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The Motif of the Journey
Writers often use the plot device of a long and arduous journey to represent the journey of the main character towards self-knowledge and understanding.
This is often referred to as a quest.
The quester leaves the familiar for the unknown. The nature of the goal may not be clear at first and may only become fully apparent at the end of the quest.
The Hero's Journey in 5 Disney Movies
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Great novels featuring journeys