The Romance Spiral

The Romance Circle Spiral

The romance circle is common in all great epic stories. It starts out in childhood, then there is the threshold where the voyager leaves home for the first time, then the initiation, then the dedication to the quest, then the underworld, then the harrowing of Hell, then temptation, and lastly recognition. However, I don’t think the circle ends there. Life is a series of romance circles forming one large romance spiral.

Throughout life we are faced with many “voyages” or “adventures” creating one long spiraling journey. For example, college itself has been somewhat of a quest. You could analogize the process of applying to school, going to school, and graduating from school to Frodo’s own quest. Childhood instead would be high school and going to visit colleges would be leaving the threshold. Next, initiation would be acceptance to college and dedication to the quest is committing to a school. The next part I find rather comical where all of the classes and work throughout college are analogous to the underworld and the harrowing of Hell. Sometimes all of my work was a bit hellish. Temptation is all of the fun you have in college and your longing for the real world. Finally, recognition is equivalent to graduation where you gain recognition for all of your hard work.

Your life doesn’t end when you finish college (even though it feels like it). Therefore, instead of the circle ending there, rather it repeats itself and spirals into a long and great epic.

Molly Steckler

 

Why I love Star Wars (or, John Williams is the Man)

Originally, I thought I might just write that as my title, and then not talk about Star Wars at all (huzzah for in-jokes) but then I realized that you can relate Star Wars to anything, and therefore I can write about Star Wars for this topic.

I first watched A New Hope when I was really young–in fact, we still have the old VHS tapes from when Lucas released the new-and-improved versions of the original trilogy (you know, with the Jawa falling off the  Ronto and the more-crowded cantina and Han shooting second). I think it might have been those first few viewings of that galaxy far, far away that turned me into not only a fan of SciFi, but of adventure–particularly quest romances.  I devoured old myths and fantasy/sci-fi novels as I grew up, never realizing that these stories  had a lot of the same traits until I read Eragon (caution: spoilers ahead!). When Eragon finds out that the right-hand man of evil, Morzan, is his father, all I could think of was Luke and Vader on Cloud City. The light bulb flickered on, and after that,  I really dove in, looking up Hero of a Thousand Faces and just about everything else Joseph Campbell wrote, comparing legends and myths from various civilizations and, of course, writing my own stories as well. Call it escapism, a hobby, an antisocial activity–whatever you like. You’ll still have to admit that there’s something in Star Wars (and in any quest romance) that makes you want to be a part of it.

Quests are a part of life. Most have meaning only for you, but they’re still there. Whether you’re walking across campus to find a professor’s office or writing a paper or applying to college, you’re on a mission–a quest, in other words. What Star Wars gives us is a series of quests that have more meaning than a paper or a long walk. Star Wars does combine the best of adventure, romance, mysticism, science, and unexpected plot turns, but what really makes it special are the quests the story focuses on. Luke, a farm boy longing to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Jedi; Leia, the princess, bravely leading a rebellion against an evil Empire; and Han, the scoundrel, just out to keep his neck intact and his wallet full of credits at the end of the day. The success or failure of their quests, unlike your paper, matter to everyone around them. If the Rebel Alliance succeeds, the course of history changes drastically, and thousands of worlds will be freed from Imperial tyranny. Or, the Empire could crush them and then extend the grip of the Dark Side even further. Everything (almost literally; the Empire can blow up planets, you know!) hangs in the balance of their quests. Lives, planets, the balance of the Force–it all depends on them. Your paper, on the other hand, makes up a fraction of one of your many grades, which in ten or twenty years you will not even remember.

Just in case you’re not convinced, watch this, and just try to tell me it’s not awesome:

Remember: the Force will be with you, always.

Dacia

Edit: I completely forgot to cite the video. Thanks Prof. Hall 😀

Moosebutter, comp. Star Wars An A Capella Tribute to John Williams. Perfs. Corey Vidal. 2002.