AP English Literature and Composition

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2021/07/05
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Compare and Contrast Essay on Luis Alberto Urrea’s Into the Beautiful North and William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Joseph Campbell once said that “[a] hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” I can agree heroes usually put others first rather than themselves. In many cases heroes are people who’ve been through really comfortless obstacles in their lives, but had the strength to overcome those obstacles. Heroes are seen as brave, humble,mature, and caring individuals. A hero is someone who the people look up too, someone that has qualities in themselves that we feel we don’t have in ourselves. One who wants the best for people, spreads positivity and encourages others to become better versions of themselves. Growing up I can say that my father was a hero even though Joseph Campbell didn’t give me the answer of him actually being one. Even though my father and I aren’t as close I know for a fact well he’s been through so much to get where is now. Asking this question, Is my father actually a hero?

Looking at Joseph Campbell’s twelve Progression of a “Hero’s Journey”; Ordinary World, Call to Adventure, Refusal of the Cell, Meeting the Mentor, Crossing the Threshold, Test, Allies, Enemies, Approach to Inmost Cave, Ordeal, Reward, Road Back, Resurrection, and Return with Elixir. Aristotle’s six elements of a ‘Tragic Figure’; Hamartia, Hubris, Peripeteia, Anagnorisis, Nemesis, and Catharsis. Campbell says that if the person you call a hero masters all twelve elements that are listed then he/she/they might be an actual hero and Aristotle says that the protagonist can be a tragic figure. Considering that I am not able to go back in time to mark these moments I am not able to actually answer this question. Although, I would instead prove to you whether Campbell or Aristotle can recognizance the two protagonists heroicness from Into the beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea and The Tempest by William Shakespeare. Throughout the process of these 12 steps or 6 elements you will see the two protagonists, Nayeli and Prospero, true strengths and weaknesses. Attesting that the end of all this, there could only be one historic hero.

Into The Beautiful North

Luis Alberto Urrea’s novel Into the beautiful North is about a nineneeth year old girl, Nayeli, who comes from a small village in Mexico. She is set to go to the United States with a few friends because of an event that happened to her family. Throughout the story Nayeli is faced with many obstacles that describe the twelve progressions of a “Hero’s Journey.”

Ordinary World is the hero’s normal life at the start of a story. In the story Into the beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea sets Nayeli’s “ordinary world” is in a small village called Los Tres Camarones located in Mexico. Her hometown is very dangerous and somewhat poor, surrounded with so much drugs. She gets introduced as a waitress at Tacho’s Bar, La Mano Caida. The usual people the are in Nayeli’s life is her mother and her Tia Irma. Her father, Don Pepe, isn’t in the picture but she wishes that he was. Don Pepe had went to the United States to live in a town called Kankakee, Illiones. When Nayeli was growing up her father put her in a soccer team and karate classes, she believed that her father actually wanted a son instead of a daughter.

Joseph Campbell’s second step that will considered you a hero is Call to Adventure.

Call to Adventure is a situation to normality from which some information is received that acts as a call to head off into the unknown. In this case, the protagonist, Nayeli, began her Call to Adventure when she went to Garcia Garcia’s film festival one night. The small group that Nayeli was with saw the movie The Magnificent Seven. The move is about seven amazing and well fit men risking their lives to save their town from the bad people who are trying to take over. As Nayeli was watching the movie she got all excited and thrilled so she began to plan her own to find seven strong men from the United States to bring back to her town and save the village. It wasn’t until one day when someone was kicked out of their own place and wrecked it, beating up the homeowner up.

I say this because during the time her village was being overpowered and controlled by the Bandidos and corrupt police officers. Nayeli and the rest of the people who lived in Los Tres Camarones started to believe that there were no real men that can protect the village. Realizing that the best way to save her village was to go to the United States and find her “magnificent seven” so she can bring back to Mexico and protect the people. The biggest motivation and drive she has for this big adventure was because her father was already in the United States and she believes that she was able to find him too.

As we are now moving forward to the next step, it will be “Refusal of the Cell.” Refusal of the Cell is when the hero is often given a call, but she/he/they refuses to cross the obstacle, maining because of the amount of fear and concerns they have. Nayeli has faced so many obstacles throughout her journey but none of them made her think that she should stop and go back home. Although they were times where she would get nervous and concern. One moment from the story will be when she was heading to the boarder so she can cross to the United States. The way Nayeli was thinking about crossing the border was that the Americans will like them and will be proud that we are going to save the village. She realizes that crossing the border isn’t easy as she thought it was going to be. She saw so many people and officers protecting the border, many of those officers laughed at her and taught she was crazy when she told them the reason of going to the United States.

Another set back was refusing everyone who tried to help her and her friends. They were betrayed by a group of strangers which they met during the process of the journey. I say this because there was a moment where Nayeli and her crew were trying to spot a place in Tijuana to sleep. They had met two strangers who led them to a motel so they can sleep. The two strangers introduced themselves as innocent men, but all they wanted was to sleep with the females of the of crew including Nayeli. This caused them to stay on their lowest, not having enough resources, and not having a place to sleep safety. Having the type of feeling where you can’t trust no one’s word no more sucks because she had to learn the hard way that some things in life don’t go the way you want them to go. These types of moments are going to help her realize what she could or could not do. Throughout this journey she’s going to face many more obstacles, but it’s only going to make her stronger and motivated so she can prove people wrong.

“Meeting the Mentor” is the next fourth step of Campbell’s progressions. Meeting the Mentor is someone who guides or teaches the protagonists new knowledge about things in any situation. It’s somewhat like having a fairy godmother who is always there to give you advice about life. One of the biggest mentors Nayeli has met will be her Tia Irma.Tia Imra was the first female ever to become mayor in Los Tres Camarones and a mexican nationalist. I say this because Tia Irma supported her with everything she has done. Including the time when Nayeli was planning the United States journey, she helped them organize and fincialize it. To loving the sport soccer from helping her defend herself with anything that she faces. What Is In Your Fridge Right Now? Even when Nayeli and her mother struggled with money and a home Tia Irma was there to help them out. Another mentor that Nayeli came across will be Atomiko. Atomiko is a boy who calls himself the King of dompe and believes he’s a samurai, he offered Nayeli the help to cross the border when they met around the bumpyard, where two crazy men tried to steal and harrass Nayeli. When Atomiko realized she was in danger he rushed down the hill of dump to protect her with his six foot length bamboo “sword”. Nayeli did get mad at him because she told him that she doesn’t need anyone to to save her. She tried so many things to try to get him to leave but Nayeli’s friends wanted him to stay.

She was okay with it because of her friends but she wasn’t buying the whole act he persevered. He’s been loyal and humble to her throughout the entire journey. The fact that Nayeli didn’t trust him and he was still respectful to her shows a lot of value in Atomiko. He kept his promises of helping Nayeli cross the border and take her to the United States. Also helping her find her “magnificent seven” and taking them back to Los Tres Camarones so she can better her town. The King of Dompe gave up everything to help Nayeli complete this journey. Loyalty and trust is rare to give and the way Tia Irma and Atomiko showed theirs makes them good people.

“Crossing the Threshold” is the fifth step in “Hero’s Journey” by Joseph Campbell. Crossing the Threshold is when the protagonist leaves the ordinary world and crossing the threshold into the adventure. As for Nayeli, the hero, her threshold will be when she finally crosses the border and enters the United States. Atomiko led Nayeli to many trails of deserted places and a underground tunnel under the border in order for her to complete her journey. This is her threshold because she is going to a new place where nothing in her hometown is relatable, well not fully relatable and the same. As she entered the United States she already knew it wasn’t going to be like she imagined it to be. She had to deal with so much negative people who are mean, disrespectful, and racist to her and her friends. In order for her to complete her journey she has to to get use to the new environment of the world and adapt to things that she never thought she would do.

The six step is “Tests, Allies, Enemies”, the meaning of test, allies, enemies is The first two aspects are the Contrast between the Original World and the new Special World the hero has just entered. In this story Into the beautiful North Nayeli was biggest one who was tested as a hero and was able to recognize who was actually there for her. She was mainly facing betrayal because everyone who she thought would help her did her wrong. She ended losing her resources and was sexually harassed. She basically gain some and lost some, she people say “they come and go”. Further into the story she was tested with the way she had to survive and cross the border without her resources. From the beginning Nayeli’s Allies were her Tia Irma, Tacho, Vampi, and Yolo because they went with her to the United States. Now the Allies that she met during the journey will be Atomiko because he was loyal and trustworthy to her in many ways. He helped her find a way to cross the border and enter the United States. Also, helping her find the seven men that will help save her village back at Los Tres Camarones. Another ally will be the Agent Arnold because he found her story very interesting and felt some type of way because of all the things they’ve been facing. So that’s when he was able to give them a ride to San Diego. As for the enemies that Nayeli and her friends face will be the Atomiko in a way becauses at her he cat called Nayeli and that’s very rude the, two crazy strangers that were harrassong Nayeli, and the white racist people just because they weren’t American.

The seventh step of Joseph Campbell’s progressions is “Approach to Inmost Cave” , this means is where the ultimate goal lies for the hero. The Inmost cave is where the hero is close to the cave. The part where she is approaching the inmost cave is when Nayeli has to enter the United States the second time. Since the first time she failed to complete her mission. She tends to try a second time and enters a tunnel again by a shop. As she is going back to the United States without and any obstacle, she finally says that finding her seven men has to be quick and done already so they can go back home and save the village. She is close to her goal of this journey and she has no intentions of stopping because she is able to feel and taste the win.

Another progression is the “Ordeal.” Ordeal is when the hero faces a big obstacle that can either be a life or death crisis, if the hero lives then they earn their reward or accomplish their goal of the journey. Nayeli realized that she hasn’t seen her dad not even once since she was around the United States. She expected that she was going to see him right when she got there but that wasn’t the case. Her believing that she was going to see her father in the United States and get help from him so she can find her seven men was the big point of this whole journey. That was her motivation and hope that she gives all because of a postcard he had once sent her. However, all that happiness, excitement, and hope she had died when she saw that moment when she was finally able to see him. She headed to the place her father was staying at but the last thing that she thought was going to happen had happened. Her father got off a truck but with a women who I believe is the girlfriend or wife and a young kid. When Nayeli saw all that she was so devastated and hurt that all she did was cry. So much thoughts and emotions came out and she just broke. As she started to calm down she decided to leave the postcard by the truck and leave. I believe she had done this because she was going to finally let go her and understand that she doesn’t need his help with anything in life. No matter how much of the risk she took just to see her father, it wasn’t going to stop her from completing the bigger picture.

“Reward(Seizing the Sword)” is the ninth step of “Hero’s Journey.” The meaning of this is when the hero finally gets to accomplish the journey and receive her award but the journey isn’t quite done yet. As Nayeli is calling Tia Irma about finding the seven men, she gets some great news. Tia Irma tells Nayeli that their are about 27 men that are willing to be one of the “Magnificent Seven.” When she finally found her “Magnificent Seven” they are able to go back home to Los Tres Camarones and save the village. They have successfully accomplished the mission and are ready to head back home. Even though she wasn’t able to meet her father, it pushed her even more to find the seven men. When she realized that seeing her father wasn’t going to happen she still managed to pull through. Her letting her go father and actually moving on from it made her even a more stronger hero because she knew that she had to put her personal life away in order to safe the village.

For the tenth step it is the “Road Back”, the road back means that the hero is heading back home to he/she/they ordinary world. Since Nayeli found her “Magnificent Seven” she can finally head back to the Tres Camarones. She least expect to her her ally Agent Arnold who decided that he won’t’ deport Nayeli and her friends. Instead he offers them a ride back to San Diego so the can cross the border back to Mexico.

“Resurrection” is the eleventh step of Joseph Campbell’s progressions. Resurrection can be when Nayeli found about her father. She realized that he was a happy man and didn’t think about Nayeli like how she would think about him. As they were heading to Kankakee, Illiones with Tacho. Most of them got car sick but Nayeli was very excited to see her father for the first time. Once they got there Nayeli didn’t expect to see what she saw and felt so ashamed because she did all this for him. She saw her father get off a truck with his wife/girlfriend and a young kid, realizing that he has a family and forgot about his old one. Maybe that’s why he stopped sending them postcards. Many thoughts were running through her mind but the one thing she didn’t do was to confront her father. Nayeli eventually reacted quickly and decided to leave the postcard on the window’s truck. She decided to let her of her father and continue the mission she sacrificed her personal life to save the village, so her peoples can stop being in danger with all the violence that goes on in Los Tres Camarones.

This is the final step of a“Hero’s Journey”. Return with the Elixir is with the hero bringing back his/her/them knowledge back to the ordinary world, where he/she/they applies it to help all who remain there. Using the twelve progression of a “Hero’s Journey” by Joseph Campbell’s, it made me realize that Luis Alberto Urrea orved that Nayeli is an actual hero. Throughout the process of this journey Nayeli sacrificed a lot and been through out along with her friends, in order for her to actually find her “Magnificent Seven” in the United States and bring them back to Los Tres Camarones. Bringing peace to her ordinary world. She goes back home and lies to her mother that she didn’t see her father. As, Nayeli came in contact with a friend. She lets her know everything that had went done during the journey.

Joseph Campbell’s twelve progressions of a “Hero’s Journey” proved that Nayeli mastered the steps and is a hero. Not saying that Aristotle’s six “Tragic Figures” is wrong. These two are pointing out that stories can either be told as a “Hero’s Journey or “Tragic Figure.” Moving forward, I will be proving the six “Tragic Figures” for The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

The Tempest

The Tempest is about a storm that strikes a ship that is holding multiple people from Duke Of Milan. This storm is created by a brother who was betrayed by his own people. This brother seeks revenge to whoever that done him dirty. He clearly shows a great example of the six “Tragic Figures” created by Aristotle.

The first element is Hamartia. Hamartia is a fatal leading to the downfall of a tragic hero or heroine. A man name Prospero was the duke of Milan and a wizard. His brother Antonio took the throne because he said that he has better plans for the kingdom. Antonio convinced the King of Naples, Alonso, to get rid of Prospero and his daughter Miranda in a far away place so they can die alone. Once Prospero heard about this and how his own brother betrayed him, it led him to his downfall.

The second element of a “Tragic Figure” is Hubris. The meaning of Hubris is the excessive pride or self confidence. Since he got betrayed by his own brother Prospero he’s been so prideful because he taught that he was above everyone and can over everyone. I believe this is why he lost sight about who he was when he was king. His powers took the best of him. This type of trait go bigger and bigger. Leading him to seek revenge and get back the throne.

Peripeteia is the third tragic element. Peripeteia is a sudden reversal of fortune or change in circumstances, especially in reference to functional narrative. Since Prospero was so convincing that his brother Antonio wouldn’t do him dirty, he shouldn’t have been so trustworthy with him. He wouldn’t be in the situation he was in, he let his guard down for family and it ended up biting him in the ass. If he was still duke then none of this would’ve happened and everything would’ve been okay. He didn’t have to do the most and wreck the ship to capture Ferdinand. Not leading to Miranda and Ferdinand to fall in love.

The next “Tragic Figure” is Anagnorisis. Anagnorisis is a moment in a play or other work when a character makes a critical discovery. Once Propero was seeking his revenge by wrecking the ship with a storm. The ship gets stuck in a deserted Island where Prospero and Miranda are at. When Propero captures Ferdinand. Miranda and Ferdinand have a moment to themselves and end up falling in love. During this moment Prospero ending up finding out that they were in love, he didn’t approve.

Nemesis is the next tragic figure. Nemesis is a punishment that the protagonist cannot avoid, usually, occurring, as a result of his hubris. Since Prospero keeps on losing with everything he does to try in fix it. He got even more angry and anxious to seek revenge. He lost his title of Duke of Milan including everything that came with it and now lost his daughter to his enemy’s son. Miranda was so in love with Ferdinand that it let her to careless about her father’s feelings.

Catharsis is the last element as a “tragic figure”. The meaning of Catharsis is the process of releasing and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions. Prospero hit rock bottom because in one moment he had everything that everyone at least wanted. But since he was betrayed by his own blood and people he lost his title and also lost his daughter Miranda to the Enemy’s son, Ferdinand. He went from being happy to sad real quick. And at this moment he had to go back to Naples because they were going to get married. Even though he had to go back he didn’t forgive everything that happened to him. He went to be with his daughter and support her.

Reading both Into the beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea and The Tempest by William Shakespeare. I came to the conclusion that Nayeli is the bigger her than Prospero. I say this because Prospero was selfish and angry about how things went. He put his old people into danger by wrecking that ship. As, in with Nayeli she thought of a plan to save her village by going to the United States to get her own “Magnificent Seven” to bring back to Los Tres Camarones. Even though Nayeli was still going to the United States for herself as well to meet her father. That doesn’t really make her selfish because the journey that she has faced was so risky and dangerous. All Prospero wanted was revenge and he didn’t think otherwise than to get his payback. Even though her daughter fell in love with the enemy he still got mad at her, but I say that’s wrong because that’s your daughter regardless and you have to support her in whatever situation. As for Nayeli throughout her journey she let many people come to her life and they betrayed her, but she didn’t think once to seek revenge. She let it go and moved on to seek her goal. Going back to the bringing of the quote, Joseph Campbell states, “[a] hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” Like I said before this quote to me means that no matter what happens in your life you help other people who needs help first. A hero is someone who the people look up too, someone that has qualities in themselves that we feel we don’t have in ourselves. I believe Nayeli is the actual hero because when it came to the truth about her father, she let go of that to continue the mission and save her village, and bring back everyone safe, while at the same time making new friends. Therefore, a hero isn’t a fiction person that you see in movies, it’s someone who can master Joseph Campbell’s twelve steps of a “Hero’s Journey” or Aristotle’s six “Tragic Figures.”

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