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Archetypes and Heroes: Fast and Furious . Feraco Myth to Science Fiction 17 September 2009. To Summarize Everything. Since we started the week, we’ve covered archetypal basics and studied the “plot” aspects of a hero’s journey Today, we’ll be focused on characters and symbolism

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Archetypes and Heroes: Fast and Furious

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Archetypes and heroes fast and furious l.jpg

Archetypes and Heroes: Fast and Furious

Feraco

Myth to Science Fiction

17 September 2009


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To Summarize Everything

  • Since we started the week, we’ve covered archetypal basics and studied the “plot” aspects of a hero’s journey

  • Today, we’ll be focused on characters and symbolism

  • You’ll need your partner for this part of the day’s activities!

  • Watch the examples – then find your own


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Character Archetypes

  • The Hero

    • A protagonist whose life consists of a series of adventures.

    • The circumstances of his birth are often unusual, and he’s often tended to by surrogate figures (guardians, relatives, animals) while growing up.

    • He will often need to leave his kingdom on an adventure while young, only to return to it upon reaching manhood.

    • Common characteristics include strength and integrity.

    • The hero will endure hardship, even risking his life for the collective good, and leaves the familiar to enter an unfamiliar and challenging world (or to walk an unfamiliar and challenging road).


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Character Archetypes

  • Young Man from the Provinces

    • The hero returns to his home or a place connected to his heritage; he’s now a stranger whose outsider status allows him to see new problems and new solutions

  • The Initiates

    • Young heroes or heroines who must go through some training and ceremony before undertaking their quest


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Character Archetypes

  • Mentor

    • An older, wiser teacher to the initiates who often acts as a paternal figure. He gives the heroes gifts (weapons, food, information, magic) and serves as a role model or heroic conscience

  • Mentor-Pupil Relationship

    • The Mentor must now teach the hero the skills necessary for surviving the quest ahead


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Character Archetypes

  • The Threshold Guardian

    • Tests the hero’s courage and worthiness to begin the journey

  • Hunting Group of Companions

    • These are loyal companions willing to face hardship and ordeal in order to stay together

    • Similar to the Loyal Retainers, whose duties are to reflect the power and nobility of the hero


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Character Archetypes

  • The Friendly Beast

    • An animal companion showing that nature is on the hero’s side

  • The Devil Figure

    • This character is evil incarnate

  • The Evil Figure with the Ultimately Good Heart

    • A devil figure, but one with the potential for redemption or goodness. This person is usually saved by the hero’s love


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Other Character Archetypes

  • Father-Son Conflict

    • In this relationship, the tension is built due to separation from childhood or some other source when the two meet as men

  • The Shadow

    • A worthy opponent with whom the hero must struggle in a fight to the end, and who must be destroyed or neutralized

    • The Shadow can represent the darker side of the hero’s own psyche

  • The Creature of Nightmares

    • A monster usually summoned from the deepest, darkest part of the human psyche to threaten the lives of the hero and his followers

    • Oftentimes it is a perversion or desecration of the human body

  • The Scapegoat

    • An animal – or, more frequently, a human – whose death in a public ceremony is supposed to remove some degree of sin from a community

    • They are often more powerful in death than in life


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Other Character Archetypes

  • The Outcast

    • A character banished from a social group for some real or imagined crime against his fellow man, usually destined to wander from place to place

  • The Platonic Ideal

    • A woman who is a source of inspiration to the hero, who has an intellectual rather than physical attraction to her

  • Damsel in Distress

    • A vulnerable woman who needs to be rescued by the hero; she is often used as bait in a trap

  • The Earth Mother

    • Symbolic of fruition, abundance, and fertility, this character traditionally offers spiritual and emotional nourishment to those with whom she comes in contact


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Other Character Archetypes

  • The Temptress or Black Goddess

    • Characterized by sensuous beauty, this woman is one to whom the protagonist is physically attracted and who ultimately brings about his downfall (i.e. witches, vampires, etc.)

  • White Goddess

    • Good, beautiful maiden, usually blond in Western myth, and may make an ideal marriage partner; often has religious or intellectual overtones

  • The Unfaithful Wife

    • A woman married to a man she sees as dull or distant and is attracted to more virile or interesting men

  • Star-Crossed Lovers

    • Two characters engaged in a love affair fated to end tragically for one or both due to the disapproval of society, friends, family, or some tragic situation


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Symbolic Archetypes

  • Light vs. Darkness

    • Light usually suggests hope, renewal, or intellectual illumination; darkness implies the unknown, ignorance, or despair

  • Innate Wisdom vs. Educated Stupidity

    • Some characters exhibit wisdom and understanding of situations instinctively as opposed to those supposedly in charge

    • Loyal retainers often exhibit this wisdom as they accompany the hero on the journey

  • Supernatural Intervention

    • Spiritual being intervene on the hero’s behalf – and sometimes against him


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Symbolic Archetypes

  • Fire and Ice

    • Fire represents knowledge, light, life, and rebirth, while ice represents ignorance, darkness, sterility, and death (think desert)

  • Nature vs. Mechanistic World

    • Nature is good; technology is evil. Enough said.

  • The Threshold

    • Gateway to a new world which the hero must enter to change and grow

  • The Underworld

    • A place of death or metaphorically an encounter with the dark side of the self

    • Entering an underworld is a form of facing one’s fear of death


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Symbolic Archetypes

  • Haven vs. Wilderness

    • Places of safety contrast sharply against a dangerous wilderness

    • Heroes are also often sheltered for a time to regain health and resources

  • Water vs. Desert

    • Because water is necessary for life and growth, it commonly appears as a birth symbol (i.e., baptism represents spiritual birth) and sign of purification.

    • This goes for water in its many forms – rain, oceans, rivers, etc.

    • The desert, by virtue of its barrenness, suggests the opposite; death, infertility, hopelessness, degeneration, and loss

  • Heaven vs. Hell

    • Both represent places (above the stars and beneath the world) that ancient Man could not explore; traditionally, humans tend to associate the parts of the universe that seem off-limits to them with the dwelling places of the gods or natural forces they believe govern their world

    • The gods live in the skies and atop impossibly high mountains; demons lurk in the shadows of the world’s bowels


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Symbolic Archetypes

  • The Crossroads

    • A place or time of decision when a realization is made and change or penance results

  • The Maze

    • A puzzling dilemma or great source of uncertainty/confusion, search for a dangerous monster (inside or outside), or a journey into the heart of darkness

  • The Castle

    • A stronghold of safety – a fortress – that may be enchanted…or bewitched. Often contains treasure, warriors, or princesses

  • The Tower

    • A stronghold of evil that often represents the isolation of the self

  • The Magic Weapon

    • The weapon the hero needs in order to complete his quest


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Symbolic Archetypes

  • The Whirlpool

    • Symbolizes the destructive power of nature or fate

  • Fog

    • Symbolizes uncertainty

  • Numbers

    • 3, for example, represents light, spiritual awareness, unity (ex. Holy Trinity), and masculinity embodied

    • 4 is associated with the life cycle, four seasons, earth, nature/elements, and femininity embodied

    • 7 is the most potent of all symbolic numbers; it signifies the union of 3 and 4, the completion of a cycle, and the attainment of perfect order (also a religious symbol)


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Blood

Sacrifice

Excitement

Energy

Passion

Desire

Speed

Strength

Power

Heat

Love

Aggression

Danger

Fire

Disorder

War

Violence

Aggression

Intensity


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Enlightenment

Wisdom

Joy

Happiness

Optimism

Idealism

Imagination

Hope

Sunshine

Summer

Gold

Philosophy

Dishonesty

Cowardice

Betrayal

Jealousy

Covetousness

Deceit

Illness

Hazard


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Optimism

Peace

Tranquility

Stability

Harmony

Unity

Trust

Truth

Confidence

Conservatism

Security

Purity

Cleanliness

Order

Loyalty

Sky

Water

Cold

Technology

Depression


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Energy

Balance

Warmth

Enthusiasm

Vibrant

Expansive

Flamboyant

Demanding of attention


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Nature

Environment

Healthy

Good Luck

Renewal

Youth

Vigor

Growth

Spring

Generosity

Fertility

Jealousy

Inexperience

Envy

Misfortune

Hope


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Royalty

Spirituality

Nobility

Ceremony

Mystery

Transformation

Wisdom

Enlightenment

Cruelty

Arrogance

Mourning


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Security

Reliability

Intelligence

Staid

Modesty

Dignity

Maturity

Solid

Conservative

Practical

Old age

Sadness

Boring


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Earth

Hearth

Home

Outdoors

Reliability

Comfort

Endurance

Stability

Simplicity

Comfort


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Light

Reverence

Purity

Timelessness

Simplicity

Peace

Humility

Precision

Innocence

Youth

Birth

Supernatural

Winter

Snow

Goodness

Sterility

Marriage (Western cultures)

Death (Eastern cultures)

Cold

Clinical

Horror


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Darkness

Chaos

Mystery

Death

Evil

Melancholy

Wisdom

Power

Sexuality

Sophistication

Formality

Elegance

Wealth

Fear

Anonymity

Unhappiness

Depth

Style

Sadness

Remorse

Anger

Underground

Mourning

Death (Western cultures)


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