An adventure encompasses thrilling and occasionally perilous stories. The word "adventure" traces its origins to the French term "aventure," which denotes an individual's fate or destiny. It has been part of the English language since the Middle Ages. In literature, an adventure is typically associated with a narrative. An adventure story features a hero who embarks on various escapades or expeditions, including encounters with danger, problem-solving, journeys to unknown lands, and participation in battles or skirmishes.
Types of Adventure
Adventure stories come in various forms, including:
- Historical adventure
- National adventure
- Supernatural adventure
- Romantic adventure
- Fantasy adventure
- Sci-fi adventure
Elements of Adventure
An adventure story typically comprises six key elements:
- Protagonist or hero
- Quest to resolve a problem
- The problem itself
- An antagonist or opposing force
- Risks and challenges faced by the hero
- The hero's transformation or growth
Examples of Adventure in Literature
Example #1: The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
"We should have been badly off without the shelter of our tent, for the night proved as cold as the day had been hot, but we managed to sleep comfortably, everyone being thoroughly fatigued by the labors of the day..."
The opening lines of "The Swiss Family Robinson" depict the family's survival on an island, highlighting the hero's quest for shelter and resources. This sets the stage for their adventure.
Example #2: The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat
"So Humphrey continued to mow and make hay, while Edward and Jacob went out for venison..."
In "The Children of the New Forest," the children engage in various activities to survive in the forest, demonstrating their adventurous spirit and their efforts to overcome challenges.
Example #3: Harriet Martineau’s The Peasant and the Prince
"One fine afternoon in April, 1770, there was a good deal of bustle in the neighbourhood of the village of Saint Menehould..."
Harriet Martineau's work introduces the royal journey of the Queen and her reception in the city, foreshadowing the adventure involving the prince and the peasant.
Example #4: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
"He was a very silent man by custom. All day he hung round the cove or upon the cliffs with a brass telescope; all evening he sat in a corner of the parlour next the fire and drank rum and water very strong..."
In "Treasure Island," the hero's character and his pursuit of an elusive treasure are depicted, setting the stage for a thrilling adventure.
Functions of Adventure
Adventure stories serve to satisfy human curiosity for novelty and excitement. Readers often identify with the characters and find solace, enjoyment, and inspiration in their adventures. These narratives encourage individuals to explore their own quests and satisfy their adventurous spirits.