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So, do I have this right? In the Hero's Journey, the hero must go to the inner cave (the womb) and fight the villain; the rebirth happens when the hero "dies" during the combat and is reborn when he leaves.

The "inner cave" is the womb?

Crawford Kilian

Yes, whether it's Room 101, or the cave where Huck and Tom spend time while the world thinks they're dead, or some situation in which the hero undergoes a real or symbolic death.

Of course, each writer may have his or her own approach to this, seeing the cave/womb as ironic, or ambiguous, or as completely irony-free as the return of Jesus after three days in the tomb.

Beth Fehlbaum

Wow! My 9th grade English teacher never told us about the vagina room in 1984!! ha ha ha
Beth Fehlbaum, author
Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse
Ch. 1 is online!

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