Millennial Mythmaking

Essays on the Power of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, Films and Games

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About the Book

Contemporary myths, particularly science fiction and fantasy texts, can provide commentary on who we are as a culture, what we have created, and where we are going. These nine essays from a variety of disciplines expand upon the writings of Joseph Campbell and the hero’s journey. Modern examples of myths from various sources such as Planet of the Apes, Wicked, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Spirited Away; the Harry Potter series; and Second Life are analyzed as creative mythology and a representation of contemporary culture and emerging technology.

About the Author(s)

John Perlich is a professor of communication studies at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska.

David Whitt is an associate professor of communication at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by John Perlich and David Whitt

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4562-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5592-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface: “There and Back Again…”      1

Contrasting Colors
1. Sorting Heroic Choices: Green and Red in the Harry Potter Septology
(KIRSTIN CRONN-MILLS and JESSICA SAMENS)      5
2. The Complexity of Evil in Modern Mythology: The Evolution of the Wicked Witch of the West
(JASON EDWARDS and BRIAN KLOSA)      32
3. Polysemous Myth: Incongruity in Planet of the Apes
(RICHARD BESEL and RENEÉ SMITH BESEL)      51

New Champions
4. The Hero with the Thousand-and-First Face: Miyazaki’s Girl Quester in Spirited Away and Campbell’s Monomyth
(DEE GEORTZ)      67
5. The Odyssey of Madame Souza: A Heroine’s Quest in The Triplets of Belleville
(DAVID WHITT)      83
6. Rethinking the Monomyth: Pan’s Labyrinth and the Face of a New Hero(ine)
(JOHN PERLICH)      100

No Boundaries
7. Actors and Their Mythic Heroes: From the Doctor to Captain Kirk
(DJOYMI BAKER)      129
8. Running Free in Angelina Jolie’s Virtual Body: The Myth of the New Frontier and Gender Liberaton in Second Life
(ELLEN GORSEVSKI)      146
9. So Where Do I Go from Here? Ghost in the Shell and Imagining Cyborg Mythology for the New Millennium
(JAY SCOTT CHIPMAN)      167

Epilogue: “Always in Motion Is the Future…”      193
About the Contributors      197
Index      199

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “intriguing…recommended”—Choice
  • “valuable”—Mythlore