Joseph Campbell had a theory about heroes. In his classic seminal work, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Campbell discusses the journey of the archetypal hero found in world mythologies. The hero, according to Campbell follows the same path or, ‘heroic journey’ :
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
But not every story, every hero, is the same. Many have argued that Campbell’s theory is antiquated, especially since he didn’t believe females could be heroes. A true hero, regardless of his or her role in the work, sacrifices, suffers, journeys, endures, for the betterment of a group of people, for what is right, for what is necessary and these heroes are not always the typical champion, the noble hero that fits neatly into Campbell’s very constrictive labels.
This week, our LitStaff pick concerns the unlikely hero…the folks who saved the day despite the expectations of their abilities and obstacles set in their way.
Tell us about your favorite unlikely heroes in the comments, LitStackers. We want to hear from you!