The heroic journey in “Outlander”: Tracing the mythic path

Sherri Sutton Davis, Fayetteville State University


This thesis based on Diana Gabaldon's Outlander examines the role of the hero and heroine as they follow the mythic structure presented by Joseph Campbell. The heroic adventure begins in 1945 with Claire Randall, a former combat nurse who is transported back in time to the seventeen hundreds after touching a rock formation, similar to Stonehenge, in Scotland. Without warning, Claire is thrust through the threshold passage of the eighteenth century to encounter the mystery and intrigue of a time rich in the influence of magic and myth. It is in this setting that the hero is revealed to Claire, and the heroic journey begins. The heroic structure presented here begins with the introduction of guides, the call to adventure represented by the presence of the herald, the heroic threshold passages, initiation, transformation, the union of the god and goddess, atonement with the father and the return home. Archetypes are identified based on the work of Carl Jung, in addition to mythic rituals based on Mircea Eliade's theories on the quest for paradise.

Subject Area

Literature|American literature

Recommended Citation

Davis, Sherri Sutton, "The heroic journey in “Outlander”: Tracing the mythic path" (2005). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI1449361.