A quest merely describes a journey where a hero is bestowed on whether in the support of others or unaccompanied throughout their expedition. Although a hero may seem to be admired by many, they live up to their actions as they endure tasks and are presented with antagonists in which their response to the situation can indeed cause death. A transformation can be profound for an individual who obtains the treasure that they were seeking. As Oliver Goldsmith once said, Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.
In this case, the novel Crispin The Cross of Lead by Avi portrays Crispins quest through heroic actions as seen in numerous circumstances. Likewise, in How to Read Literature Like a Professor: Revised Edition, Thomas C. Fosters usage of intertextuality, patterns and archetype allows the reader to build a deeper understanding of Crispins purpose in understanding society.
Heroism doesn’t always happen during a life-changing event but through small events that alter the course of the quest.
Through the course of text Astas son is depicted as a 13-year-old boy who is forced to make a break for it in which he flees Stromford and is left under the harsh reality of living under the ruling of John Aycliffe. As a result of his mothers death, he is left unable to walk alongside the other men in the village for he is constantly accused of a crime that he has not committed, prompting him to be declared Wolfs Head.
In distraught Astas son runs into the village priest seeking sanctuary in which he is told of his true name, Crispin, and is given his mothers cross of lead. Being that he is just a teenage boy, Crispin believed that it is impossible to lose much more than he already has, however, little did he know that he will be left with no family, possessions, or a place to live. The fact that Crispins journey has just begun proves that much more is yet to come in which Thomas C. Foster states, “That said, when a character hits the road, we should start to pay attention, just to see if, you know, something’s going on there”.
For the fear that his life is on the line, he simply ran away making his action unheroic. Although Crispin seemed to portray signs of cowardliness, his journey transforms into heroism as he is constantly forced to make life or death decisions. In the event that Crispin walked upon Bear who happens to take him in, they developed a close relationship. As their relationship grew stronger, Bear vowed to protect him under any circumstances in which Crispin was yet to be lead into the fortress of his enemies where he receives the chance to not only learn to save his own life but of his mentor. With Crispins observations, he was able to warn Bear of trouble in which he states, They were such as I had seen by the town walls, armor on their chests and rusty metal caps on their heads. Broadswords were in their hands. Daggers were at their hips (Avi 229).
Despite Bears orders, Crispin knows that he must warn his friend rather than protect himself by running and hiding. With this intention, Crispin has set his mind to do the right thing regardless of the consequences. As Bear was being informed an unfortunate event occurred which resulted in Bears capture by Aycliffe. With Bear being imprisoned Crispin is forced to make an immediate decision that requires him to figure out what being a hero really means to him. With Crispin making a life-changing decision he states, Frantic, but hardly knowing what to do-go to the aid of Bear or take care of myself-I hesitated. Guilt and fear engulfed me equally. Unable to abide by knowing what had happened, I climbed back up on the wall and looked into the garden (Avi 233).
In the end, Crispin like any other hero would put Bears life before his own which allowed the reader to conclude that Crispins journey indeed involved heroism. Crispin portraying the acts of a hero has a point of religion in which Albert Einstein speaks upon through the saying morality is of the highest importance – but for us, not for God. Although Crispin may seem to care about the thoughts of others, he truly has a passion for his religion in which this causes him to avoid being a menace to those around him.
Like many others, Crispin, had this belief that he had to survive the day rather than live it. England in the year 1377 was full of corruptions where the people were separated by class causing unequal privileges. Crispin being a teenage boy identifies himself through his social status, his faith, and the judgment of others specifically Bear. Foster specifically states, The devil, as the old saying goes, can quote Scripture. So can writers. Even those who aren’t religious or don’t live within the Judeo-Christian tradition may work something in from Job or Matthew or the Psalms (43).
Through this Foster portrays a message in which he explains that invoking the bible is not limited to certain beliefs. As for Crispin and many others the idea of religion allows them to seek their identity through faith. This concept is seen in Crispin as he keeps his cross of lead with him at all times as well as constant praying. Additionally Avi states, I kept asking myself if I felt different, if I was different. The answer was always yes, I was no longer nothing. Crispins faith in God created a shift in his behavior in which this forced him to unravel the truth as well as come to the realization that prayer will not always protect them when needed.