the Hero's Quest

Elly Teman

in Birthing a Mother

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780520259638
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945852 | DOI:
the Hero's Quest

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The surrogate portrays herself as a mythic heroine who endures hardships on an arduous quest or journey according to a narrative structure that Frank terms “automythology”—a mythical tale of self-reinvention, of not just having survived the quest but of having been reborn. The surrogate's journey does not make her someone else; instead, it takes her inward on a path of self-discovery and deepened self-knowledge. This chapter does not ask why surrogates call on mythical elements in their stories or whether these myths are intrinsic to the human psyche. Instead, it uses the heroic pattern as a template to decipher the common mythic elements and form that the surrogates' narratives employ. It begins with the author's own retelling of the surrogate's “journey” in this light.

Keywords: surrogates; surrogacy; intended mothers; heroine; automythology

Chapter.  8152 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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