The Hero’s Journey in Stories

The hero’s journey in The Matrix

The hero’s journey in The Matrix

THE hero’s journey can be viewed as a composite of two sorts of paths through the story world.

The one is an outer journey that contains the physical events that play out in this world. The other is an inner journey that motivates the hero’s actions.

Think of the inner journey as the path that takes the hero to a state of higher knowledge and self-awareness. Only when he has achieved this state will his outer actions be of sufficient quality to defeat the antagonist in the external world.

Defining the hero’s journey in The Matrix

In The Matrix, Neo’s love interest, Trinity, and his relationship with his friends, provide some of the most important reasons he embarks on his outer journey.

His goal is to defeat the antagonistic forces that keep humanity slumbering in a virtual world. That is his outer journey.

But in order to complete his outer journey successfully he has to undertake an inner journey that will culminate in the realisation that he is the only one capable of defeating agent Smith and the machines. This march to self awareness is a prerequisite for wielding the power he needs to achieve success.

His friendship with Morpheus and his crew, and his love for Trinity, therefore, are spurs to Neo’s outer journey.

Often, the inner and outer journeys intersect in one powerful scene. In The Matrix, Neo dies at the hands of agent Smith only to be brought back to life through Trinity’s love, symbolised by a kiss.


The inner journey provides the explanation for the hero’s actions that comprise his outer journey.

2 thoughts on “The Hero’s Journey in Stories

  1. Gerhard Pistorius

    Good post. Seems simple enough. It’s almost a chemical reaction – the outer journey effects the inner journey that in return determines the final out come of the outer journey . The Harry Potter Saga is a good example. Harry goes to Hogwarts to discover the side of him that was kept a secret from him all his life. It is here where he meets his friends who become his surrogate family. When Harry discoverers that he him self is part of the antagonist he becomes willing to sacrifice himself if it means a world without Voldemort . Another series I would highly recommend is the fifth and final season of Samurai Jack. ( The protagonist continues acts of self sacrifice ( placing others needs above his own) eventually leads him to the path of achieving his ultimate goal.

    In short : For a successful outer journey , the inner journey must be influenced by something ( or some one) the protagonist places above his own goals.


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