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would likely be remembered in British history books as Outlaws, not Heroes. In marketing, it is useful to realize that the negative pole of the Hero bleeds into the Outlaw, as the most primitive Hero is really about winning at all costs—a goal that is, often, hardly noble or pretty. It is also important to remember that in American culture, perhaps because this country began with a revolution, Heroes often have a slightly rebellious quality to them, and Outlaws—at least the ones people like—carry on the wilder, more rambunctious qualities of American life without actually undermining the society. The Hero, the Outlaw, and the Magician all take a stand against some limiting, restrictive, or harmful reality. The Hero (who is often seen as a Warrior) takes a great personal risk in order to defeat evil forces to protect society or sacred values. The Outlaw acts as a disruptive force, violating cultural norms and rules for the good of others (like Robin Hood), for adventure and personal gain (like Bonnie and Clyde), or out of desperate alienation (like Thelma and Louise). The Magician acts as a catalyst for social or institutional transformation or healing. In all three cases, the underlying desire is to take action and exert power. The underlying fear is of allowing life to just happen to you—of being a victim or a wimp. We live in an achievement-oriented society in which people are expected to take great risks and develop competence in order to contribute to the society (Hero), while technological advancements such as computers, the Internet, and genetic engineering bring magic into everyday life (Magician). At the same time, large numbers of people seem increasingly alienated to the point that they identify with outsiders if not actual Outlaws. So many people use or have used illegal drugs that it is now routine to ask presidential candidates about their drug use. In fact, it is enough for a candidate to affirm that he didn’t inhale or did not use drugs in recent years to confer a reasonable amount of respectability. Just listening to rap or hip-hop lyrics is enough to show that there is a strong strain of the Outlaw in African-American youth culture, which is now being adopted by white youth as well. Tattoos and body piercing are prevalent with young people of all ethnic groups. Both liberals and conservatives (especially those opposing abortion) practice civil disobedience—which is an Outlaw strategy for change. You might think of militia groups in Montana,

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype  

Mack, Margaret - Hero and Outlaw Archetype