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Essay Paper on Blood Meridian

There exist different approaches to the story analysis of the book. However, the most interesting one is probably offered us by Joseph Campbell and it is often referred to as the concept of monomyth. Campbell himself is famous for his adherence to mythology. Yet, in his book “A Hero with a thousand faces” he proposes absolutely new approach, in which a hero has to undergo three stages – separation, initiation, and return. This basic approach could be successfully utilized in the analysis of “Blood Meridian” by Cormac McCarthy.

The concept of monomyth is based on the idea that the hero – no matter whose face he has, the one of Jesus, Buddha, Hamlet, Dante, Moses, or Krishna — actually always does the same things and is always put under the same realm. At first, he is engaged in some difficult situation, challenge that he has to face. Then, he struggles to get that challenge defeated, to gain victory. After the fight is over, he usually gets the prize – reward for the winner. It can be anything from a wonderful princess to substantial sum of money. Noticing that all books follow the same pattern, Campbell defines all those stages as separation, initiation and return.

Separation occurs when the hero feels internal quest for adventure. He is burning inside and realizes that has to do something. He is willing to penetrate into severe world and accept the challenge or battle. The hero might also accept the help of some guardian or a friend.

Initiation occurs when the hero is already in the harsh reality. He has to face both mental and physical challenges. There occur numerous obstacles he has to overcome. Usually, on this stage the hero can meet a woman, who is the ultimate prize. Therefore, he gets another stimulus to engage in the fight and to become a winner. Out of this kind of challenges, the hero gains new knowledge and skills. He becomes wiser and more enlightened.

Return is the final stage the hero has to undergo. It is the final effort he has to put to cross that line of cruel world and the real world. Usually, the hero returns to the reality as a winner with his won prize and new outlook gained under severe moral and physical conditions.

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