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The First Category of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth

  • Date Submitted: 03/07/2012 02:18 PM
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The first category of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth is the departure category in which has five stages under it. In the movie, The Matrix, the Departure category begins with the Call to Adventure when we see Neo sitting at his computer trying to figure out what is wrong with the world. During this scene we see Neo go to a nightclub where he meets Trinity. In this scene he follows a white bunny that leads him to the nightclub. This is an example of the call to adventure in Campbell’s terms because Neo, the hero is in a state of “neurotic anguish.” Neo is also led into this quest by Trinity who acts as the “herald” in Campbell’s terms.
The second stage of Campbell’s departure category is the Refusal of the Call. During this stage, the hero may refuse or contemplate refusing the adventure in the definition by Campbell. We see an example of Neo’s refusal during the scene of the movie when he is hanging from the building. During this scene we see Neo give up his fight and say “I can’t do this.”
The third stage of Campbell’s departure category is that of Supernatural Aid. Campbell describes this stage as when “the hero encounters helpers along the way and may receive items and information necessary to the completing the adventure successfully.” We see an example of this stage in The Matrix when aid is given to Neo by the Oracle. During one scene, the Oracle tells Neo that he has to make a decision. He must either choose his life or choose the life of Morpheous.
During The Matrix, there is a scene where we see Morpheous’s life at stake. We learn that Morpheous has been fooled by the government and his life is now in danger. Knowing that the odds are against him, being that it is now only Trinity and himself, Neo decides to sacrifice his own life in order to save Morpheous. During this scene Neo fights his “threshold guardian,” Agent Smith in the government facility. This depicts Campbell’s next stage in the departure category, Crossing the first Threshold by...


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