Mythology · Writing

The Heroine’s Journey: Call to Adventure

We’ve met our heroine in her Ordinary World and discovered she is ready for a change. Now comes the Call to Adventure. The heroine experiences a challenge to the status quo that forces her to adapt. She may recognise the desolate state of her current life and awaken to a sense of meaninglessness or emptiness. This means that she doesn’t know who she really is, or that her true self isn’t recognised by those around her.

There may also be an act of destructiveness as she tries to break free. A chance of freedom may arise. The heroine wants to move out of the apparent safety of the ordinary world into the world of spirit and adventure to find more of life. But things are rarely that simple.

Mrs Reed a.k.a. 'the wicked stepmother'
Mrs Reed a.k.a. ‘the wicked stepmother’

Jane Eyre’s Call to Adventure

Mrs Reed has had enough of Jane’s attitude so she has called Mr Brocklehurst to deal with her. Mr Brocklehurst runs Lowood School for Girls. He tries to intimidate Jane into behaving herself but she refuses to be cowed and sasses him. Mrs Reed arranges for Jane to attend Lowood and warns Mr Brocklehurst that she is deceitful. Jane is having none of this and has a massive go at her aunt, telling her she is not a liar. Her dead parents and God are watching and see everything that happens. She tells Mrs Reed she will be judged for the way she has treated her orphan niece.

Later, through a foreboding mist, Jane is taken to the school.

So Jane has recognised her desolate state but is powerless against the forces arrayed against her. She calls on God and her dead parents as her witnesses. She wants to break free but can’t fight these adults who have control of her life. She will escape from the torment of living with her cruel aunt, but what awaits her at Lowood school?

Next: Jane Eyre Refuses the Call

Image: Focus Features