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Atonement with the Father

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Campbell's 'Hero's Journey' > Atonement with the Father

Description | Discussion | See also

 

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Description

The hero may well come up against a 'father figure' who must be beaten, persuaded or whose approval must be achieved in some way. Ultimately, by whatever means, the difficult relationship between the two must be reconciled.

This person may well be a person in high authority or who has significant power in some way. It may also be a god or immortal of some kind.

The father figure may even be something symbolic, such as an ideal or concept which acts as a directive to the hero.

Example

In Star Wars, Luke confronts Darth Vader and then finds that Vader is his father.

Sherlock Holmes' 'father figure' is the ideal of the perfect logic that explains a crime.

Discussion

The father figure, in some ways, represents all fathers, with whom many sons have an ambiguous relationship, both seeking approval and yet also competing for status with them.

The father represents power, and particularly ultimate power over the hero. If this power can be taken, then the hero becomes seemingly omnipotent.

In beating the father figure, the hero takes the head of the table and thus becomes the father. In gaining the approval of the father, the hero is permitted to a higher plane.

Girls also have an awkward relationship with their father, both competing for attention against their mother and yet knowing the taboo of incest.

See also

 

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