Black Swan Analysis

2410 words 10 pages
Black Swan and The Hero’s Journey

Joseph Campbell’s mono-myth, as first presented in his book A Hero with a
Thousand Faces, is perhaps not a storytelling model that one would immediately associate with the film Black Swan. Darren Aronofsky’s thriller set in the world of New
York City Ballet is not a prototypical hero’s journey, mostly because it simply doesn’t involve a physical journey into an unknown land. However, as we further examine the structure imposed by writers Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz, and John McLaughlin, we can find many of the plot points present in the hero’s journey also present in Black Swan.
The journey is clear, as is the transition into an unknown land; the key difference being that the character’s journey
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She has been assigned the role of the Swan Queen, and she has been pushed and provoked by Leroy, and now, she is consciously deciding to take action, and she does so. As Vogler writes, “She is now committed to the journey and there’s no turning back” (18).
The next step in the hero’s journey is a broad one; it is what Vogler refers to as the Tests, Allies and Enemies stage in the journey. This typically encompasses a large portion of Act 2, and is intended to show the way “the hero naturally encounters new challenges and Tests, makes Allies and Enemies, and begins to learn the rules of the
Special World” (19). This stage occurs between pages 43 and 58 in Black Swan. In this section of the screenplay Nina’s primary tests are presented by Leroy, who was previously established as her mentor. In the rehearsal process, Leroy pushes and challenges Nina to further her transformation: “Nina, your Black Swan still looks no different than your White Swan. She’s just as…frigid” (43-46). Later in the rehearsal,
Leroy comes onto her in the empty studio and begins kissing and groping her. After forcing himself upon her, he pulls away and says, “That was me seducing you. It needs to be the other way around” (43-46B). Leroy is providing the obstacles for Nina to overcome in order to let go and transform and reach the ultimate end of her journey. The
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