Many stories told seem hold one very similar structure. This structure is known as the hero’s journey. This journey can be seen an movies like Harry Potter and The Matrix. What this structure shows is the type of story that people really like to hear. I mean, honestly, if people were tired of the use of the hero’s journey then it wouldn’t be used as much as it is still to this day.
The story Winters Bone is a fine example of a novel that uses this structure of the hero’s journey with Ree Dolly being the hero. I’ll use the following to explain her entire journey throughout the novel.
1. World of Common Day – At the beginning of the novel, we are presented with the world that Ree lives in and background about her. She grew up in the Ozarks in a broken family where she had to assert herself as the primary caregiver and provider due to abandonment by her father. Ree’s ordinary world is just day to day care for her family at home.
2. The Call to Adventure- Her call to adventure occurs when she is told that her father Jessup has placed a bond on her home and is required to make the court date or else her home will be taken. This makes clear of Ree’s goal in finding her father in order to keep her home.
3. Refusal of the Call
– Ree doesn’t really refuse her call in the novel because right after she is told of the situation, she says, “I’ll find him.” However her refusal could possibly be depicted as her want to leave an join the military because she sometimes questions why is she here versus there.
4.Meeting with the Mentor – Ree’s first meets with her mentor begins on chapter five where Ree meets with Uncle Teardrop. By basically telling her to leave the task alone, he is giving her preparation for how the other people she interrogates end up acting.
5.Crossing the First Threshold – Ree crosses this threshold when she first ventures into Hawkfall, visits Little Arthur, and is rejected to be spoken to by Thump Milton in chapter ten and eleven. This is where she first attempts to answer her call.
6. Tests, Allies and Enemies – Ree is tested by Blonde Milton when he takes her to the burnt down crank house and says that it is the last place Jessup was seen. She figures out that Jessup couldn’t have died there because the place was to overgrown. She therefore questions Blonde’s reasoning in bringing her there. “He never blew no lab before.” (pg. 75)
We are also presented with her ally, Gail, who greatly assists Ree on her journey. Ree lastly begins to learn that the people of Hawkfall, though they are blood, are against her and therefore are her enemies.
7. Approach to the Inmost Cave – Ree’s visit to Thump Milton’s house is the Inmost Cave because it is the most dangerous place that she could possibly be, and also is where the information of her fathers whereabouts are held.
8. The Supreme Ordeal – The Supreme ordeal occurs when Ree visits Thump Milton’s house for a second time (ch. 25, pg 130) and is then Beaten to a pulp. She possibly could’ve died had teardrop not stepped in.
9. Reward- Seizing the Prize – She is rewarded when, of all people, the women that beat her up take her to her father’s body and allow her to get proof that her father died.
10. The Road Back – She has to deal with finally coming to true grips that her father is dead. She then give her fathers hands to Baskin as proof. “Dad’s hands brought sorrow and a blessing.” (ch. 35 pg 186)
11. Threshold Crossing – “Resurrection” – Ree is resurrected in that she now knows that the ordeals of the town are so bad that she doesn’t want herself or her family to ever be associated with it again.
12. Return with Elixir – “Freedom to Live” – Ree gains the elixir of money from the bond placed on Jessup. Her knowledge and money gained from the Inmost cave gives her the idea of leaving with her family. This ensures that neither she nor her family will have to go through anything like that ever again. This is why she wants to buy “Wheels” pg. 193.