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Caswell Turner's Monomyth Project

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S: The Time Traveler's Wife Monomyth by: Caswell Turner

FC: Caswell Turner | Caswell Turner

3: THE CALL When Clare (currently six years old) is visited by Henry (36 years old) in the meadow behind her house for the first time, this is when she receives the call. Henry intrigues her and makes her curious about something she believed to be impossible: time travel. This happens specifically when Henry says to Clare “I came from the future. I am a time traveler. In the future we are friends” (Niffenegger, 37).

4: Refusal of the Call Clare refuses the call when Henry first approaches her in the meadow. She is scared of him, and when he tells her that he is a time traveler she is skeptical. “People only time travel in movies” says Clare (Niffenegger, 37). Clare’s mind is changed at the end of this first meeting with Henry when he disappears in her presence.

7: Supernatural Aid As Clare grows older, she is visited by Henry. She knows the exact dates Henry will come because he memorized them and told her to write them down. The older she gets, the more she looks forward to seeing Henry. He teaches her many things over the years and beats up a boy who treats her wrong, this is the weapon Henry provides to Clare as her supernatural aid. Henry helps Clare to tape the boy, Jason, to a tree, cut off his clothes and then write an account of what he did to Clare on his face and chest (Niffenegger, 99).

8: Crossing the First Threshold Clare crosses the first threshold on her 18th birthday. This is the last day that she will see Henry for two years. On this day Clare and Henry become completely involved. Clare is thrown into the unknown because she is in love with Henry but she will not see him for a long time. “You’re going away. Now I won’t see you for years and years” says Clare (Niffenegger, 425).

11: The Belly of the Whale Clare finds herself in the belly of the whale when she and Henry decide to get married. She is very worried that Henry will time travel during their wedding, so Henry tries some very dangerous drugs to see of they will keep him in the present for a long period of time. Taking those drugs results in a near-death experience for Henry. When Clare finds Henry after he took drugs, she describes the scene saying: "I run into the kitchen and Henry is lying on the floor, fully clothed, in a strange, rigid pose, staring straight ahead" (Niffenegger, 259). Clare realizes that by marrying Henry, she will always have to deal with his time-traveling and all the bad things that come with it.

12: The Road of Trials Clare embarks on the road of trials when she and Henry decide to try to have a baby. Unfortunately, their baby has inherited Henry’s time traveling gene and Clare has a total five miscarriages. This is very hard on Clare and Henry as individuals, but it also puts strain on their relationship because Clare still wants to have a baby, but Henry can’t stand to see her go through the pain of losing another child. At one point Henry says “A better man would take Clare by the shoulders and say, Love, this is all a mistake...But I know that Clare would never accept, would always be sad” (Niffenegger, 327). Finally at her sixth pregnancy, Clare manages to have a baby girl named Alba.

15: Meeting with the Goddess Clare’s goddess turns out to be her grandmother. When Clare’s grandmother meets Henry, and he disappears in front of her, she thinks that he is a demon. This is bad because Clare has just told her grandmother that she will be marrying Henry. Clare argues that he is good, and that his doctor (in the future) thinks he is some kind of new race of human. Clare’s grandmother is skeptical, and questions what kind of children they would have. She forces Clare to think from a different perspective: “Think for a minute, darling: in fairy tales it’s always the children who have the fine adventures" (Niffenegger, 127). She makes Clare consider what her future might be if she decides to marry Henry.

16: Temptation away from the True Path... Clare is tempted away from the true path is when Henry brings home a winning lottery ticket. Clare and Henry have never used his abilities to steal, but Henry notices that Clare's imagination is being cramped by the small art studio she works in and wants to buy them a bigger house. Therefore, he goes into the future and looks up the winning numbers from the day before. When Clare looks at her ticket after the numbers have been read, she thinks: "We have just won eight million dollars" (Niffenegger, 289). The author chooses not to say whether they ever redeemed their ticket, but it is implied.

19: Atonement with the Father Clare’s atonement with the father comes when her mother dies. Clare loves her mother, but she has always felt, in a way, neglected and unloved by her mother. Atonement happens when Clare is looking through her mother’s desk after she has died. She finds a poem that her mother addressed to her. The poem is called The Garden Under the Snow. The poem describes Clare in a beautiful way and expresses much love towards her saying: “Clare who was never mine, but always belonged to herself, Sleeping Beauty” (Niffenegger, 341).

20: Apotheosis Clare’s apotheosis comes when she resumes making art after a long period of time. She had stopped for awhile because she was depressed by her mother’s death, her miscarriages, and Henry getting severe frostbite and having his legs amputated. One day she makes a huge sculpture of red wings for Henry after his incident. Henry describes it saying: “The wings are huge and they float in the air, wavering in the candlelight” (Niffenegger, 484).

23: Refusal of the Return When Henry dies, Clare is distraught beyond belief. She is in a severe state of grieving and misses Henry in every way. One day she goes to pick up Alba from Charisse and Gomez’s house. Charisse and Gomez are very good friends of Clare. Charisse has taken her children and Alba out to roller skate. Gomez, who has always loved Clare, is there by himself. This is when Clare refuses the return. She is swept up by Gomez and they get as involved as two people can get. When a car door slams, Clare snaps out of the fog of grief that she was in. After this incident, Clare thinks: “What am I doing? What have I allowed myself to become” (Niffenegger, 525).

24: Master of Two Worlds Clare becomes the master of two worlds when she accepts that Henry is gone, but she still lives for the moments that he might time travel back into her life, even if it’s only for a second. On one occasion when Henry is time traveling, he comes across Clare when she is old and describes the scene saying: “the woman turns and sees me and her face is remade into joy; I am suddenly amazed; this is Clare, Clare old” (Niffenegger, 535).

26: Works Cited | Fairy Godmother. n.d. Fanpop. Web. April 8 2011. | . | Web. 8 April 2011. . | Fall at Butchart. n.d. Fall at Butchart Gardens.

27: Orlando: MacAdam/Cage, 2003. Print. | School Library. Web. 1 April 2011. . | Niffenegger, Audrey. The Time Traveler’s Wife. | Untitled book cover. n.d. Brisbane Grammar | Grief. n.d. The Flying Walrus. Web. 7 April | 2011. .

28: Untitled crossing the first threshold. n.d. The | . | Untitled feathers. n.d. blogspot. Web. 7 April 2011. | Fly Guy Chronicles. Web. April 9 2011. .

29: Untitled Henry disappearing. n.d. Comcast. | Media4. Web. 1 April 2011. . | Untitled Peter Pan. n.d. Disney Dreaming. Web. | 8 April 2011. .

30: Untitled refusal of the call. n.d. The Loft Cinema. | Web. 7 April 2011. . | Untitled temptation. n.d. Farm. Flickr. Web. 6 | April 2011. .

31: Untitled the call. n.d. Online Movies Hut. Web. 7 | April 2011. | Untitled the road of trials. n.d. Jootix. Web. | 7 April 2011. .

32: Waiting. n.d. Bert Christianson. Subone. 7 April | 2011. . | Untitled wedding dress. n.d. Farm. Flickr. Web. 4 | April 2011. .

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  • Title: Caswell Turner's Monomyth Project
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  • Published: about 6 years ago

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