ARCHETYPES A handy tool for interpreting literature.
Word analysis: ARCHETYPE Greek word roots: –arkhe (first, original) –typos (type, model) What, then, does “archetype” mean?
Archetypes: the basics generic, idealized model of a particular concept--an “essence” patterns (esp. in literature) that cross time, culture, language. Universally recognizable
Archetypes: Concept History Carl G. Jung (c. 1919), Swiss psychologist “The Collective Unconscious” –DNA of the psyche is composed of archetypes Humans have common psychological predispositions. Archetypes, said Jung, reveal symbolic themes that exist across cultures.
Say hello to Mr. Jung As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. It may even be assumed that just as the unconscious affects us, so the increase in our consciousness affects the unconscious. Memories, Dreams,Reflections
Symbolic Archetypes Light vs. Darkness Water vs. Desert Heaven vs. Hell Good vs. Evil Innocence vs. Experience Tradition vs. Change For all: note polarities
Situational Archetypes The Quest The Task The Initiation The Journey The Fall Death and Rebirth Nature vs. Mechanistic World The Perpetual Wound The Ritual The Magic Weapon
Character Archetypes The Hero The Mentor Friendly Beast The Devil Figure The Scapegoat The Outcast The Trickster The Child The Earth Mother The Temptress The Ideal Woman The Unfaithful Wife Damsel in Distress Star-Crossed Lovers
Color Archetypes Symbolic nature of color is fairly obvious –Black: evil, emptiness, mystery –Red: passion, sin, blood, death, evil Try it out, and for each name an example. –Green –White –Gold –Red
YOUR HOMEWORK Find an example of an archetype. Write a paragraph that explains the archetype, and how it contributes to the meaning of its context. Search: –Children’s stories (Little Red Riding Hood, anyone?) –Film & TV –Advertisements –Books & comics If possible, bring in copy to share.