Adding to your observations, stories are a safe place within which to experience our deepest fears. This dovetails into Joseph Campbell territory, how stories evolved in cultures throughout the world as a way to prepare children as they grew up to face the challenges they would confront as adults. The Hero’s Journey has three movements: Separation — Initiation — Return. Check out that middle word: INITIATION. Stories helped prepare young people for the rigors of initiation into adulthood, often accompanied by them having to leave the tribe and do something adventurous, even frightening in order to be dubbed an adult. Well, stories told around the campfire night after night, year after year, tales of heroes and heroines confronting scary things is all part of preparing youngsters for the rigors of adulthood.
Here’s a thought: Imagine you are part of a tribe, it’s nighttime, and you, as an adult, are sitting there with other parents and children at the campfire. And you begin your story. “Once there was a family. And a monster. The thing is this: If you made a sound, the monster hunted and killed you.”
You can imagine AQP as a story to help prep people for the rigors of their initiation test: You have to learn how to be quiet, stealthy.
For the children, they experience the thrills and chills of the monster, but since it’s a story, it’s a safe environment in which to live out their fears.
So in this thread, we managed to corral Aristotle, J. Campbell, and monsters. Not bad!