Harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone by j.k. rowling

As with most literary works, there are recurrent universal patterns in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Consider the definition of Mythological Criticism:

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    A central concept in mythological criticism is the archetype, a symbol, character, situation, or image that evokes a deep universal response. The idea of the archetype came into literary criticism from the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Jung believed that all individuals share a “collective unconscious,” a set of primal memories common to the human race, existing below each person’s conscious mind. Critic Joseph Campbell identified archetypal symbols and situations in literary works by demonstrated how similar mythic characters appear in virtually every culture on every continent.

For your 1000 word written analysis, you will track the progress of Harry Potter as a Hero Archetype. Please follow our Hero’s Quest Outline and fill in ALL 12 story steps (as listed below). There are no “right” answers to this assignment – follow your instincts and describe what you deem important and necessary!

You will need to write specific examples of Harry’s hero quest, so keep a pen and pad handy as you read the novel. Please refer to specific scenes, characters, events, changes of consciousness and/or circumstance. Please include at least five (5) quotes with page numbers!

As you venture through the novel, think about what makes Harry a hero: How does his special world compare to his ordinary world? What actions can be deemed heroic? Who are Harry’s teachers and guides? What is his quest? Does his quest change during the course of the novel? Who are his allies or enemies? What challenges or conflicts does Harry need to overcome? How does Harry fit the hero archetype?

Your grade will be based on the thoroughness of your analysis (if you successfully respond to all 12 story steps!), the strength of your quotes/examples, and your thoughtfulness and openmindedness! You may write more than the 1000 word minimum, but please keep your analysis under 1,500 words! Please write in paragraph form – do not post an outline!

To receive maximum credit, please post your analysis via our Turnitin link on our Moodle course page page PRIOR to the whole-class forum discussion. Good luck and enjoy!


12 Story Steps To The Myth — Please Respond to All 12!!!

Act One

(1) Ordinary World – Something is missing in this world. It’s the hero or hera’s present, everyday situation. It’s described in order to create a contrast. A question is raised.

(2) Call To Adventure – information is put into the hero or hera’s system, often brought by a messenger.

(3) Reluctant Hero or Hera

(4) Wise Old Person (most optional of steps) – Maybe gives message to trust the path.

Act Two

(5) Special World – Hero gets very committed by his will – or not.

(6) Tests, Allies & Enemies – Enmities and alliances are formed. What are the conditions to the quest? How will the hero react?

(7) Innermost Cave – Holds what the hero wants.

(8) Supreme Ordeal (at ¾ point in 2nd Act) – Hero surviving/transcending “death.”

(9) Seizing The Sword – Taking possession. Enjoying the spoils. But maybe something else chases the hero. Often a missing piece is introduced.

Act Three

(10) The Road Back

(11) Resurrection – Another hero’s test. Final proof – better if visual.

(12) Return with Elixir – To share with everyone.

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