by Victor Villaseñor

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What are the twelve steps of the hero's journey in Macho! by Victor Villasenor?

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In the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell explores his thoughts on the myth of the hero. For Campbell, heroes are present in every culture, every class of people, and every part of the world and all share the journey of self-discovery. This is where the similarities with the literary work of Villaseñor's Macho! come into play.

Roberto, the main character in Macho!, embarks on a journey that will usher in his transition from a naïve Mexican boy to a mature norteño. The twelve steps of this hero’s journey begin with identifying that he wants to change his world and that of his family. He accepts the challenge of pursuing his dreams in the US from the mentor in the story. The story continues to evolve as Roberto finds out who both his friends and enemies are, and with each step of self-discovery, he begins to mature into the man that the north has forced him to be.

The twelve-step process escorts Roberto from a known world to an unknown world and back to a known world as a changed man. The story shadows him as he returns home accepting the reality of his world, his family, the things he can control, and the things that he cannot.


Campbell, J. (1949). The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Villasenor, V. (1991). Macho!. New York, NY; Simon & Schuster.

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