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Word Count: 1,663
From Greek mythologys Hercules to the Americans Paul Bunyan myths perpetrating the quest can be found in all cultures and societies Stories of the mythic quest express knowledge that is complete and coherent1 thus the mythic quest exists to teach an idea or principle to its audience Quests can be identified by several distinct elements that occur in all myths of this type these characteristics are a hero the journey and the reward The hero is the central protagonist character generally a male who will attempt to complete the quest The journey is the series of obstacles that the hero must endure to achieve his goal It is the path upon which the hero must walk to complete in his quest It is on this journey that he will face challenges battle enemies or make allies who may assist him Upon successful completion of his journey the hero will expected receive a reward retribution for his struggles in the form of intellectual spiritual or material gain Through comparison of the novel Shoeless Joe which consists of Ray Kinsella quest to reunite himself with his deceased father and Jay Gatsbys quest for the American Dream in F Scott Fitzgeralds novel The Great Gatsby it is discovered that human existence is essentially a frivolous quest for idealistic dreams that rewards its heroes with unattainable achievements or failure Careful examination of the ambitions personal attributes and histories of both King Arthur and Jay Gatsby reveal that the hero can take on many different forms yet similarities will exist Each hero that embarks on a quest whether he be King Arthur or Jay Gatsby hopes to achieve a reward the goal of his quest The value of these rewards and there cost to the hero or others effected by the quest must be examined to help establish the validity of the quest In both the myth of the Holy Grail and The Great Gatsby very distinct central characters can
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