I will admit that I read this post for the first time during the first week of our class, which begs the question: why am I just writing this now? Goss’s “The Heroine’s Journey” is insightful, refreshing, and strongly resonant, so I wanted to make sure I did it justice. I still doubt I’m capable of that, but I’m giving it a try.
It’s remarkable to me that I never before noticed that pattern that fairy tale heroines’ journeys take – but now that I’ve read “The Heroine’s Journey”, it seems so obvious. I can’t believe I didn’t see it before.
The heroine’s journey seems to be a journey of growing up. In many fairy tales, the heroine begins as a child, safe and happy, and she ends up an adult. The dark forest, the heroine’s test, and her ‘death’ are all struggles which she must endure along the way. Adulthood is even portrayed with a true partner and a true home, just like happily ever after.
Of course, such a journey can be undertaken by heroines of any age, but it seems most common (at least in tales I’m familiar with) that the heroine grows up on her journey.
I also especially liked how Goss suggests that the heroine’s finding of a partner can be considered metaphorically, or that perhaps finding the right other is “one of the highest things we can achieve in this life”. I appreciated being reminded of the important role that love can play – it really is a powerful, beautiful thing. Finding her true partner doesn’t have to imply that a heroine cannot get by on her own. Finding love shouldn’t necessarily diminish her own strength or make her any less of a heroine, and I think at times it can be easy to forget this.