Renée Silvus taught high school English for seventeen years, with an M.A. from the University of California at Irvine. In 2007 she left teaching to practice bodywork therapy and coaching. Renée offers a unique blend of perspectives as an educator, therapist, and small business owner. She holds facilitator training with the Boulder Integral Center and initiation in the Bharati lineage of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition. She currently offers coaching, courses, retreats, and workshops through her brand Luminaire. Read more at reneesilvus.com.
Why does this storyline continue to fascinate us? Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games. Same story, same cast of characters, different settings. The adventures and archetypes of the hero(ine) is our human experience, especially our search for meaning and purpose.
First is receiving the call and departure. After accepting the call, our heroes acquire help and face thresholds, both external and internal.
They are then tested with adventures. They encounter archetypes such as the monster, shapeshifter, meeting the goddess, and a descent into darkness.
Finally they cross more thresholds to return with a new role, often not welcome. The heroes have gifts to offer and must integrate all paths.
This presentation explores the rich terrain of the journey with art, film, literature, sacred texts, historical figures, and an engaging discussion integrating our own lives.
The tradition of the Western in literature and film continues to fascinate~ consider the excellence of recent television shows and films.
In the early days, the role of the hero is clear. Right is John Wayne looking competent in a saddle. Wrong is the dark, sullen guy who isn’t nice to anyone, especially women.
The Western becomes humorous and a little stale in the latter part of the 20th century, until 1992’s Unforgiven. What shift in culture or consciousness created this film and prompted the renewal of a genre? Consider the shifting in morality and likeability in the versions of 3:10 to Yuma from 1957 to 2007, which has a radically different ending. Consider how the sheriff in No Country for Old Men relinquishes his role as the hero, also 2007.
The Western mirrors our ideas about justice, the hero, villains, and the function of authority. Who decides what is just and by what criteria? Who gets to dispense it in the absence of authority? What if the authority or hero figure is morally compromised?
Using film clips and discussion, this presentation traces the evolution of the Western through a cultural and ethical lens, perhaps revealing a little more about what we value.