Friday, November 5, 2010

Women's Myths of Yore

It occurs to me that, as the fight-or-flight research was done only using male test subjects, and that a tend-or-befriend model is more applicable to women, maybe Joseph Campbell's "The Hero's Journey" is based on mythologies rooted in a male dominated society.


In Mary Renault's The King Must Die the hero Theseus makes his way about the Greek back-country encountering matriarchal societies whose goddesses have been seduced by Zeus; these groups were pretty much overwhelmed by the Greeks, and their mythologies incorporated into Greek mythology to quell any resistance. What became of the matriarchal societies? And what came of their belief systems?


In the song "I hope you're happy" the two main characters from "Wicked" argue about the means by which each has chosen to achieve her ends. Their friendship wins out, however. In the book I'm currently reading, Hunger Games, a strong bond of friendship develops between two female characters. (In an effort not to spoil, I will say no more about the book.) There appears to be a current of compassion that runs through each of these stories, and I am curious to find if there are more metaphoric stories that speak to the buried mythology of women.


The Heroine's Journey by Maureen Murdock, a contemporary of Campbell, has parallels to Campbell's Hero's Journey but seems rooted in the same rationale. Any suggestions for further study?




3 comments:

Sean Benson said...

In conversation, Amanda let me know that this is a fine thesis statement with no work to back it up. This is kind of like me flinging my arms skyward and saying 'can somebody please help me answer this?'.

Colleen said...

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