mediation, the connective incident

**This function brings the hero into the tale. Under the closest analysis, this function may be subdivided into components, but for our purposes this is not essential. The hero of the tale may be one of two types:

1. If a young girl is kidnapped, and disappears from the horizon of her father (and that of the listener), and if Ivan goes off in search of her, then the hero of the tale is Ivan and not the kidnapped girl. Heroes of this type may be termed seekers.

2. If a young girl or boy is seized or driven out, and the thread of the narrative is linked to his or her fate and not to those who remain behind, then the hero of the tale is the seized or banished boy or girl. There are no seekers in such tales. Heroes of this variety may be called victimized heroes.

3. Whether or not tales develop in the same manner with each type of hero will be apparent further on. There is no instance in our material in which a tale follows both seeker and victimized heroes. A moment of mediation is present in both cases. The significance of this moment lies in the fact that the hero's departure from home is caused by it.

1. A call for help is given, with the resultant dispatch of the hero. The call usually comes from the tsar and is accompanied by promises. 

2. The hero is dispatched directly. Dispatch is presented either in the form of a command or a request. In the former instance, it is sometimes accompanied by threats; in the latter, by promises. Sometimes both threats and promises are made. 

3. The hero is allowed to depart from home. In this instance the initiative for departure often comes from the hero himself, and not from a dispatcher. Parents bestow their blessing. The hero sometimes does not announce his real aims for leaving: he asks for permission to go out walking, etc., but in reality he is setting off for the struggle.

4. Misfortune is announced. A mother tells her son about the abduction of her daughter that took place before his birth. The son sets out in search of his sister, without having been asked to do so by his mother. More often, however, a story of misfortune does not come from parents, but rather from various old women or persons casually encountered, etc.

**These four preceding forms all refer to seeker-heroes. The forms following are directly related to the victimized hero. The structure of the tale demands that the hero leave home at any cost. If this is not accomplished by means of some form of villainy, then the tale employs the connective incident to this end.

5. The banished hero is transported away from home: The father takes his daughter, banished by her stepmother, to the forest. This form is quite interesting in many respects. Logically, the father's actions are not necessary. The daughter could go to the forest herself. But the tale demands parent-senders in the connective incident. It is possible to show that the form in question is a secondary formation, but this is outside the aim of a general morphology. One should take note of the fact that transportation is also employed in regard to a princess who is demanded by a dragon. In such cases she is taken to the seashore. However, in the latter instance a call for help is concurrently given. The course of action is determined by the call and not by transportation to the seashore. This explains why transportation in these instances cannot be attributed to the connective incident.

6. The hero condemned to death is secretly freed. A cook or an archer spares a young girl (or boy), frees her and instead of killing her, slays an animal in order to obtain its heart and liver as proof of the murder. 

7. A lament is Sung. This form is specific for murder (and is sung by a surviving brother, etc.); it is specific for bewitchment with banishment, and for substitution. The misfortune becomes known, thanks to this, and evokes counteraction.