The hero’s Journey is a series of events where an average or gifted person, goes through a life changing event for themselves or for someone else. The Journey is also an archetype that follows a certain format. The Journey sends the hero off to find the truth of a situation which will restore harmony to himself or his people. Along the way he undergoes a real or psychological hell and while there discovers the truths he is in search for. This can be applied to not only supernatural heroes but to your everyday heroism as well.
A heroes Journey follows a certain pattern. The first step, Departure, is the time when the hero’s life is going to change drastically or mildly whether they know it or not. This initiates a call the hero must choose to take or to pass. The hero must choose to answer the call to which his heroism is needed. Naturally by sense the hero cannot refuse the call. Whether feeling of duty, fear, or inadequacy, they naturally have the urge to answer the call of heroism. The next stage, Initiation, is the time when the hero psychologically matures and realizes the circumstances at hand.
The Road of Trials is next to be endured by the hero. With the help of supernatural aid they are put to the test putting him through emotional and physical challenges. The Innermost Cave, the next stage, is probably the most important stage. This is the stage where the hero becomes reborn into a new wiser soul. The hero penetrates deep within the soul, the underworld, a vast cave or somewhere else of great trial and resolves the main complication. At this point their true heroism is shown. They are also changed as a person since they are now a hero but also in how they have a different view on life.
The last stage, The Return, is probably the most challenging for the hero. Now that he as a person has changed, his life will follow the same path. This can be uncomfortable at first but the hero will adjust because then again, he is a hero. This pattern is quite recognizable throughout literature as it is used for all hero stories. As Joseph Campbell once said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”. The treasure is what drives the hero forward while the dubious cave blocks his success.
The ultimate change is when you get over that “fear of the cave” ND the defeat results in a wiser more enlightened person which is the hero. For example, a girl trying out for the chorus but being timid and stage-fright will become a hero by trying out even with the acknowledgment of her fear. Or even at a higher scale, like in the movie The Patriot by Ronald Memories. A war veteran and single father of seven, has to decide whether to take revenge back on the British and fight for his freedom, or leave his family. He does the heroic thing by fighting for his country and at times putting his life in danger for others.