Every story follows the same general outline and skeleton. While the specific details of a story might make it unique, it always reverts back to the same shape as any other story. Every archetype states a “hero” (or a group there of), a learning stage for that hero, and displays the way that the hero has changed due to the events of the story. This structure is found in every movie, book, and television show know to mankind.
To prove that every archetype has the same structure, there will be three unique stories that will be used: The Three Little Pigs, Spiderman, and The Walking dead (TWD).
In these archetypes there is clearly a protagonist(s) that is stated from the beginning. The pigs all begin their tale with a shot of each of them building their houses out of the different materials. They are displaying their daily lives, which is there same idea as Rick from TWD patrolling as a cop or Peters Parker living his normal high school life.
All of these characters are considered to be in a comfortable state, one that they are used to being in. They are not being challenged or conflicted in any ways. It is also shown that they’re all trying to achieve something. Rick is trying to stop a shootout, while the pigs want their houses, and Peter is just trying to survive high school. Everyone is in a state of need and want at this point of an archetype. They haven’t quite crossed the threshold of the “unfamiliar situation”.
The “heroes” are simply presented and their interests are known to the audience.
Once the characters are displayed, the next step in the skeleton that they must follow is how the hero(s) cross into a state of uncertainty. Sometimes the is an actual world, or a it could be a different situation, or it may even be all in their mind. No matter what though, it is made clear to the audience that the hero is unfamiliar with the predicament. In The Walking Dead, Rick is shot and put into a coma, which leads to him being met with a world of zombies. Rick is not used to the new scenery and has to adjust accordingly to survive. Peter’s story is the same idea. He has learned that he has gained superpowers and his body has become ripped. While Rick’s world literally changed, Peter’s “world” changed in the way that his abilities are much greater and must also be able to use his new skills. The heroes’ worlds and ideals are changed by some outside force that is above their control, and it is their job to figure out what to do about it.
The heroes have gone through the major changes that happen in their unique archetype, now it is time for them to see these changes and adjust to them. Every story describes the main character(s) as going through an event that they learn from. Sometimes they learn a valuable life lesson like the pigs, and sometimes you learn a literal skill like Rick. This is usually the overall idea of a story. The author tries to teach a valuable lesson to the audience through the hero. Usually their lesson is used in a situation. For example, Peter uses his newly mastered powers to defeat the green goblin and save the day, while Rick uses his new skills to survive among the living dead around him. The hero(s) has/have changed and adjusted to the new world.
The same structure is found in every archetype. They all have a hero, an unfamiliar situation to put the hero in, and a lesson that the hero learned from the change. There might be different variations to stories, but they always follow the same guidelines. This structure shows that every story has the same idea in the long run.