Everyone needs help sometimes. Why do you think “Lean on Me” was such a popular song in the ’90s? We all need somebody to lean on. Heroes who accept the call to adventure are rewarded handsomely with an ally who has everything they need.
Almost everyone knows the story of Cinderella in some form or another. When you think of the “protective figure” Campbell talks about think fairy godmother. This is someone who gives the hero the advice, tools, and support they need to complete their journey. As the hero goes through their trials this person will be the one to guide them. This person may be the one who ultimately causes the hero to accept the adventure. Cinderella was ready to give up, but the fairy godmother shows up and gives her everything she needs to go to the ball, and therefore Cinderella goes. Without the fairy godmother, the journey would never have happened and Cinderella’s life would have continued to be miserable.
Of course, if you are writing realistic fiction, you don’t want some magical being to show up so here are some examples (magical and non-magical) who can be the “protective figure” the hero needs.
- A wedding planner
- A karate sensai
- A wizard
- A teacher
Sorry, this post is so short, but there’s just not a lot to say. If you want more information about this there’s no one better than Campbell himself to explain it.
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