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Geller s sensational sophomores fall 2013

Geller’s Sensational Sophomores

Fall 2013

Archetypes Essay

Your task
Your Task

In an MLA-formatted essay of at least five paragraphs, you will be analyzing three archetypes (one from each broad category—character, image/symbol, and situation) that play a significant role in a book, movie, or video game of your choice.

Examples from each category
Examples from each category



  • Hero

  • Sage/mentor/wise old man

  • Threshold guardian

  • Villain

  • Monster

  • Damsel in distress

  • Rebel/cowboy

  • Sidekick

  • Childlike innocent

  • Task

  • Quest

  • Coming of Age

  • Loss of Innocence


  • Numbers

  • Colors

  • Shapes

  • Animals

  • Light and dark

  • Elements

Introduction grab your reader s attention
Introduction: Grab your reader’s attention!

  • Quote with explanation (QUOTES SHOULD STAND ALONE)

  • Vivid description

  • Surprising fact

  • Dramatic moment

  • Story/anecdote

  • NEVER say, “in this essay I am going to talk about…” or anything similar. Use third person and avoid self-reference.


  • Define “archetype”

  • Brief plot summary; T.A.G.

  • For movies, use director’s name; for video games, use software company or developer

  • THESIS: The focus of your paper in one sentence. Should include the three archetypes to be analyzed and a very brief explanation of their importance.

Body paragraphs
Body Paragraphs

  • One for each archetype

  • CD: specific example that proves a particular character, image, or situation represents the archetype

  • CMs: Discuss how the example you provided fits the definition of the archetype.

Conclusion so what
Conclusion: SO WHAT?

  • Tie it all together

  • What can we learn from this?

  • Why does it matter?

  • Reworded thesis; use words and phrases like thus, therefore, in short, as one can see, it is obvious, then.

  • Why are archetypes so omnipresent in literature and media?

  • What does it tell us about our world, society, the human psyche, etc. that we share so many universal symbols across cultures and genres?

Homework very important

  • Come prepared tomorrow with the following:

    • Know title, author/director/developer, and year of publication/release for your chosen novel/film/game.

    • Have three DIRECT QUOTES from your chosen text. If it from a book, include the page numbers. Ideally, these quotes should relate to the archetypes you identified today.

    • All of this should be written down or typed with the heading “Archetypes Prewriting Homework.”