College of Arts and Sciences


Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing


Durrell Nelson


hero, heroism, heroine, Joseph Campbell, Hollywood, Esther, Queen Esther, Katniss, Katniss Everdeen, Disney, heroic, movies, hero's journey, journey, courage, self-sacrifice, determination, Bible, Biblical world view


Creative Writing


This thesis examines Joseph Campbell’s theory of the hero’s journey as it pertains to the heroine, especially in Hollywood. It refutes Campbell’s mythological premise that only men can experience the hero’s journey thereby being labeled as heroes because of the actions they performed to reach maturity. This thesis demonstrates that although women reach maturity through the natural means of biology, as described by Campbell, they can still make change occur because they have a mind and a will to act as well. Stories of women such as Ninveh from the screenplay Journey to Freedom, Katniss from The Hunger Games (2012) and Esther from the Bible are examined to prove that woman have gone through the hero’s journey. The strengths of self-sacrifice, courage and determination are analyzed for each protagonist to illustrate the internal strengths that woman possess, unlike men, which push them to be the heroines of their own stories.