Archetypes on Parade There are a number of identifiable archetypes in literature, art and film spanning centuries. The following slides present some of the most easily recognizable archetypes in character, situation and symbol.
Some Archetypal Characters • Hero/Heroine • Sidekick/Helper • Villain • Wise Sage • Outcast • Oracle • Caring Mother/Earth Mother • Mad Scientist • Femme Fatale • “Don Juan” • Star-Crossed Lovers • Witch/Shrew • Underdog • Stern Father • Damsel in Distress
Situations • The task/trial • The journey • The quest • The loss of innocence • The initiation • Apocalypse/end of the world • Pursuit of revenge • Descent into the underworld/heavenly ascent • Searching for father • Damsel in distress • Banishment of the prince
Some Symbols/Colors/Situations • Water • Blood • Death/Birth/Rebirth • Ashes • Caverns • Fertility Symbols (male and female) • Fire • Rose • Snake • Feast • Ruined Tower • Fall from a Great Height
Archetypal Criticism Applying a Critical Lens
Archetypal Criticism • one of the most common forms of literary analysis • requires a little knowledge of the basics
What are archetypes? • focuses on patterns in a literary work that commonly occur in other works • include persistent images, figures, and story patterns • across diverse cultures • interested in certain myths and rituals that recur in a wide variety of culture
What is an archetype? • a pattern from which other, similar things can be developed • “original model” • many forms • Character types • Situations • symbols • colors
Carl Jung • Swiss psychiatrist • Began work with Freud • Both based on research on dream analysis
Carl Jung • believed that these archetypes existed in the collective unconscious • based on the fact that there are images, character types, settings and story patterns that existed across cultures • not directly knowable • a product of the shared experiences of our ancestors
Jungian Criticism: Jung theorized that all humans carry archetypes (universal images and patterns) in our individual and collective unconscious
Primordial and Universal • Jung believed that the collective unconscious and its contents are primordial. That is, we, as individuals, have these archetypal images ingrained in our understanding before we are born. • Jung also believed that these archetypes are universal, which is why they can be found all over the world and throughout history.
Archetypal Criticism • Archetypal criticism therefore seeks to identify and analyze the presence and variance of recognizable archetypes in works of literature. • These archetypes are said to be identifiable in a wide variety of works of literature, as well as myths, dreams and even ritualized modes of social behavior.
Jungian Quest: • Assumes that the monomyth of the Quest underlies archetypal images • Hero forced to leave comfortable surroundings and venture in an unfamiliar, new world filled with new challenges • Meet wise old man who helps out with guidance and advice • Barrier tests the fledgling hero (tends to separate familiar world from unfamiliar)
Jungian Quest (cont’d): • Adventures along the way – tests to prove the hero is worthy, training to prepare for final showdown • Ultimate showdown with father figure • Hero returns, ready to take his place as an adult, responsible member of society, often symbolized by marriage • Father (or mother) figure overthrown; hero takes the place of parent
Familiar world Threshold Land of adventure Jungian Criticism: Home Bestow wisdom Call (At first, the call is often refused) Guide Crossing Return Adventure Initiation
Familiar World (Being a Teenager) Unfamiliar World of Adventure (Adult Responsibilities, Pregnancy) ) The Hero’s Journey in Juno: Home: Juno is a high school student who feels conflicted about her feelings for Paulie Bleeker. Guide: The Convenience Store Clerk forces her to confront that her “Eggo is Preggo.” Bestow Wisdom:Juno concludes with the protagonist again traveling through the neighborhood, but this time happy and confident, able to express her love for Paulie. The Call: A Pregnancy Test Refusal of the Call: Juno considers abortion Accepting the Call: Juno decides to have the baby Return: Juno decides to give the baby to Vanessa Loring, and delivers the child. Confronting the “Villain”: Typically, the villain is notable for being similar to or completely different than the hero. Juno, a child thrust into the adult world, is betrayed by and learns to “overcome” Mark Loring, an adult who refuses to behave like one. Challenges: Juno faces many difficulties as she adjusts to the physical and social changes in her life. Initiation: Juno’s step mother sides with her and defends her from the ultrasound tech. Juno’s father has a genuine conversation with her where she is treated by an equal. Challenges: Juno continues to struggle with her ability to love and trust Paulie Bleeker.
Archetypal Critical Questions • What images, symbols, figures, are present that are present in other literary works? • What myths, dreams and even ritualized modes of social behavior are present?
ArchetypalMythological • Emphasizes common themes, characters, symbols • Variety of cultures • Repeated experience • Collective human race • Significance of symbols and religious allusions
Practice • In your table (pair) groups: • Complete an analysis of one of the following (your choice): • Any fairy tale or Disney movie • Star Wars • The Hunger Games • Harry Potter • Any other story on teacher approval. • Respond to the following: • List the main characters and what archetypal characters they correspond to from our list (above). • List the symbols, colors, or situations that are prominent in the story. • Map out (in detail; be thorough!!!) the Jungian Quest undertaken by the hero of the story.