Essay on Hero's Journey and the Parable of the Sower

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Sewanee University of the South
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The Hero's Journey is a narrative pattern observed in religious rituals, drama, myth, psychological development, and storytelling that was identified by an American scholar Joseph Campbell. The logic behind the Hero's Journey is describing the typical adventure of an archetype known as the Hero, who is a person who is presumed a go-getter with an aim of achieving deeds that are great before an organization, a tribe or a group. However, before one gets to the level of being referred to as a hero, he/she has to go through various stages (Heros Journey) for full acknowledgment. On the other hand, the parable of the Sower is a biblical story about farming which has been interpreted in a number of ways to have a diverse number of meanings. The parable explains how seeds get to various types of ground surfaces and how they later will behave as far as growth and development are concerned. The aim of this paper is to explain the monomyth or the Heros Journey and analyze the parable of the Sower for evidence of its place in the monomyth category.

The Heros journey starts with the hero being introduced to an environment he/she is not conversant with, that contains various prevailing conditions that might seem quite unfavorable to stand up to any task. The hero is pressurized towards answering to the call but holds back at first; after which he/she comes into contact with a mentor to train him/her on the experience that is about to be witnessed. After persuasion, the hero tries to get into the ground to execute a mission; a moment where he/she undergoes various tests with both the allies and the enemies. The allies team up with the hero after eliminating the enemies in the latter stage to face up the main challenge out in the field. Before reaching the final point, the hero still faces various challenges in dilemma situations involving the confrontation of his/her death along with his/her greatest fear. The hero will decide to take on a risky path that involves death, to which the end might be good or might turn out as worst. The survival of the hero at the end of the mission might not necessarily mean that he/she has won, but this can only determine what is left for him/her to accomplish and go back home where there are celebrations awaiting and the next mission suppose there is.

According to the Bible, in the book of Mark 4:1-20, there were seeds that were sown on thorny surfaces, others were thrown on rocky places, others on good soil, and others fell by the way side. The different manner in which the seeds responded while on the ground is compared to how different people responded to the message brought forward to them by Jesus. As is the case with the sower, who is presumed a teacher, the seeds which represent the gospel, and the soil representing the students or listeners (Gowler, 2017 par.1); so is the case with the Heros Journey. That many people receive the news about a certain thing and interpret it in their own way not knowing which the right course to take is but there still stands out the ones who are on the right side with others on the wrong side of the course.

From the parable of the Sower, the interpretation is that the seeds that fell on the thorny places were choked by the thorns when they grew up and ended up not being helpful, the ones that fell on the rocky places had no roots as they could not sink into the ground and were later scorched by the sun. Consequently, the seeds which fell by the way side were picked up by the birds leaving only those that fell on the good soil to grow up. With reference to the word of God, there are those that will hear the Gospel and will change their ways and help others to change too by spreading the Gospel to them emulating the seeds that fell on the good grounds; however, there are also those who will listen to the word and do nothing about the teachings that they get from the word, others will keep the word to themselves instead of sharing, while others will not understand anything from the words they are taught and will never ask about it. Conversely, the understanding of who is to be called a hero must also be well spelled out; that nobody who just does anything, however minute should be referred to as a hero because if it was the case, then everyone in this world would be a hero. It takes a lot for a person to stand out in whichever scenario they are found in whether good or bad, whether life-threatening or life-saving. The phrase as it is hero has been overrated by many (Chalquist, 2015); in most cases, it is always said to those who put their lives on the line to save others heroes are hated. In the path of salvation, there are those that learn about Gods word and go out to preach it to the world, to save if not a group, only an individual from a multitude. The one who goes out to preach the gospel might be compared to a hero as he/she does not know the risks that he/she is going to incur only to pass across that message even if it is to that one individual.

We are living in the times when people want to do things as a group, which is most of the times a wrong course. It is a high time that someone stood out for the truth, to let people understand what is behind someone having to make a decision of their own without being influenced by the numbers. Many will hear the word, but a few will heed to it; from this, the least of what a Sower hero could do is preach to everyone without biases or prejudice for the message is to be sent to all. Heroes also face the challenge of being accepted in their own hometowns, but this should never draw them back for a good course they have taken; they should not struggle to make people see the good in what they did but leave it up to them to decide for themselves what they think is good for themselves (the people). It is good to always critique both sides of a choice in case one is in a dilemma, not forgetting that the choice that one makes will later have a consequence. Therefore, the parable of the Sower is somewhat related to the Heros Journey supporting the theory of Joseph Campbell about the archetype Hero. Jesus as it is written in the Bible underwent through a lot of suffering, even denial in his own hometown while passing across the word of God. Jesus was a hero, yes, but with all the suffering that he went through to the people that he was sent to save, one would have asked, is it really worth the take?


Works Cited

Chalquist, C. Why I Seldom Teach The Heros Journey Anymore And What I Teach Instead. n.p. [updated April 2015]. Online:, D. The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20). n.p. [cited Nov 2017]. Online:'s_journey.htm

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