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Gwenn Joyaux abstract


The hero’s journey has led the writing process for character driven stories since Aristotle’s Poetics. This dissertation explores the hero’s journey according to Christopher Vogler’s adaptation of Joseph Campbell’s myth analysis, focusing on what propels the hero to go in a life risking journey and what are the main steps and factors involved in the process. Furthermore, it elaborates on possible alternatives for this journey outlined by authors that are concerned with its limitations when it comes to female heroes, which leads to delving into the construction of female characters based not in archetypes but in relation to their social context and cultural expectations.

The aim of this academic paper is to examine the current findings in connection with the writing of strong female characters. By confirming the female hero is a subject who desires, this research intends to provide a reasonable understanding of how female characters drive the story forward, especially highlighting the ways in which their characterization can be appealing, empathetic, deep and complex when they are liberated from traditional stereotypes. To illustrate this, an analysis of Lucía Puenzo’s films is conducted from a cognitive perspective. Reflecting on key scenes with the investigative help of Victoria Lynn Schmidt’s feminine journey and Helen Jacey’s Role Choices, it is hypothesized that the decisions made by the writer/director concerning her female characters are connected with an understanding to emphasize the lineaments that grant identifying them as complex leading characters.

The results of the study and analysis are presented with a conviction that they can be useful in designing the features of female characters during the writing process of a screenplay.