The Hero’s Journey of the Odyssey
11 January 2013 The Roadway Forward Envision a champion, emerging from the sacked city of Troy, which he formerly dominated under his wise control. Odysseus– father of Telemachus, hubby of Penelope, leader of guys– is now totally free after numerous years of war to return to his homeland, Ithaca. Hence begins the longest journey of Odysseus’s life: a twenty year pursuit through lots of encounters with wonderful animals, the cordial arms of the Phaaicians, and finally house to his yearning family in the Iron Age story of Homer’s The Odyssey.
Advance to the modern life of cars and highways. Lightning McQueen, a hotshot rookie race automobile driven to succeed, Lightning McQueen, a hotshot rookie race vehicle driven to prosper, Lightning McQueen, a hotshot novice racecar discovers himself in a three-way tie with “The King” and the infamous Chick. On his way to California, he discovers himself suddenly detoured to the drowsy town of Radiator Springs on Route 66.
He needs to complete social work jobs to redeem himself, and discover his method to California to zoom past the checkered flag and win the Piston Cup. After befriending such eccentric Radiator Springs citizens as Sally the Porsche, Doc Hudson, and Mater the Tow Truck, the eager young racer finds out that sometimes life is more about the voyage than the result of the race. Initially look, the story of Odysseus and the story of Lightning McQueen may seem to have little in typical.
However, according to writer and philosopher Christopher Vogler, there are remarkable resemblances between the 2. Through motivation from Joseph Campbell’s “monomyth” theory that every story follows roughly the same story structure, Vogler had the ability to produce a 3-part, 12-step format that makes all stories essentially the same. His theory of the Hero’s Journey was that of a Preparation, Journey, and Return.
When compared to the ancient example of Homer’s story of old, The Odyssey, Disney Pixar’s story of today, Automobiles, equates the Hero’s Journey archetype to today’s audience with striking similarities and only small plot changes as seen in the Preparation throughout the three-way tie race, the Journey through quiet Radiator Springs, and the Go back to California for the Piston Cup Champion race. The Preparation stage of the Hero’s Journey included the world of typical day, a call to adventure, refusal of the call, meeting with a mentor, and finally crossing the threshold.
In the stories of Odysseus and Lighting McQueen, both characters follow the basic actions in the Preparation, but the most resemblances fall under their common worlds and rejection of the call. Odysseus has actually lived his life on the battlefield of Troy as a cocky general. When he finally leads his guys to success, he is provided a bag of winds to help him cruise by Cronion. Odysseus reveals conceit in his regular world by not enabling anyone one on his team to understand what is in the bag, naturally making them curious: “All that time I had held the sheet in my hand and let nobody else touch it” (Homer 112).
This reveals his conceit to be consequential in the common world, due to the fact that the crew eventually winds up opening the bag out of curiosity. Odysseus only thinks in the best interest of himself and most of the guys. This would enable him to be a strong leader in war, however among his team, it causes damage. 4000 years in the future, Lightning McQueen is an arrogant novice racecar, focusing just on his main goal: winning. On the last couple of laps, McQueen refuses to change his tires at the pit stop so that he can discover an area at the front before the race continues.
His conceit and over-confidence results in a battle in the last turn of the final lap. McQueen loses all of his tires and hardly makes it to the finish line in time to connect with his two closest competitors, “The King” and Chick (Cars And Trucks). Like Odysseus, just thinking of his individual gain throughout the race, he declines to allow his pit team to help him win and relies exclusively on his own self-assurance. He overlooks the repercussions while making his choice on what type of rest stop to carry out.
Both Odysseus and McQueen are unable to succeed in this common world of conceit, but when they are dragged into situations they do not wish to be a part of, they refuse the call to experience in similar ways. Odysseus is provided a call to adventure, the chance to go back to his homeland Ithaca. He declines this call since he believes the Gods are trying to trigger him an agonizing death upon his return: “How unfortunate I am! What will be the end of all this?
I fear what the goddess said held true: she stated I was to have difficulty in full measure, prior to I could see my native land, and here it is all coming to life … now I am doomed to die an ignominious death” (Homer 68). Odysseus reflects to Athena’s prediction that he will have trouble on his journey back to Ithaca, and chooses that the Gods are preparing to have him pass away during the quest. This triggers him to naturally wish to endeavor to other places rather of Ithaca, so that he will not have to face his waiting for doom. Comparable to Odysseus, Lightning McQueen declines the call to adventure by scampering.
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He finds himself stranded in Radiator Springs on Route 66. He gets busted for speeding and is chased all the method through this drowsy town, wrecking the roadway making it difficult to drive on. When Doc Hudson and the jury of the courtroom choose that McQueen must stay and fix the roadway, McQueen dashes but as a result runs out of gas on his way out of town (Cars and trucks). McQueen fears that having to remain and repair the roadway would cause him to miss the three-way-tie-breaker race for the Piston Cup. Both Odysseus and Lightning McQueen fear the call of adventure due to the fact that they desire what is finest for them.
Whether it is fear of an untimely death or missing an essential race, these characters do not completely dedicate themselves to the journey as part of the Preparation phase of the Hero’s Journey. In the Hero’s Journey, the Journey itself consists of tests and trials of the hero’s skill, a method to the inmost cave, the supreme ordeal, and lastly the hero taking possession of a reward. Although Odysseus and Lightning McQueen both take part in all of the stages in this Journey, their resemblances are found predominately in the tests and trials of their capabilities, and the rewards for their success.
Odysseus deals with a trial of his humility when he is forced to decide whether to welcome Nausicaa’s knees or to present himself pleasantly: “Should he toss his arms around her knees, and yearn for mercy of the beautiful woman? Or should he stand where he was, and ask her nicely to provide him some clothes, and to tell him the way to the city?” (Homer 76). Odysseus makes the judgment to attend to Nausicaa pleasantly in case he might offend the woman by welcoming her knees. This shows that Odysseus is learning how to be modest and gentle, and much to his surprise, it ends up helpful for himself.
Like Odysseus, Lightning McQueen makes a so-called “ally” named Mater the Tow Truck. When the rusty tow truck took the boot off McQueen, it gave the racecar the full opportunity to leave the town. However, when faced with the decision to leave for California, or remain to have a fun time with Mater, McQueen choses to stay (Automobiles). McQueen’s decision to stay and go cow-tipping with Mater shows his credibility; Mater now understands that he can completely rely on McQueen in the future. Odysseus and Lightning McQueen both gather the reward of returning house after completing the supreme ordeal.
Odysseus is given the choice by King Alcinoos to either marry Princess Nausicaa, or to get the ways to return home: “I want that you, simply as you are with such sympathy in between us, would accept take my child and become my son, and stay here! … Do not be anxious. You shall have an escort, and I will fix the time for you tomorrow. Then you will simply sleep peacefully while they row you over the calm sea, till you reach your native land and your home” (Homer 87). Odysseus choses to fulfill his initial objective and finish his journey house to Ithaca.
Just like Odysseus’s reward, Lightning McQueen receives the opportunity to make his method to California or to stay in Radiator Springs. However unlike Odysseus, he chooses to stay (Vehicles). He remains in the sleepy town to continue and broaden upon his relationships with the citizens of the town, particularly Sally the Porsche and Mater the Tow Truck. The 2 journeys are exceptional parallel in the choices the hero should make. The Return of the Hero’s Journey consists of the road back to the common world, the resurrection of a hero’s character, and the return with an elixir.
In The Odyssey, Odysseus goes through a resurrection when he kills his better half’s suitors and is reunited with her: “She was dominated, she might hold out no longer when Odysseus informed the secret she knew so well … Odysseus was a lot more deeply moved, and his tears ran as he held her in his arms, the other half of his heart, so devoted therefore sensible” (Homer 257) This is 2nd time he has actually enabled his tears to flow, the very first being when he made himself known to his child, Telemachus. This symbolizes Odysseus’s change in character from a conceited general to a caring and faithful hubby and daddy.
Lightning McQueen’s character resurrects also. On the last lap of the Piston Cup Championship, “The King” topples off of the track, and he is no longer able to drive through the finish line. Although Lightning McQueen was just a couple feet from zooming past the checkered flag, he notifications “The King” on the side of the track and decides to go back for him. He presses “The King” all the way through the goal to victory, so that “the King” has the ability to finish the last race of his career (Automobiles).
McQueen proves the change in his previously cocky character by giving up his success to help somebody else. Rather of enjoying selfish behavior, McQueen picks to come to the help of a fellow racecar. After character resurrection, the heroes are ready to get the return with an elixir. Odysseus finds this elixir by making peace with his daddy Laertes and the suitor’s family: “After all this Pallis Athenaia, child of Zeus Almighty, in the likeness of Coach and with Mentor’s voice, made peace in between both parties and ended the strife permanently” (Homer 271).
Odysseus is able to encourage Laertes that is genuinely him, and Laertes appears happy that his child and grandson are working together, thus starts a great bond in between dad, child, and son’s kid. The moms and dads of the suitors hold an assembly to go over how to react to this. Their little army tracks Odysseus to Laertes’ house, however Athena, disguised once again as Mentor, chooses to put a stop to the violence. Antinous’s daddy is the just one eliminated, felled by one of Laertes’ spears.
Athena makes the Ithacans forget the massacre of their kids and acknowledge Odysseus as king. Peace is hence restored. Restoration also takes place in Radiator Springs. McQueen goes back to this town to renovate it and to use his fame to bring travelers to help the town prosper and grow. Sally’s Cozy Cone Motel fills with all of the tourists wanting to remain overnight. Luigi’s Casa Della Tires gets a visit from his idol, an Italian Ferrari. Flo’s V8 Coffee shop is growing with business (Cars). The elixir is offered when Radiator Springs earns its area back on the map.
Although living in entirely various worlds, Odysseus and Lightning McQueen experience similar resurrections and returns as part of the Return phase of the Hero’s Journey. Hero’s Journey archetype, acknowledged by Campbell and Vogler, translates to today’s audience with similar similarities throughout the Hero’s Journey: his endeavor forth from the ordinary world, experiencing tests and trials in an unfamiliar world, and his return home an altered man. Homer’s The Odyssey and Disney Pixar’s Cars are basically the very same story of a hero, told in different styles.
This is evident in virtually every story ever written, informed, or highlighted. Vogler’s 12 actions are apparent despite time, scenario, or the hero’s character. As mentioned by author Don Williams, “The roadway of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons originate from the journey, not the location.” Functions Cited Automobiles. Prod. Darla K. Anderson. Dir. Joe Ranft and John Lasseter. Perf. Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, and Larry the Cable Person. DVD. Disney’s Pixar, 2006 Homer. The Odyssey. Trans. W. H. D. Rouse. New york city: The Penguin Group, 1937. Written by Phoebe M. Dorn