The right to do everything wrong

For my next reflection on this blog, I have chosen an article by José Geraldo Gouvêa, called “The queue doesn’t bother me: A manifesto against the hero’s journey and in favour of the right to do everything wrong.” In the article, José claims that many authors tend to support the theory presented in the book: The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. The public might think that 12 steps of The Hero’s Journey is deep enough with all the archetypes and spiritual patterns. But that doesn’t mean we all want to watch movies and read books published using the same twelve steps over and over again.

(Raptis Rare Books, 2020)

Campbell didn’t think he was prescribing a formula. He thought he was describing the pattern essential in all great stories. However, it discourages originality. Likewise, if you declare that the whole big story is the same story with superficial changes on the surface, you are encouraging people to plagiarize old stories.

(Skift, 2016)

He introduced many myths to his theory, but he is not interested in exploring the differences between myths, just the similarities. In other words, he elevates the similarities and ignore different differences like “variations” in his monomyth. He also ignored countries of an Indo-European tradition, such as East Asia and Africa to create it. 

Conclusively, the article explores the relation between the hero and narrative. The twelve steps shouldn’t be a rule and nobody should use Campbell’s theory by the book, but you could use only as an occasional reference to avoid writing a cheesy story. 


Geraldo Gouvêa, J., 2014. A fila não incomoda. Letras Elétricas, [online] Available at: <; [Accessed 14 April 2020].

Raptis Rare Books, 2020. The Hero With A Thousand Faces. CAMPBELL, Joseph. 1949. [image] Available at: <; [Accessed 14 April 2020].

Skift, 2016. 12 STAGES OF CAMPBELL’S HERO’S JOURNEY. [image] Available at: <; [Accessed 14 April 2020].


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