Examining a Step Not Taken Essay

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Nearly every text read or viewed by an individual will have some form of the archetype theory, which interprets a text by examining the recurring myths and archetypes through different means in literary works. Throughout this essay, the story A Step Not Taken by Paul D’Angelo will be analyzed and explained with the archetype theory. The story begins with a man, or the hero of the story, standing in an elevator beside another well dressed, younger business man. The hero mentions in the story that as the elevator begins to rise he “employs typical Toronto elevator technique” and minds his own business. At this point, the hero begins to go through the three phases of the monomyth archetype. The first phase of the monomyth archetype is separation, or the call to adventure, and it happens when the younger businessman begins to suddenly cry. The hero realizes that something is happening and must choose whether or not he should take action and help the crying man or if he should continue to mind his own business. The hero then continues into the second phase of the monomyth archetype, struggle or initiation, when the hero arrives at his floor and leaves the elevator. At this point, the hero has an epiphany and begins to question if what he did was the right thing to do or if he should possibly go as far as finding the man who was crying in the elevator to see if he is alright. It should also be noted that the man who is crying in the elevator is also the benevolent guide of the hero in the story, due to the fact that the man crying caused the main character to question his motives in a scenario such as this, which eventually continues the story. Lastly, the hero goes through the final phase, return and integration, when he continues on with his normal life without reaching out and finding the man who was crying in the elevator, however feeling guilty for not doing

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