miércoles, 2 de noviembre de 2016

GERDA: A HEROINE'S JOURNEY

The hero's journey or monomyth of Campbellian fame can also be applied here... for instance, I give you the Snow Queen story as a perfect example:
  • The Ordinary World: Gerda and Kai in their quaint hometown before everything changes. Two good friends, both of them innocent children playing and reading among their flowers, nothing new under the sun.
  • The Call to Adventure: Kai suddenly grows distant and cruel, disappears in midwinter equally suddenly, and is presumed dead, prompting Gerda's quest.
  • Meeting with the Mentor: Gerda takes her leave of her granny, the archetypal wise old woman (at this point, Gerda does not know that the Snow Queen took Kai, but she heard of this character through her granny's stories).
  • Crossing the Threshold to the Special World: boarding that rowboat and drifting downstream (ancestor of Alice's rabbit hole and Dorothy's cyclone).
  • Tests, Allies and Enemies: this is the meat of Gerda's quest, stories 3 through 6. Tests: being kept by the witch in the garden of springtime, listening to the flowers's stories, following the trail of the red herring Kai-lookalike prince, being taken prisoner by outlaws. Allies: the royal couple (both of them equally young, good-looking, and intelligent), the crow/raven couple (wild male and tame female), the outlaw girl, the shamanic Saami women (some versions have combined them into one character, since the first wise woman does nothing but to guide Gerda to the second). Enemies: the witch who wants to keep Gerda for herself, the cannibalistic outlaws (minus the girl, the youngest of the bunch), maybe the princess's royal guards (the Queen's army appear in the climax, in the next step) 
  • Approach to the Innermost Cave: Gerda confronting the Snow Queen's army of ice monsters and entering the ice palace. She summons spirit reinforcements or makes the monsters retreat by singing prayers or childhood songs, with the warmth of her breath and of her heart.
  • The Ordeal: Gerda finds Kai in a trance, in a near-death state. It seems that all hope is lost, but suddenly, she sheds warm tears and sings a childhood song in his ear...
  • Reward: Kai's heart warms and the mirror shard is expelled in a teardrop. He can also finally make the puzzle that bound him to the Snow Queen as long as he didn't complete it. It's a joyful reunion.
  • The Road Back: Gerda and Kai head back southward, learning, during the homecoming, that the prince and princess are on honeymoon abroad, the robber maiden is also out in the wide world, the wild crow is dead and the tame crow is in mourning... The wise women of the tundra also give Gerda and Kai directions to get back home. As all loose ends are tied up, springtime returns in the children's wake (or are they children?).
  • The Resurrection: Upon returning to their quaint hometown and their flower boxes, Gerda and Kai realize that both of them are no longer children, but young adults. They have grown up during the quest, learning through their near-death and loss-of-innocence experiences.
  • Return with the Elixir: However, in spite of being physically in their twenties, our heroine and her friend remain children at heart.

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