Inception self-consciously tells the story of Jung's/Campbell's theory of the hero's journey.
There's a line in Batman Begins about hallucinations conforming to "Jungian archetypes." Nolan has some knowledge of the subject matter, then. In this interpretation, Dom Cobb represents the ego self undertaking the hero's journey to confront the shadow self, manifested in his anima, Mal.SPAWNmaster wrote:Man, that's a great insight! And I think that's why the film works so well, because it really taps these major Jungian archetypes of dreaming, symbolism, states of consciousness and of course we can see the parallelisms with Campbell's Hero Journey. It fits right in.
Even with the references to Greek myth? Of course it was made that way.bmneu wrote:I absolutely think that it follows the monomythology, though I do not think that it was planned as such. I think it was a result, not a construct for the movie. Usually, movies and stories which are planned around this story telling tend to be blasé and repetitive. This movie is so much more. So yes, there is not a doubt in my mind that it ended up sharing or being the monomyth, but it was not written as such.
I challenge you to read the Campbell quotes I posted. Then see if you can honestly claim Nolan didn't write it with the Hero's Journey in mind.bmneu wrote:I absolutely think that it follows the monomythology, though I do not think that it was planned as such. I think it was a result, not a construct for the movie. Usually, movies and stories which are planned around this story telling tend to be blasé and repetitive. This movie is so much more. So yes, there is not a doubt in my mind that it ended up sharing or being the monomyth, but it was not written as such.
I think there are two calls to adventure in Inception. The chronologically first call was Mal's leap of faith, which Cobb refused (see below, refusal of the call). The second was when Saito hired Cobb to perform the Inception on Fischer (who is really another aspect of Cobb's psyche).1) The Call to Adventure:
"This first stage of the mythological journey – which we have designated the 'call to adventure' – signifies that destiny has summoned the hero and transferred his spiritual center of gravity from within the pale of his society to a zone unknown. This fateful region of both treasure and danger may be variously represented: as a distant land, a forest, a kingdom underground, beneath the waves, or above the sky, a secret island, lofty mountaintop, or profound dream state; but it is always a place of strangely fluid and polymorphous beings, unimaginable torments, superhuman deeds, and impossible delight."
When Cobb refused Mal's call to adventure, he "walled his minotaur (his guilt over what he perceived as Mal's death)" into the labyrinth of his psyche. In so doing, Cobb became a "victim to be saved." But like King Minos, he succeeded in "building... renown" as a dream extractor. Even so, his labyrinth became a "house of death," and "created new problems" in the form of law enforcement and the Cobol corporation. Happily, Cobb heeded Saito's second call to adventure, beginning his journey, and eventually leading to the completion of his quest."Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or 'culture,' the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless – even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire or renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his minotaur. All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration."