My thesis critiques traditional models of the hero’s journey in young adult fantasy literature that are based upon masculinist definitions of heroism. I argue that such models need to be more inclusive to account for non-male experiences. Chapter One is a feminist critique of patriarchal assumptions within conventional models, including Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. Chapter Two considers the negative consequences of models of the hero’s journey that are grounded in essentialist beliefs, with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series as an example. My final chapter argues that Alison Croggon’s Books of Pellinor series successfully envisions a hero who is female and follows the same basic arc of the hero’s journey, with some important revisions to the traditional model. My research suggests essentialist models of the hero’s journey should be replaced with inclusive frameworks of heroism that can apply to a person of any sex or gender—in fantasy literature and beyond.


Alkemeyer, Bryan




Literature in English, Anglophone outside British Isles and North America | Literature in English, North America


feminism, heroism, fantasy, young adult, hero's journey

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Julia A. Hart