The Hero’s Journey in Raiders of the Lost Ark

In this blogpost, I will be seeing how The Hero’s Journey applies to the 1981 classic “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” directed by Steven Spielberg.

The Hero’s Journey starts off with the hero being at rest. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, we start the film with archeologist Indiana Jones trying to find an ancient Idol in Peru in 1936.

The next two steps in The Hero’s Journey are the call to action and the reluctant acceptance. In this classic, after getting home from Peru, we find Dr. Jones teaching at a university when he is told by the government to go find the Ark of the Covenant, an ancient container that holds infinite power, before the Nazis do.

We are introduced to the villain when we see an evil gestapo officer following Indiana Jones.

Jones later goes to Egypt to find the Ark. He gets into his first battle when he finds the Ark, but the Nazis catch on to what Indi was doing and they take the Ark, leaving him in a dark pit. Leaving him defeated. Indi rebuilds by escaping the pit.

The second battle comes when Jones threatens to blow up the Ark with a rocket launcher if they don’t give him back his girl. Indi gets caught and him and his girl are tied to a pole.

The villains defeat comes when the Nazis open the Ark and god gets very angry. A bunch of ghosts come out of the ark and melt all the Nazis faces. Indi survives by closing his eyes.

He comes back to the University a changed man.

Raiders of the Lost Ark does not follow The Hero’s Journey exactly, but they do share enough similarities to assume that it was in mind during the writing process.

4 réflexions au sujet de “The Hero’s Journey in Raiders of the Lost Ark”

  1. I never actually noticed how almost exactly this Indiana Jones film followed the character’s journey we explored! Your article really summarized the events of this momentous film and how each one reflected every step we studied. However, though I liked how brief and exlpicit your article is, I would have appreciated it more if you had gone just a little bit deeper with your explanations. For example, how exactly did Indi change after this experience? I also felt like there was something missing in your article to catch my attention, other than the clips. But overall, great article! It really made me think about all the other films I love and how I never noticed how the majority of them reflect the hero’s journey like Indiana Jones’ does!

    1. Thanks for the comment. I also would’ve liked to have gone more in depth into this great story, but that 300 word limit is a real killer. Its a really big story with a lot that happens, so dividing it in all these little pieces was very hard. The biggest change Indiana Jones experiences is now he’s with his lady, Marion. If I could’ve reenacted the entire film word for word, trust me I would’ve. Also, did you know that if Indiana Jones didn’t exist, the story would’ve played out in the same way? The Nazis would’ve found the Ark, brought it to the island, and they all would’ve died. Funny, right?

      1. I completely understand. The 300 word limit is quite irritating and hard to respect, especially with such a historic film. I’m sure that if you weren’t restrained by the rules your article would have been even better! Thank you for answering my question, and again, wonderful article!

  2. Thanks for your discussion guys! In reading the blog posts, we have noticed the same thing and have decided to up the word limit for the second half of the semester so that you have more space to write in depth about your subject.

    Harry, you definitely proved that Raiders follows the pattern, although if being chased by a giant boulder in the Amazon is the « Hero at Rest », Indy sure has an exciting life! 🙂

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