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Kevyn Cress's Monomyth Project

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S: The Time Traveler's Wife and the Monomyth

FC: The Time Traveler's Wife and the Monomyth | By Kevyn Cress

1: The Time Traveler's Wife | By Audrey Niffenegger

2: Call to Adventure | Henry's call to adventure is when he begins to time travel at age five. He can't control it, but it's like a call for adventure (Niffenegger 28). I think Henry receives a different kind of call when he travels to the meadow for the first time. He and his future wife, Clare, meet for the first time. Clare is only six years old while Henry is thirty-six, but they immediately become friends (Niffenegger 37).

3: Refusal of The Call | Henry does not exactly refuse the call because he does not yet know Clare. Clare has known Henry almost her entire life, but Henry meets Clare when he is 28 and Clare is 20. Henry gets involved with other women before he meets Clare, which is a refusal in a way, because it is taking longer to meet Clare. After their first date, Clare discovers a tube of red lipstick in Henry's medicine cabinet and knows that there is someone else (Niffenegger 18).

4: Supernatural Aid | Henry's supernatural aid is often himself. Sometimes when he time travels, there are two of him. His older self often gives advice to his younger self. This is most evident when Henry, age 27, time travels to meet his 9-year-old self. Henry teaches his younger self that when time-traveling, it is necessary to pickpocket bystanders (Niffenegger 51). Parts like this add humor to the book.

5: Crossing the Threshold | Henry crosses the threshold by asking Clare to marry him. It is the beginning of the process that will bind them together for life. When Henry asks Clare to marry him, she says, "Yes...Henry. But you know, really... I already have" (Niffenegger 233). It's the start of the ups and downs for the main characters.

6: The Belly of the Whale | The point of no return for Henry is when he and Clare get married. Henry is officially dedicating his life to her, even though, in a way, it has been all along. "'I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.' I think: remember this. I repeat the promise to him" (Niffenegger 274).

7: Road of Trials | Several events challenge Henry in his marriage to Clare. One of those is a woman named Ingrid Carmichel, who is mentioned later. Another obstacle Henry and Clare face as a couple is trying to conceive. Although Clare is facing the physical burden of six miscarriages, Henry deals with the sorrow that it brings (Niffenegger 366).

8: Road of Trials | Another step in Henry's road of trials is finding a doctor. Henry makes an appointment with Dr. Kendrick and tells him about his "difficulty staying in the present" (Niffenegger 312). Kendrick is skeptical at first, then witnesses Henry time-traveling as he leaves the office. For several years, he researches Henry's condition and helps the couple learn why Clare is having so many miscarriages-- the baby is time traveling outside of her womb (Niffenegger 360).

9: Road of Trials

10: Meeting with the Goddess | Clare is Henry's true goddess. They are passionately in love with each other even though they often deal with Henry's time-traveling condition. There are so many parts of this book that show their unconditional love for each other. Clare is an artist and often draws Henry. "This is why I love to be drawn by Clare: when she looks at me with that kind of attention, I feel that I am everything to her" (Niffenegger 104).

11: Temptation away from the True Path | Henry's true path is obviously spending his life with Clare. He is interested in other women before he meets Clare. His biggest temptation is Ingrid Carmichel; she is the first woman that he becomes very involved with. While on a date with her, a blond man approaches him and says that "Clare says hello" (Niffenegger 438). He does not yet know Clare, and "wonder[s] who Clare is, but figure[s] there's probably no answer to that" (Niffenegger 439).

12: Atonement with the Father | Henry's atonement is with his biological father. When Henry decides to ask Clare to marry him, he visits his father for the first time in several years. He is there to retrieve his mother's wedding rings, but sees that his father is not in good health. "Then he reaches out his right hand: I cup my hands together, and he turns the rings onto my waiting palms" (Niffenegger 227). The act of Henry's father giving the rings to Henry signifies the beginning of a bond between them that has been absent for years.

13: Apotheosis | At one point in the story, Henry discovers his obituary while time traveling. He is more mellow and selfless when he realizes that he only has so long to live. During Henry's last few days, he spends every minute with Clare and his daughter, Alba. She asks for a piggyback ride, and Henry thinks, "My legs really hurt, and Alba has gotten a little too big to do this painlessly, but I can deny her nothing now" (Niffenegger 500). It shows that he is willing to do anything for his little girl.

14: Atonement with the Father | Apotheosis

15: Master of Two Worlds

16: Refusal of the Return | Henry does not exactly refuse the return because he cannot control his ability to time travel. However, the next time he sees Clare is several years from the time he dies. I suppose the time from when he dies to the time that he comes back at the end of the book could be seen as a refusal. Clare longs for Henry after he is gone. As she lies in bed alone one morning, she thinks, "everything is reduced to... this endless slumber that makes the days into one day, makes time stop... until it is meaningless" (Niffenegger 517).

17: Master of Two Worlds | After Henry passes away, there are times when he comes "back from the dead". One of these times is when Henry time travels to meet his ten-year-old daughter, Alba, before she is actually born. She immediately runs to him because she has not seen him in five years; in their conversation, Henry learns that he dies when Alba is five (Niffenegger 389). Another one of these times is the last scene of the book. "The woman turns and sees me and her face is remade into joy; ...this is Clare, Clare old! ...and I take her into my arms" (Niffenegger 535). It shows that time is nothing to him.

18: Works Cited | Murakami, Teri. Rings in palm. 2008. Murakami Photography. Web. 1 April 2011. | Doctor. n.d. Memegenerator.net. Meme Generator. Web. 2 April 2011. . | Hug. n.d. Cafe Fashionista. Shoppaholic. Web. 4 April 2011. .

19: Niffenegger, Audrey. The Time Traveler's Wife. San Francisco, CA: Macadam/Cage, 2003. Print. | Piggyback Ride. n.d. iStockPhoto. Web. 2 April 2011. . | Nixon, Nicholas. Empty Bed. 2010. President and Fellows of Harvard College. HMS Center for Palliative Care. Web. 1 April 2011.

20: Tears. n.d. Relaxed Politics. WordPress. Web. 1 April 2011. . | Red Lipstick. n.d. Makeup and Beauty Blog. MBB. Web. 3 April 2011. .

21: Wedding Dance. n.d. Movie Reviews. Cut Print Review. Web. 3 April 2011. .

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Kevyn Cress
  • By: Kevyn C.
  • Joined: almost 9 years ago
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  • Title: Kevyn Cress's Monomyth Project
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  • Published: almost 9 years ago