As part of our journey in freshmen English students study they mono-myth or hero’s journey cycle that shows up in classical literature as well as modern fiction. The cycle of encountering a challenge and overcoming it in order to end up in a new state of “ordinary” and grow from that experience is something that we also encounter in everyday life.
We may not slay monsters or use magic to solve our problems, but encounter and solve them we do and the outcome is experience as well as growth. As students study this cycle and look for it in other class texts, as well as their own lives, we will read the class text SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson. This novel is not normally considered a hero’s journey, but Melinda definitely follows the cycle as she struggles with her own freshmen year. The infographic linked below is a representation of the hero’s journey and Melinda’s journey side by side to help students make the connections.
The goal is that after studying several versions of the hero’s journey, students will work on creating their own hero’s journey based on their experience in class this year.