Linda Seger is the author and a script consultant, who wrote this great article that expanded our views about “heroes” from myth, legends, and stories. As the author begins her work, she asks the question, ‘why do the characters of successful films based on universal stories?’
As all of us live on one earth our life stories, and experiences are being shared with one another. We watch movies that are universal, we want to watch them as it fulfills us even if the plot id the same.
These stories are the ones from our life because we see through them our daily life, or we want to find in there something rare what will catch our attention. Most of these stories are “hero” stories says the author of the article, we want to see more and more of this stories, as it gives us a desire to overcome our own problems. And even sometimes we tend to celebrate to the victory with our own heroes, we put them as a role model fro us. “Hero” stories lead to the myths. Myth – the stories that are more than truth. Also, this so-called fairy tales are stories that each culture developing on its own way, and we believe in it, because once someone lived this way of life. Then each nation creates its own legends, which seem vey fancy. Some of the myth is the stories that are told to us in a more broad way that includes some fantasy. However, going back to out history we may find people whose life journeys involved a significant effect on people, and they become heroes without any additional stories. We want to believe in myth because sometime we meet these characters in our dream and they inspire us. Myths, legends, and hero stories have a small root of some sort of a sort, which then develops into a storytelling. Like wise in the film “Star Wars” which was a blockbuster, people went on and on to see this movie, because they wanted the continuation of their heroes, it inspires them, it lights their emotions’ up, so they want to see what action will take a particular hero. The author says: “The journey toward heroism is a process”, this process makes the viewer to be interact with the film more and take their attention.
Linda Seger the author of the article then provides us with information about the hero myth:
· Each hero begins his/her life journey of heroism from being just an ordinary person, who some times strives from something, which he/she can’t afford.
· Suddenly, everything changes within the small period of time, something lights up that character.
· Then the characters are uncertain about their actions, they might be afraid. But at some point they realized, that they need to do that that other people need their help and support.
· After that, the hero receives help from an extraordinary person or unexpected place. Then they achieve the goal because of this help. In each fairy tale there is always three brothers, whose task to do certain things and as they fail to do so, the third brother who with the help of much older people who has special knowledge does it become a hero. The author provides us with make examples from the movie (Star Wars, and many others) as well as books. Usually, the inspiring person is some old man, who knows more.
· Then after the hero is provided with useful information, he/she is ready to take the next step, to “transform into extraordinary person” and take big opportunity to set up some plan to save and survive.
· Now is the part where the hero has the fight with an enemy or some devil, as in fairy tales it always appears as kindness vs. evil, and kindness always wins.
· According to the author as everything moves to an exiting conclusion the hero experiences “black moments”, which means his life has only some seconds and he will die, suddenly the sun shines on his side and the rebirth occurs, he is now alive and ready to move on!
· In the third act, the hero is ready to confront the obstacles but there is still the biggest confrontation, and at this point he is not a hero yet, everything is now only begins.
· And it’s still not the end! The hero faces the real obstacle into which he has to put all the effort and the knowledge that he learned through out his journey, and then he/ she will be free and safe.
· Finally at the end, after transformation hero reborn and they are changing, then they enter into the society and they take that award for their courage.
Sometimes the heroes task is not always to save someone or overcome the obstacle, it might be a treasure myth; but in all these stories the plot is the same that they have to through a certain process and transformation to be a hero.
Another evidence that the author brings is “The Healing Myth” in which she talks about healing stories where the main character might be broke what the author means by broke is that person can suffer from physical, emotional, and psychological sickness, and then they escape from their houses to find the balance between all these three. Most of the time love appears in this case as a “healing force and a reward” stated the author. The author brings examples from “Witness” where John Book suffers from inner problems or disorders, after a gunshot he begins to transform and made a balance in his life. The transformation begins, and he learns an important lesson and applies to his life.
As the article goes on Linda Sager raises another point of “Combination Myth” the hero stories might be combined with other stories ad other characters where they all come together as a winners, but the plot is the same as some mystery enters their life and they begin to change. Other example is that characters might be invisible, or dress differently, they don’t show their real quality of being a hero, they do it through someone.
Archetypes are the characters that appear in a myth stories, this characters fall into a different categories. As for each story the main persona is sometimes has some special amulets or some things that will keep them safe through out their journey. Sometimes it could be a shadow figure and an archetypes as an animals, who might be opposite of the hero and influence negatively on him, but most of the time they help heroes to overcome their obstacles. And to conclude this, in stories sometimes appears a trickster, who is fun and enjoyable, but makes some little distortions.
“Mythic” problems and solutions. As we all grew up reading or watching some myth in fairytale, they came part of us, part of our culture. Some of the filmmakers have a sense of doing good myth stories, and develop it our of “action-adventure” stories. However, some filmmakers fail to make connections between action-adventure with the hero him/herself, and audience is not interested in it. But the good producers can turn their film into great myth stories that become marketable.
To sum up all the words, the author is saying that it’s not always easy to find a myth or create a myth, because it should be connected with our own experience. Also, by using the right resource can help to succeed good results at the end. The most import is not to start with the myth itself it should develop naturally as the stories goes on.
Going back to the story of Charles Dickens “Christmas Carol”, the main character Scrooge lived his grumpy life in a very evil and sad ways, he never smiled nor helped people who needed his help, he was very greedy. One night on Christmas Eve his old friend’s ghost appeared in chains, and told the story of his life, that living in earth the a way Scrooge lives is same us covering yourself in chains, which you have to carry for the rest of you life as a phantom. Ghost Marley warns him that after the midnight three ghost will come to him, Scrooge was puzzled but eventually these ghost of Christmas past, present and future who taught him a good lesson. It appears as a myth, in which these phantoms made the main character invisible, and Scrooge was able to talk with these ghosts. Eventually he learns good lessons out of these three phantoms, and transformation begins. He changes and at the end of the story we see him as a generous and happy man.