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"Designing a hero" - essay about Linda Segers, "Creating the Myth"


sweetcherokee74 2 / -  
Oct 4, 2008   #1
Hi, I was hoping to receive feedback on an essay I wrote, about Linda Segers, "Creating the Myth." The assignment was to see how closely the movie,"The Matrix" adheres to or deviates from the ten stages of creating a myth.

Designing A Hero

What is it about unrealistic movie myths, particularly hero myths that have us gripping our seats until the end? According to Linda Seger, author of, "Creating the Myth," "such stories are based on our own life experiences; "they deal with the basic journey we take in life" (317). The characters are leading similar lives as us and trying to achieve similar goals; allowing us to identify with them. We especially identify ourselves with the hero's role because most all of us possess an inner desire to be hero; to be recognized as somebody important. With these myths, we can live that experience through the hero's journey. In her essay, Seger describes the ten stages in which screenwriters repeatedly use in creating powerful myths; ones that bring to life our inner fantasies. In spite of few modifications, The Matrix is a remarkable example of how these stages are applied. ...
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Oct 4, 2008   #2
Good afternoon.

Because this essay deals with specific material that you and your classmates have exclusive access to I will only be able to edit for grammar and mechanics. As research for this topic would fall out of the scope of my free services, I am not familiar with either of the texts you are using for this class, so if you need further assistance with the content, I suggest you contact paid academic writing services:

"Designing A Hero"

According to Linda Seger, author of "Creating the Myth," "S uch stories are based on our own life experiences; they deal with the basic journey we take in life" (317).

... to achieve similar goals, allowing us to identify with them.

... The Matrix is a remarkable example of how these stages are applied. The Matrix undeniably follows the ten stages of creating a myth.

In addition to a few twists, The Matrix adheres to the first two stages of the hero myth: the introduction and the catalyst. Seger tells us that, "T he hero is generally introduced as a non-hero," living an ordinary life, "innocent, simple and in search of some fun" (318). In The Matrix, Thomas Anderson is introduced sleeping at his desk in the midst of clutter. He is a computer program writer who is bored and clearly living a mundane life. But here is the twist: Thomas Anderson leads a secret life as "Neo," an outlaw computer hacker... far from innocent or mundane! Indeed he is searching for something, hence the computer hacking, but he is not sure of what it is. The introduction of the hero in The Matrix successfully captures the attention of the audience by presenting a character we can identify with. It also blends smoothly into the second stage of the hero myth: the catalyst . This is, "the call to adventure;" it is "the ingredient that pushes the hero into extraordinary adventure" (319). In this case, Neo is awakened by mysterious text appearing on his computer, reading... "The Matrix has you... Follow the white rabbit." He is now confused, curious, and not sure ifhe is awake or dreaming. "Knock-Knock" then appears in text on his computer screen. Just ashe is reading this cryptic message, he hears a knock at the door. It is Troy and his buddies. He has come for an illegal disc of some sort. After retrieving the disc, he notices that Neo's looking a little pasty and tells him it looks like he needs to "unwind." He invites Neo to come along with them to a party. Still startled and unsure of what he's read;he's reluctant, until he sees a tattoo of a white rabbit on one of the girls' shoulders. He then agrees to go. This is the catalyst that Seger claims to "S et the story into motion" (316). Although Neo is reluctant and unsure of what's to come, he is nonetheless eager to find out what the Matrix is. The Matrix has successfully introduced a catalyst that summons the hero into adventure. (You really need to watch your erratic use of commas and semi colons; there are many so far that make your sentences nonsensical. Perhaps a quick refresher on comma and semi colon use would be beneficial. Also, using contractions in formal academic writing is inappropriate, and many instructors will count off for it, so make sure you are not using contractions in your formal works.)

Seger contends that the third stage of the hero myth is when "H e/she shows reluctance," unsure of the task athand and "A fraid of the unknown" (319). With some additions, The Matrix without question follows this pattern. In fact, Neo's reluctance carries on throughout the movie. For example, when Neo arrives at the party, he's immediately greeted by an exotic woman, calling herself, "Trinity." She approaches Neo by telling him he's in danger. She tells him, "I brought you here to warn you." He is reluctant to believe her until she tells him she knows why he is here...to find the answer to the question: "What is the Matrix?" She tells him, "H e's looking for you, and he will find you if you want him to." Although still reluctant, Neo is now what Seger describes as "P ersonally motivated to enter into adventure" (319). Neo is a classic example of a reluctant hero that needs an additional catalyst before taking the plunge into adventure.

Seger claims that in "A ny journey, the hero usually receives help... from unusual sources... like a wizard, an old woman, or a wise old man..." (319,323). The Matrix complies with this stage perfectly. Thomas Anderson is at his boring desk job, when a phone is delivered to him in a package. Predictably, it rings; it's Morpheus, the archetypal character Seger describes as the "U nusual source,"... "W ise...with superior knowledge" (319, 323). He tells him, "Y ou're in danger; they're coming for you and I don't know what they're going to do." Neo is disinclined until Morpheus points out the "MIB"(What is this?) looking characters, called "Agents," or "S entient programs," clearly coming toward Neo. He is beginning to believe the certainty of Trinity and Morpheus' claims; indeed, he is in danger. He follows the orders of Morpheus, until he reaches a point where he becomes apprehensive and feels he can't go on. Neo caves(What does this mean?) , which leads to his capture. After a bizarre interrogation with "Agent Smith" in which Neo is

"bugged," he is shown in his bed waking up from a seeming nightmare. He receives another call from Morpheus telling him he's the "one." Neo, now burning with curiosity, is finally becoming "Receptive to receive what this person has to give" (319). Morpheus tells him what to do next, and he willingly abides. He is lead to Trinity and "Switch," who remove the bug from Neo. He is then taken to Morpheus, where the start of his transformation begins.

Neo has succumbed to resistance, and is ready to enter into "T he world where he will change from the ordinary into the extraordinary" (320). (If these quotes are not the beginning of their sentences in the original text you have taken them from, they need to have leading periods. For instance, if the sentence in the original work reads, "The red dog is very excited" and you only wnat to use part of the original text your quote should be formatted "...very excited." If the quotes are the beginnings of their own sentences, "The red dog is...excited" your quote of them in your work needs to begin with a capital letter.) This is what Seger describes as the first turning point toward thehero's transformation (320). The Matrix lends an outstanding demonstration of this stage. In the meeting with Morpheus, Neo takes an offered red pill that will reveal the Matrix. Morpheus promises that it will show Neo "H ow far the rabbit hole will go," referencing "Alice in Wonderland,"(How should this be formatted?) but warns him that there's no turning back! This is where a plan of action is developed for the hero. He must prepare for approaching obstacles, in order to achieve his goal (320). Neo is hooked up to a computer which will prepare him to see the "real world" unplugged from the Matrix. He begins to slip away, and suddenly wakes up naked in a pod of goop, surrounded by thousands of other pods. He has tubes attached all over his body and is hairless from head to toe. This resembles a re-birth; reinforcing Seger's ideas of the hero's transformation. Neo is then released and taken aboard the "Nebuchadnezzer," where he learns that the M atrix (You have been capitalizing this from the start of your essay; why not now?) is the "W orld that has been pulled over his eyes":(Is this a word-for-word quote from the movie?) it is a dreamland that doesn't exist. Morpheus and his crew must now re-build Neo's body to prepare him for the war against the agents. After Neo's body is restored, he's put through a series of combat training including a sparring match with Morpheus and a jump between two skyscrapers. The crew feels that Neo, the chosen one, is ready to fulfill his quest; to save mankind and to free the minds of those who are still connected to the Matrix.

In order to fulfill his quest, Neo must overcome tests and obstacles. Seger tells us that "T his often means outwitting the Devil...or confronting evil." He must conquer his nemesis and overcome anything in the way of accomplishing his goal (320). Neo is still unsure of his powers and reluctant to believe he's the "one," but Morpheus' blind faith in Neo is so profound that his encouragement convinces Neo to

Carry on with the intense quest to "free mankind ." He is faced with a series of challenges, from dodging bullets by agents atop a skyscraper, saving Morpheus from captivity, overcoming the deception of one of his own, to a meeting with the "Oracle," or the "intuitive mother figure" (323) who indirectly tells Neo that he's not the "one." After saving Morpheus and Trinity from certain death, Neo is beginning to believe in himself. He is starting to see his supernatural abilities and begins to fight harder to fulfill his journey(Do you mean "fulfill his destiny"?) . The action and excitement at this stage in the movie are captivating enough to stand alone, but the addition of archetypes like the oracle, the obligatory rooftop battle, and many others,(This is inappropriate; if you are going to mention them, do so; don't lead your readers on and then not completely fulfill your examples.) allow the audience to "connect with the hero's journey...deepening the story beyond the ordinary action-adventure" (324).

The Matrix conforms to the final stages of the hero myth flawlessly. There is one last brawl between Neo and Agent Smith before leading to the Hero's "rockbottom," t he "P oint when the worst is confronted" (320). Neo puts up an impressive fight against Agent Smith where he narrowly escapes to the ringing telephone, his lifeline back to the real world. Just as he locates the phone, he is confronted by Agent Smith where he is sprayed with bullets to the chest, ultimately killing him. Back aboard the Nebuchadnezzer, Trinity sees that Neo has flat-lined. She finally brings herself to tell him what the Oracle had prophesized; that her one true love would be the chosen "one." She proceeds to profess her love for him, and then kisses him. Miraculously, Neo's heart begins to beat again. Meanwhile, back in the Matrix, Neo rises to face the evil Agents. They start firing bullets at him again. Neo experiences an epiphany where he believes he is in fact, the " one." He holds his hand up and stops the bullets in mid-flight. The Agents, now in disbelief, are persistent in stopping Neo. This is the climactic moment where Seger tells us the "H ero seizes the sword." He is "in charge" of the situation (320). Following this stage impeccably, there is a final martial arts showdown between Agent Smith and Neo, where Neo finally assumes his powers as the "one," and effortlessly destroys the sentient programs. Neo still has to make it back to the ship in time to rescue his crew from the "Sentinel" machines who will soon destroy the Nebuchadnezzar and the crew. This is what Seger calls the "Road back," ... "the final obstacle to over come before really being safe" (320). Although short, The Matrix follows this stage perfectly. Neo makes it back to the real world just in time for the electro -magnetic pulse machine to destroy the sentinels.

Now we are at the final stage of the hero myth: "t he transformation." This is where the entire journey of the hero comes full circle. We can see the hero's "resurrection into a new type of life" (321). Neo is shown back in the Matrix making a phone call to what seems to be the sentient programs stating, he is going to "show the world how it's going to be without them." He is transformed into the almighty "one" who will use his powers to free the minds of all those who are still imprisoned by the Matrix. We saw Neo as an ordinary person in the beginning; he was reluctant and unsure of himself throughout the movie. In the end we see him as a confident hero who defeated the Agents, saved his friends, and ultimately, saved the world. The Matrix exhibits a clear transformation in its hero.

The Matrix has turned what could have been an ordinary hero adventure into an extraordinary hero myth. It has made clear Neo's "journey toward heroism" by adhering to the ten stages of creating a myth. The fact that The Matrix is, in large part, unrealistic(Is what? What does this fact prove? Please finish this thought.)Its use of familiar archetypes allow us to make an intimate connection with the characters. It also makes references to classic myth stories we grew up loving, trusting, and believing in, further strengthening the film. Until now, I never understood why I got so emotionally involved in these types of movies. Next time you watch one these movies, try to observe how the screenwriter follows the stages of the myth, and what he does to trigger emotions that allow you to connect with the story. You will be amazed at the discovery of what makes you tick.


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