Never Ending Story Essay, Research Paper
Fantastica s Endless Realm of Stories
Moo-oo-oon Child! (Ende 225) Screams Bastian. His hopes of this endless story to rid its endless entity has nothing but created a nightmare in his and Atreyu s world. From the Gnomics project of the mammoth-like Sphinxes to the rescue of the Child-like Empress to the Water of Life, Atreyu and Bastian are two separate characters who are parted by two different kingdoms but unknowingly pursue on strange adventures in the same settings. Not only do they live out tremendous and significant journeys but ironically have a comparable mission in which to save the life of the Child-like Empress, ruler and leader of Fantastica. Bastians peaceful character and Atreyu s determination sets The Neverending Story apart from the classic scene of one character playing the role of a hero without distributing the accomplishments between the other characters. This book represents a celebration of unity in which it is proven by Atreyu and Bastian who set the stage and begins what has to be begun. Bastian plays the role of a heroic human being in a human world reading nothing but a book called The Neverending Story while Atreyu characterizes an immortal hero living out struggles inside the book. Their separate worlds are furnished together to bring a united conclusion, but with the reality and truth of their past, they are again separated; but in a resolving mood. This coming together of reality and fiction associates with the reader s mind because it justifies and gives a reason to connect with The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. Thus, this book deserves to be a significant part of the canon because it deepens the realistic illusion that stories come from other stories, it is identical in many ways to the monomyth cycle (by Joseph Campbell), and finally it reminds the reader of the need of belonging and love.
This book employs the idea that stories come from other stories in that it draws the same parallels between each other. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende shows this concept by settings examples throughout the novel. Didn t you know that Fantastica is the land of stories? A story can be new and yet tell about olden times. The past comes into existence with the story. (Ende 235) The idea that stories come from other stories is issued by this quote as how Grogramman (a talking lion) explains. The land of Fantasia is made up of different stories, which are randomly created. Bastian recognizes this discovery about Fantasia and has a different view on it. Earlier in the novel, Bastian is given a gem called Auryn, a key, which keeps him alive through his struggles within the novel. You mean that I created it? (The Desert of Colors; Perilin, the Night Forest). Another extreme instance of this is said by a monkey Argax that Bastian meets toward the end of his journey.
And if you play it for a hundred years, or a thousand years or a hundred thousand,
the law of chances tells us that a poem will probably come out. And if you play it
forever, every possible poem and every possible story will have to come out. (Ende 328)
Obviously Argax explains that stories come out of other stories, from the book The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. This setting in which this quote is taken out of is during Bastian s journey through the City of Old Emperors. It s moody and dark environment shows the reader that all stories are not what they seem to be and can end up being created by accident or by chance and not because of it s true fate. Thus, The author Michael Ende clearly demonstrates that stories can come out of other stories either way, good or bad.
The Neverending Story contrasts with not a steep comparison to the monomyth cycle but one that is identical. The different expeditions in the novel by Michael Ende fit the blueprint of an original and controlled monomythic story. Firstly the heroes are for certain the main characters in the novel, Bastian Bulthazar Bux and Atreyu. This mythological adventure of the hero, Atreyu and Bastian undergo the process of: separation, initiation, return. As the nuclear unit of the monomyth cycle, this process is evident in the Neverending story. Atreyu is called upon to fulfil an adventure with a goal to find the child-like Empress a cure for her supposed sickness. He is separated from society (civilized world) as soon as he enters the Swamp of Sadness and the setting remains gloomy in the duration of his frightening journey. As the monomyth cycles states, Atreyu encounters many tests of strength, courage, and inner conscience. This series of tests are metaphorically expressed in Chapter Five: The Gnomics. Atreyu arrives in the company of the Gnomes and is explained the test of the gates that he needs to go through. He would need to pass through three gates in order to receive an answer to his question. The first gate: The Great Riddle gate illustrates the test of inner conscience.
The sphinxes shut their eyes for some travelers and let them through.
Because you mustn t suppose they let wise, brave, or good people through,
and keep the stupid, cowardly, and wicked out. Not a bit of it. (Ende 98)
The next gate is the Magic Mirror Gate, which provides a test of courage. This test bestows Atreyu s true image and character, which ends up being Bastian, the invisible reader of the Neverending Story. However, this test comes to be an easy one since Atreyu s true nature is more baffling than terrifying. What he saw was something quite unexpected, which wasn t the least bit terrifying, but which baffled him completely. (Ende 106) Resembling struggles and tests appear throughout Atreyu s amazing journey among Fantastica. He finally reaches the triumphant stage by receiving valuable information that to save the Empress from her sickness, a human being from the other world would have to give her a new name; then the kingdom of Fantastica would be renewed. (This refers to stories from other stories since Fantastica can be continuously renewed and be a slightly different kingdom than before.) And with the assistance of Falkor the luckdragon, Atreyu is able to accomplish his mission and safely fly back to the Empress. The cycle is born again when Bastian becomes part of the story in the second half of the book thus creating a new mission.
The Neverending Story also exemplifies and reminds the reader of basic needs (Maslow s Needs) focusing more on the need to Belong and Love. It is surprisingly introduced near the conclusion of the novel, which also becomes the key to Bastian s return (from the monomyth cycle). This comes to be the grande finale of the novel and finishes in a brilliant reunion of father and son, Bastian s father and Bastian himself. Michael Ende accomplishes this by using a metaphor of wishes to images of belonging needs. With the novel concluding, Bastian would need to think of three wishes to bring him back home. He uses these types of needs to accomplish this. His first wish was to be part of a group, this need was met by Bastian joining some pirates which he had too much of. This then led to the need of being loved. After receiving too much of affection he realizes that his third wish would be to hold the ability to love. Now you have found your last wish, she said finally. What you really and truly want it to love. (Ende 411) The wishes that Bastian makes restores his position in his own human world and he is re-united with his father who at the beginning had lost faith and trust in him. This brings the reader to an automatic relief and brings the book to a comedy-like conclusion, where everyone is united and the setting is a happy one.
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende perfectly draws the image of a successful novel because it s overall effect on the reader is intimate and it recognizes itself as a different novel from others especially using a metaphor of stories giving birth to other stories. Considered as a children s novel, it should be given a chance to prove itself in the realm of other such intelligent novels. The novel expands this idea that stories are a result of other stories, it resembles the monomyth cycle for a simplified and similar understanding of its complex aspects and it finally reminds the reader of belonging and loving needs. Thus, this novel by Michael Ende should be considered a major part of English literature because it clearly demonstrates an archetypal flare similarly to how a classic novel would furnish.