four young maidens in a hidden temple who trick the men into believing the jungle is safe to stay in. When they realize that the maidens are only dangerous illusions, they flee the jungle and Saleem makes it to civilization safely. After several challenges, Saleem faces his greatest test when he is arrested along with all the other Midnight's Children. Locked in prison, Saleem tries to rally his companions to not lose faith and to remain optimistic that they really can change the world. Saleem also faces his adversary and fellow Midnight's Child, Shiva, who Saleem has been avoiding for his entire life. However, Saleem's will and desire to live overpower his fear of Shiva and this empowers Saleem to keep trying to "save the country" (Rushdie, 444). His release from prison and subsequent return to the magician's community marks Saleem's transformation into a father who is responsible for the life of another, not merely for himself. The birth of Aadam serves as both the catalyst for Saleem's transformation as well as his source of atonement. ...read more.


On the other hand, Narayan ends the novel on a rather ambiguous note; it is unclear whether or not Raju dies at the end. If not, then perhaps his gift is still waiting for him later in his life. Perhaps the rain that soaks the earth as a result of his faith will act as a reward for his challenges, his transformation, and his contribution to the lives of the villagers. Ultimately, it seems as though the Hero's Journey can be applied to almost any novel, which is perhaps what Campbell was aiming for. Campbell acknowledges the vastness of the world and in this broad spectrum of life, the possibility for ambiguity and multiple definitions of hero. While the term "hero" may be applied to the protagonist of a story, the deeper meaning of the word, when applied to a novel, can enrich the story's meaning. When faced with trials and tribulations, human beings are ultimately fallible. However, the ability to overcome defeat and to rise above internal and external battles is a quality that lies within each person. Everyone has the capability to be a hero, it simply depends on whether or not they are willing to change and grow through that experience. In both Midnight's Children and The Guide, the protagonists are able to overpower their demons and to face the world with a new perspective, and thus can be classified as heroes. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE RC Sheriff section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE RC Sheriff essays

  1. "The journey, not the arrival matters"

    "Einstein imagined what it would be like to ride a wave of light at the speed of light."3 This demonstrates the ability of the imagination and the amazing possibilities that it creates. However the possibilities that Einstein's theories have created have not been the focus of On Giant's Shoulders.

  2. Journeys End Drama Studies

    Up until this point we don't understand the severity of the fire that is upon the men. It is the fact that we are seeing our first casualty, besides the death of Osborne. Automatically the tension rises as we hear of people becoming injured.

  1. Inner journey and Benigini's 'Life is Beautiful'

    For example: - when Dora falls into his arms, when he is crashes into her in the streets and meets her with a friend. In the camp, Guido is not only concerned to protect Joshua, he also tries to reassure Dora that everything is ok by playing her favourite song

  2. English 4UO Independent Study - Comparative Essay

    As the story of Life of Pi commences, the reader is introduced by the author, Yann Martel, to the troubles of the novel's immature and adolescent protagonist. Similar in nature to Santiago, Piscine Molitor Patel, or informally known simply as Pi, is also a young male who is noticeably lost in a seemingly meaningless and insignificant life.

  1. 20th Century Drama - Journey's End, R C Sheriff

    me he liked being up there with the men better than down here with us" and how when he heard about the special supper which had been organised for their return Raleigh has said "Your not having that, are you?".

  2. Physical Journey

    An example of a stanza is "I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by And that has made all the difference."

  1. "The impact of journeys is felt by both individuals and the group. No-one can ...

    Interestingly, Skrzynecki uses the idea of the death metaphor in many of his poems including this one, as well as images of war. The emotional roller coaster ride experienced throughout the poem are a direct result of the impact of the journey on the group and are shown though the contrasts in the poem, hour/minute, first/last.

  2. How do the 3 Composers Faulcher, Leunig and Dawe use the idea of 'the ...

    This image corresponds with the main theme in Leunig's cartoon as the cartoon's centralised theme is fact that everyone is travelling in the same direction, with no disparity in their purpose and method. Dawe uses repetition in his poem in order to communicate the idea of being isolated from other people when journeying through life..

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work