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Commonalities and differences between Chinese and Western hero Narratives ― focusing on Shennong: Taste of Illusion and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

  • The Journal of Study on Language and Culture of Korea and China
  • Abbr : JSLCKC
  • 2024, (72), pp.115-151
  • DOI : 10.16874/jslckc.2024..72.006
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Study on Chinese Languge and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Received : April 10, 2024
  • Accepted : May 20, 2024
  • Published : May 31, 2024

Liu Minglei 1 Daegeun Lim 2

1한국외국어대학교 글로벌문화콘텐츠학과
2한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Heroic narratives are a universal cultural phenomenon, transcending both ancient and modern times, and crossing numerous cultural and geographical boundaries, reflecting the commonality of basic human life experiences and deep psychological needs. Drawing upon Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" framework, this study delves into the characteristics of Chinese hero narratives and compares them with their Western counterparts. To achieve this, the Chinese narrative “Shennong: Taste of Illusion”(2018), depicting the story of Shennong, is juxtaposed with the Western narrative “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”(1983). Through a comparative analysis of these narratives, commonalities and differences between Chinese and Western heroes are identified, thereby illuminating the distinctive features of Chinese hero narratives. While both Chinese and Western hero narratives exhibit a similar tendency in character development, Chinese narratives tend to accentuate the extraordinary courage of heroes and the moral elevation of ‘sacrifice’ within a collectivist value system.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.