Quest Literature or “the Hero’s Journey” — and side comments on Inception

I will writing my research paper on quest literature for tweens. I would be interested in your recommendations of your favorite quest book or movie and why you enjoyed it. Quest stories appear in almost all cultures. In a quest, a person goes on a journey, searching for someone or something, undergoing challenges, and then deciding whether to return to the real world or home or not.

I watched the movie Inception last evening and now realize that this 2010 movie starring Leonard DiCaprio is a quest tale. In it the hero and his helpers must leave reality to decend into levels of dream worlds, to try to plant a thought in a man’s mind. It is a great challenge that hardly anyone has ever accomplished. Another thread of the story has parallels to the Greek legend where the harp player Orpheus decends into the underworld to regain his wife Eurydice from Hades. In Inception, the hero cannot get his wife out of his dreams. He is plagued by guilt that he may have been responsible for her loss of reality and her suicide. He must decend into a limbo of dreams to try to recover her. In the end, he must make a decision of whether to return to the real world or stay with her forever in the world they created in “limbo.”


About KLevenson

I am Teacher Librarian at Piedmont High School in the San Francisco East Bay. I am a part time reference Librarian I for the San Francisco Public Library. I have a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State and a Teacher Librarian credential in addition to my teaching credential in Science. My first MA was from Harvard in Archaeology. My students teach me something new every time I am with them!
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