Death of a Salesman and The Bell Jar.
Mythology defines the basis of literature today, while it has shaped writings of all kinds for thousands of years. The voyage of the hero is illustrated in a number of mythological works. Each step in the heroes journey, define an aspect of himself and his life. Campbell notes that mythology is still incorporated into our everyday lives. Often writers relate motifs and archetypes from mythology into short stories or novels, which help the reader to understand the similarities between mythology and modern day society. These classic literary works have common motifs and archetypes that are evident in ancient mythology. .
Esther and Biff travel through many aspects of the heroes quest. The shadow archetype thrives through each of these classic works of art. Esther and Biff create double personalities in which they do not know who to adhere to in situations and circumstances. Both want to please their fathers, even though one is just a fantasy. The shadow archetype reveals that in order to achieve enlightenment the two figures must intertwine together. .
The first step that they undergo in the heroes quest is the second step of Divine Sign. For both of the characters the divine sign is one that is negative at first and later on in their lives turn into a positive experience. Esther is traumatized by her father's death at such a young and pure age. "My mother hadn't let us go to the funeral because we were only children then, and he had died in the hospital, so the graveyard and even his death had always seemed unreal to me."(Plath 132). Esther has a life changing experience as a child. .
Biff also undergoes a wake up call at a young age. His life is grand and everyone loves him, until he finds out that his father is cheating on his mother. All of his dreams come crashing down before his very eyes. Biff shouts to his father, "You fake! You phony little fake! You fake!" (Death 203) This is also Biff's turning down point of his life.