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The Superhero Reader$
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Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, and Kent Worcester

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617038068

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617038068.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Literary Formulas

Literary Formulas

(p.78) Literary Formulas
The Superhero Reader

John G. Cawelti

University Press of Mississippi

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.

Keywords:   superheroes, superhero gender, adventure story, culture, adventure formulas

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