The Hero’s journey is an internal psychological drama. "Each of us has a Hero, an Sage, a mercenary, a Princess within. Each of these pulls and pushes as we journey through the story that is our life. We need all of these energies to pursue life’s adventure." As the Hero journeys the ‘road of trials,’ and we pursue the trials of our everyday lives, the Heroic task is to "integrate these parts or energies and win the prize — our individuality, our sense of place, our sense of purpose." The Call to Adventure lifts us out of our everyday life where we focus on our individual problems and our individual life, into an engagement with larger problems.
The final confrontation is where the hero must face their greatest fear. "Adventures lead to a great confrontation between good and evil. We each discover that we can survive ordeals we did not think we could survive." –Joseph Campbell
V. Propp discovered that similar patterns were apparent in many fairy tales, regardless of national origin. Here is an abbreviated list of his findings:
- One family member leaves home.
- The hero or heroine is forbidden to do some action.
- The hero or heroine violates a forbidden order.
- The villain surveys the situation.
- The villain receives information about the victim.
- The villain attempts to trick or deceive the victim in order to ps sess the victim or victim’s belongings.
- The victim submits to deception and unwittingly helps the enemy.
- The villain causes harm or injury to a member of the family.
- One family member either lacks something or desires to have something.
- A misfortune or lack is made known; the hero or heroine is approached with a request or command; and he or she is allowed to go or is sent on a mission.
- The seeker agrees to, or decides upon, a counteraction.
- The hero or heroine leaves home.
- The hero or heroine is tested, interrogated, or attacked, which prepares the way for him or her to receive a magical agent or a helper.
- The hero or heroine reacts to the actions of the future donor.
- The hero or heroine acquires a magical agent.
- The hero or heroine is transferred, delivered, or led to the whereabouts of an object.
- The hero or heroine and the villain join in direct combat.
- The hero or heroine is marked.
- The villain is defeated.
- The initial misfortune or lack is eliminated.
- The hero or heroine returns.
- The hero or heroine is pursued.
- The hero or heroine is rescued from pursuit.
- The hero or heroine, unrecognized, arrives home or in another country.
- A false hero or heroine presents unfounded claims.
- A difficult task is proposed to the hero or heroine.
- The task is resolved.
- The hero or heroine is recognized.
- The false hero/heroine or the villain is exposed.
- The hero or heroine is given a new appearance.
- The villain is punished.
- The hero or heroine is married and ascends to the throne.