Buffy and the Heroine's Journey


McFarland and Co.  Feb 2012. Categories: Television Feminism & Feminist Theory, Gender Studies
ISBN 13: 9780786467921 ISBN 10: 0786467924
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-7864-6792-1


There are many references in Buffy studies to the classic hero’s journey, but none to the classic heroine’s journey—unsurprising as there are only two works on the heroine’s journey—Maureen Murdock’s psychological study and my own From Girl to Goddess, just out from McFarland. Buffy’s journey is one of fiction’s most perfect fits for this pattern as she battles first the patriarchy and then the mother-destroyer, descending over and over into the underworld seeking enlightenment.
The heroine’s journey is about building a community of equals, about becoming a protector and rescuer of others rather than slaying a dark lord. When Buffy does both, defeating misogynist villains and saving the world many times over, she sets out on a subset of the heroine’s journey: the warrior woman’s path. After she conquers the land’s male enemies, she quests for her lost feminine side and seeks the First Slayer. From there, she takes the traditional heroine’s path, protecting her new sister Dawn from a goddess’s destruction. This quest reflects the Jungian cycle of facing one’s dark shadows as enemies and defeating them, reintegrating the fragmented parts of the self into power and wholeness. This Buffy does in the end, gathering an army of Slayers and reimagining the world as its new goddess of life and empowerment.

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"This new 236-page soft-cover release from McFarland & Company Books is a great read for Buffy fans and nice addition to any Slayer collection." --Examiner.com


Slayage: The Journal of The Whedon Studies Association

The Annotated Buffy

The Heroine's Journey Through the Major Arcana of the Tarot

The female hero's journey chart

Women in Quest: the chart



Buffy and the Hero's Journey Essays and Books:

Bowman “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Greek Hero Revisited,”
Cochran and Edwards “Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Quest Story: Revising the Hero, Reshaping the Myth”
Frankel, Buffy and the Heroine’s Journey
Frankel “All Dolled Up” (Echo’s heroine’s journey)
Fritts “Buffy’s Seven-Season Initiation”
Hawkins “Season Six and the Supreme Ordeal”
Holder “Slayers of the Last Arc”
Keller “Spirit Guides and Shadow Selves”
Leader “The Slayer’s Journey”

Wilcox Why Buffy Matters

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