Hero’s Journey in “Wandering Star” by J.M.G. Le Clézio

Le Clezio A hero is a normal person who finds the strength to endure and preserve regardless of devastating obstacles. He or she is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. Joseph Campbell’s, the Hero’s journey, is summarized under three subsections; the departure, the initiation and the return. Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio offers a classical example of the journey of a hero who has to undergo overwhelming obstacles in her life. The main characters are Esther and Njema whose stories are told separately but merge as one.

Under the subsection, Departure, the call of adventure is the point in an individual’s life when he gets to note that everything is going to change. When the Italians are defeated by the Germans, Ester undergoes a traumatizing experience that forced her to stay in the countryside with her parents. “Esther Becomes mysteriously struck by the fact that everything in her life had changed” (Clezio 23). Refusal to the call occurs when an individual feels insecure or fears to accept what is happening. Esther is unable to take on the journey to Israel without her father, she felt insecure. Supernatural aid comes after the hero is dedicated to his cause. Esther views the lives of people around her as she turns from a naïve girl into a woman who is aware of her situation. The crossing of the first threshold is when a person actually crosses the field when venturing into the unknown. She helps her mother in crossing to the coast as they wait for the ship. The belly of the whale is the last separation of his known world and self. Ester and Her mother crossed over to Israel.

Under the subsection, Initiation, the road of trials depicts a series of test and the trial that a person has to undergo to commence his transformation. Esther and her mother think that they have reached the promised land but to their surprise, they find that this country is in the midst of a war. The meeting with the Goddess is the point is an adventure where an individual experiences unconditional love. Ester gets this kind of love from her mother. Woman as the temptress depicts an instance that a hero may be tempted to abandon her quest. She dreams of the reunion with her father and life before the war started. Atonement with the father is the situation where the person must confront a higher power. “They were floating between the heavens and the earth and for the first time she could imagine how the birds feel, but this feeling was inhibited by the clouds and lighting” (Clezio 50). Apotheosis is the instance that someone dies of self or spirit he is able to move beyond the opposite pairs of divine knowledge. Both Esther and Njema have undergone brutalities but are still hopeful and strong at heart. The ultimate boom shows an achievement of the goal at hand. The two girls experience the harshest of circumstance that they have undergone and hope for a better life.

Under the subsection, The Return, the refusal of the return is because the girls are unwilling to go back to the normal that has a lot of regulations. The magic flight is a situation where a person is in a dilemma of going on with the adventure or returning back. Rescue from without means that a hero needs assistance to bring them back to their daily lives. Esther and Njema help each other to survive the harsh times in the refugee camps. The master of the two worlds shows how a person can balance between the competent with the inner and outer worlds. “Ester seems to comprehend the magical name that she knew even without understanding the fountains and the city of light where both of the world paths join” (Clezio 95). The freedom to live shows that a person does not fear death. He has no anticipation of the future nor does he regret the past. The two girls have no regrets for past events and just live for the moment as they do not know what the future hold for them.

Work cited
Clézio, Jean-Marie Gustave Le. Wandering Star. New Jersry: Northwestern University Press,
2009. Print.

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