Critical Thinking





Critical Thinking

The Call to Adventure


In the book, Campbell (3) states that, “A blunder—apparently the merest chance—reveals an unsuspected world, and the individual is drawn into a relationship with forces that are not rightly understood”. This was in reference to destiny of the hero that seemed to call him into an un-known zone. In this case, the spiritual society’s pale is responsible for the calling of the hero. Usually, the hero at the center of the calling is expected to exercise the two options. He can accept or deny it, depending on the faith of the individual and how much trustworthy the call is relevant. It is dependant on the hero’s battle against the personal and limitations from history to the normal human forms.


Zeitoun’s response in the call to adventure is highlighted during his knowledge of an impending storm while the flood was not impossible at the time. After tasting the cool wind, he got his secondhand canoe to right it from the garage (Eggers 99). It is said that he had bought the canoe some years before. This can be attributed to destiny from the word go. After a client had moved in, he bought it immediately he saw it. This was a mythical foresight during the time as this was in light of an adventure possibility. This had a connection in some kind to his past and that is why he did not hesitate to take the canoe.

Refusal of the Call


It is possible for individuals to refuse the call of an adventure, just as it is in the same way that they can accept it. Campbell (59) states that, “The myths and folk tales of the whole world make clear that the refusal is essentially a refusal to give up what one takes to be one’s own interests.” An individual’s determination on the call is dependant on the faith that he or she possesses towards the call in the first instance. In most cases, according to the mythical reference, the results are usually fatal. It can lead to death or in other instances, madness. The misfortunes are attributed towards lack of faith.


Misfortunes in Zeitoun’s case are depicted by the act of the storm that befell them. His house was severely damaged, while outside he witnessed the extent of the hurricane. Trees had been knocked over and the streets were filled with the downed lines of power (Ouellette 8). The levees had been compromised, caving in with the large amounts of storm water rushing into the neighborhoods. The damage was on the increase whereas he could not use his canoe. It was dangerous and unpredictable (Eggers 112). The extraordinary damage had led to loss of lives, property and mass destruction. All the vehicles that were either old or new had gone. The disaster was mythical in both severity and scale according to its extent.

Supernatural Aid


This refers to the super-natural form of power that provides a shielding or protective mechanism against misfortunes. Campbell (69) states that, “For those who have not refused the call, the first encounter of the hero-journey is with a protective figure who provides the adventurer with amulets against the dragon forces he is about to pass.” In reference to the hero, once he made the decision to accept the call of adventure, the unpredictable nature of the journey’s path is not known. This might contain hardships and constraints before attaining the intended destiny. The supernatural aid that accompanies the hero can be seen as justification of having faith in the call. This is through provision of cover and protection from the dark forces.


After the hurricane had ravaged the neighborhoods and caused massive damage to the property, Zeitoun had an inspirational moment about his canoe. The adventure of coasting away from the house after the water had risen struck his mind. The city had been devastated and he could see the canoe was afloat in the yard. It was tethered to his house (Eggers 102). He felt that if he could be floating through the city streets, he could have uncharted the new world according to his inspiration. After untying the rope, he set out on his way. It was all flat and clear in the Dart Street (Zeitoun Foundation 1). He felt at peace, with the hypnotic stillness amidst the devastation.

The Road of Trials


The road of trials is significant of the hero’s journey as it underlies what is bound in the destiny. Campbell (97) states that, “once having traversed the threshold, the hero moves in a dream landscape of curiously fluid, ambiguous forms, where he must survive a succession of trials.” From the mythical call and acceptance by the hero, the path of the journey towards destiny is uncertain. Usually, it is laden with examinations of all kinds. In most cases, the trials can be near-death experiences or fatal in which, the hero has to overcome and live up to his destiny. In analysis of the writer’s tone, overcoming the obstacles is significant in the stature of the hero as concerns his destiny and the results after the journey.


After the hurricane had descended and there was an evacuation of the people, Zeitoun was captured by the military personnel along with other neighbors. They were bundled into a boat. Kathy was only made aware of his whereabouts by a missionary who only managed to call her in a short period. Zeitoun tried to get back to his house in order to get Kathy’s number but was shoved back by the military figures (Eggers 260). Later on, he was tackled to the ground by one of the authorities even though he had not struggled with them. He was clearly being violated by the insults and names that the officers were using. They were taken to prison without any formal charges or hearing.

The ultimate Boon


The ultimate boon refers to the significance of being of value to others. It is in a way, satisfaction of being a helper to other people. Campbell (172) states that, “What the hero seeks through his intercourse with them is therefore not finally themselves, but their grace, i.e., the power of their sustaining substance.” As a hero, the individual is credited with being of higher value especially after having gone through the journey of adventure and surpassing the trials. He is credited with having a significant role to the rest of the people, since they do not possess the same capabilities as he does.


During the length of his imprisonment, Zeitoun had undergone torture and violation of his human rights along with other prisoners (Eggers 266). They had been mistreated and not granted their fair share of trial, access to a lawyer or a formal process of charges at the court of law. He got severely hurt in his leg and the pain increased by each day. After managing to convince a missionary to send word to his wife through a phone call, the process of freeing him began. The period took long but in the end, he was freed after settling a bail from the court. He did not give up in helping his former prison mates from their ordeal.

Refusal of Return


Refusal of return refers to the hero shall be concerned with using wisdom and its runes to foster humanity in the society. Campbell states that, “The full round, the norm of the monomyth, requires that the hero shall now begin the labor of bringing the runes of wisdom, the Golden Fleece, or his sleeping princess, back into the kingdom of humanity, where the boon may redound to the renewing of the community, the nation, the planet or the ten thousand worlds. But the responsibility has been frequently refused.” The hero does not bow down to pressure from any quarters, instead, he forges on in achieving the destiny that he has set out.


While in Prison, Zeitoun along with his Muslim friend, Nasser, always maintained their religion’s practice. They held their humble nature in ways of dialogue with the guards and their fellow prisoners. When served with any pork products, they denied the chance to eat even though they were hungry and starving. They regularly carried out their prayer sessions and observed the prayer demands of them (Eggers 345). Once his wife had managed to obtain his release from prison through a bail settlement, Zeitoun could not believe that he was being freed. He maintained his unwillingness or inability to return. On the day of his release, he insisted on finishing the regular prayer session despite the impatience of the guards.


Works Cited

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 2004. Print.

Eggers, Dave. Zeitoun. San Francisco: McSweeney’s Books, 2009. Print.

Ouellette, Jeannine. Hurricane Katrina. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub, 2008. Print.

Zeitoun Foundation. Hurricane Katrina Information. The Zeitoun Book. Web. October 1, 2014.


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