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Entering the Belly of the Whale

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Campbell's 'Hero's Journey' > Entering the Belly of the Whale

Description | Discussion | See also

 

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Description

The hero enters the zone of danger. This may start immediately after the first threshold or may require some travel.

Example

In Star Wars, the Millennium Falcon is drawn into the Death Star by a tractor beam.

Sherlock Holmes enters the criminal's domain (perhaps in disguise).

Frodo and the party leave Lothlorien and into the lands frequented by the Orcs. Later, Frodo enters the tunnels to in which lies Shelob's lair.

Discussion

'Entering the Belly of the Whale' is rather florid description, but simply means going somewhere dangerous. It is a reference to Johah entering the whale in the Biblical story. Literature contains a number of symbolic references zones of danger, such as the 'dragon's lair', or 'the lion's den'.

There may be a number of transitions into zones within the story, each crossing some threshold and usually with a sense of 'no going back'.

With the increase in danger, the audience senses an increase in tension and is thus drawn deeper into the story.

See also

Departure: Hero leave on mission

 

Campbell, J. (1949). The Hero With a Thousand Faces, New York: Bollingen

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