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The American monomyth

Cover Art for 9780385122030, The American monomyth by Robert Jewett
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ISBN: 9780385122030
Publisher: Anchor Press
Published: 1 January, 1977
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Links Australian Libraries (Trove)
Editions: 1 other edition of this product

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The American monomyth

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In his introduction to the book, Isaac Asimov states that despite the scientific and technological advances of the past centuries, American society has not moved beyond mythical consciousness, but has replaced the classical monomyth with a distinctively American one. Asimov argues that the central theme of the American monomyth is redemption, whereas the classical pattern was centered around a rite of initiation. The theme of redemption is a secularized adoption from the Jude o-Christian dramas, where a selfless servant impassively gives his life to serving others and zealously destroys evil that threatens them. Asimov further argues that, in such a setting, these super-saviors function as a replacement for the Christ figure and the fan loyalties that these stories invoke should be compared to traditional religious following. Asimov warns that such a perspective imparts the relaxing feeling that society can actually be redeemed by anti-democratic means. In order to elaborate the basic premise outlined by Asimov in his introduction, the authors Jewett and Lawrence take up some of the most influential popular culture icons of the 20th century and demonstrate how the monomyth can be identified in their core messages.

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