This chapter presents an excerpt from John G. Cawelti’s Adventure, Mystery, Romance: Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture (1977). It distinguishes between the two general adventure patterns of the superhero and the ordinary hero. It discusses how specific adventure formulas can be categorized according to the location and nature of the hero’s adventures. These vary considerably from culture to culture, presumably in relation to those activities that different periods and cultures see as embodying a combination of danger, significance, and interest.
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