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Archetypes

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Kimmie James

on 12 May 2014

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Transcript of Archetypes

Have we become storytelling robots?
Kimberly James
WRIT 116
Firstly, What are archetypes?
"Core desire: to prove one's worth through courageous acts
Goal: expert mastery in a way that improves the world
Greatest fear: weakness, vulnerability, being a "chicken"
Strategy: to be as strong and competent as possible
Weakness: arrogance, always needing another battle to fight
Talent: competence and courage
The Hero is also known as: The warrior, crusader, rescuer, superhero, the soldier, dragon slayer, the winner and the team player."
Examples of Archetypes
The ruler
Examples of Archetypes
"Core desire: to find the truth.
Goal: to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world.
Biggest fear: being duped, misled—or ignorance.
Strategy: seeking out information and knowledge; self-reflection and understanding thought processes.
Weakness: can study details forever and never act.
Talent: wisdom, intelligence.
The Sage is also known as: The expert, scholar, detective, adviser, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative."
The idea of archetypes came from the philosopher Plato who called archetypes the collection of general characteristics of groups of individuals but each individual experiences them in their own way. However, Carl Jung defined archetypes as living organisms endowed with a generative force. These endowments include: being mothered, exploring the environment, social hierarchy, marriage, child-bearing, preparation for death and other events in between. This is experienced differently for each individual. Next are some examples of archetypes quoted from Carl Goldman's web page on 12 common archetypes.
Examples of Archetypes
The definition of an archetype according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is: "In Jungian psychology, an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from past collective experience and present in the individual unconscious."
The Hero
The Sage
The Jester
Examples of Archetypes
"Core desire: to live in the moment with full enjoyment
Goal: to have a great time and lighten up the world
Greatest fear: being bored or boring others
Strategy: play, make jokes, be funny
Weakness: frivolity, wasting time
Talent: joy
The Jester is also known as: The fool, trickster, joker, practical joker or comedian."
In the article,
Using Picture Books to Provide Archetypes to Young Boys: Extending the Ideas of William Brozo
by Debby Zambo talks about how she used picture books to install positive male archetypes into young boys as well as creating a love of reading. In this article, she includes a small table of ten or so archetypes that would be beneficial for a young boy's character and titles of books that might help a child envision themselves with this archetype. Other key things that Zambo talks about is the selection of the books as well as the classroom environment in which the child will be reading in. The most effective way to do this is by creating a space that is only for boys and one only for girls and including books that target their archetypes.
Examples in literature: Picture books
Mr. Lincoln's way
Examples of zambo's research
The first boy that Zambo studied was a thrid grader named Robert (names are pseudonyms) who had anger and aggression problems. Robert was tall and husky, which he used in his favor to intimidate smaller boys. Robert had lots of potential in her eyes to be the King, who was a leader archetype. However, in the beginning Robert used intimidation, dominance, and was cruel to other children to achieve a leadership position. Seeing this Zambo chose the book
Mr. Lincoln's Way
for Robert. In the book, Mr. Lincoln is an African American principal of an elementary school and represents the King archetype. Gene is a young troubled boy who has a love of birds who is given the responsibility to care for the school's birds. He has to get past his racial hatred and does this with the help of Mr. Lincoln's composure and patience to help Gene overcome his misguided beliefs. Along with having him keep a journal, Zambo got Robert to start making friends and get an interest in reading books that contained King archetypes. He progressed throughout the year and with the help of future counseling, she believes that Robert will be able to become a leader like the King archetype.
Willy the wimp
Examples of Zambo's Research
David was the second child that Zambo worked with. He was a first grader who had a history of abuse and neglect from his parents. This made him very timid and would never speak up or ask for assistance when he was being bullied. He would always read
Willy the Wimp
for reading time. Willy the main character getting picked on grew up and learned not to be afraid of anyone. Zambo saw that David was struggling with things in his life and needed to find his inner warrior. He continued to read books with the warrior archetype and eventually a change came. A larger boy came and took David's markers, instead of retreating away from everyone he told Zambo the situation instead. Eventually, she predicts that David will be able to stand up for his reasons without assistance.
Examples in Literature: Novels
The author Shobha Ramaswamy discusses the use of archetypes in the trilogy or Lord of the Rings and the series of Harry Potter. Just a note to remember that the hero archetype is courage, wisdom, kindness, and willingness for self-sacrifice. And the other briefly discussed is the Wise Old Man or the Sage archetype, who represents guidance and wisdom.
In Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien uses two conflicting hero types in his story. The quest hero which is believed to be the hero of epics and have hidden powers which would be Aragorn. He is also believed to represent the Animus archetype which is the ideal man in a female's mind. To prove that he is kingly, he must go on a quest that will develop his skills as a warrior. Frodo is the other is hero archetype who owes his success to external forces not his own powers. Frodo, like most heroes, is an orphan and after he gets the ring from Bilbo, he has to go into hiding from a tyrant. Gandalf's relationship to Frodo is that of a wise old man or mentor, which also follows the lines of another archetype. The chosen one and the one who needs to defeat evil is also used to describe Frodo. Gandalf is the wise old man archetype with the long white beard visual as well and described as the friendly guardian spirit. The hero generally turns to this archetype with challenged with a dangerous task and is in need of advice and wisdom.
Lord of the Rings
The hero archetype in the series by J.K. Rowling is Harry Potter. He is also an orphan who wears the scar on his forehead to show that good defeated evil as well. However, he is shown as the normal school boy in British literature. He is not too intelligent or aggressive yet his leadership skills still shine through. He is also oppressed by those around him, such as being locked up in a cupboard by his aunt and uncle. Harry is also unaware of his fame in the wizarding world and his the hidden prince stereotype. And because of that tiny little scar he is also known as the chosen one who is to triumph over evil. Potter also is willing to sacrifice his life against an antagonist who will do anything but die. Dumbledore is the character who represents the wise old man, with the description on the long white beard and flowing robes just as Gandalf is. He comes to save Harry from the oppressive Dursley home and bring him into a world where he has privilege. Harry seeks Dumbledore whenever he is in need of guidance and is sent on quests without saying it outright. And even in death, Dumbledore still leads Harry to the path of freedom from Voldemort. Dumbledore's death also fits in the archetype of leaving right before the last battle of good over evil.
Harry Potter
"Core desire: control
Goal: create a prosperous, successful family or community
Strategy: exercise power
Greatest fear: chaos, being overthrown
Weakness: being authoritarian, unable to delegate
Talent: responsibility, leadership
The Ruler is also known as: The boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, role model, manager or administrator."
references
"Definition of Archetype." Credo. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2011. McIntyre Library. Web. 8 May 2014. <http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/hmdictenglang/archetype/0?searchId=ed0c5ea0-d6cc-11e3-9f77-12c1d36507ee&result=0>.
Calvin College openURL resolver

Goldmen, Carl. "The 12 Common Archetypes." Soul Craft. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. <http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html>

Peterson, Deb. "The Archetypes of the Hero's Journey." About.com. N.p., 2014. Web. 7 May 2014. <http://adulted.about.com/od/howtos/a/archetypes.htm>.

Ramaswamy, Shobha. "ARCHETYPES IN FANTASY FICTION: A STUDY OF J. R. R.TOLKIEN AND J. K. ROWLING." Language in India 14.1 (2014): 402+. EBSCO Host. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

Stevens, Anthony. Archetype A Natural History of the Self. London: Routledge : Taylor and Francis, 1982. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. McIntyre Library. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.

"Taking Carl to the Pictures." eBookBrowse.net. N.p., 7 Oct. 2006. Web. 6 May 2014. <http://ebookbrowsee.net/gdoc.php?id=235765658&url=7d188ef4fb23672fa11fca46a9de84dd>.

Zambo, Debby. "Using picture books to provide archetypes to young boys: extending the ideas of William Brozo: archetypes of masculinity found in picture books can be powerful teaching tools for young boys." Reading Teacher 61.2 (2007): 124. EBSCO Host. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.
On ebookbrowse.net I found an article about the archetypes of Batman Begins. This talks about Bruce Wayne being the hero archetype and Batman being the Shadow. The Shadow is believed to be in the unconscious and holds from repressed ideas, weakness, and instincts. Also described as the darker part of the psyche and can take many different forms. While in Star Wars, yet again the hero and mentor archetypes aline almost perfectly. However, note that they both also have a villain (or multiple) that also fulfill another archetype.
Examples in Media: Film
Bruce Wayne is the main character of the Batman series who represents the hero archetypes. Wayne, similarly to the others is orphaned at a young age. He goes on a quest to bring justice into the world. However the role of Batman would follow under the archetype of the shadow. Batman is the vision of all of Bruce Wayne's fear and uses his skills he learned while locked in a jail far away to fight crime. These have become instincts for him, to be in the suit and fight evil. The mentor position however is shared by two men, his butler, Alfred, and Lucius Fox, who works for Wayne. Both men advise Wayne as himself or as Batman making the mentor in this situation.
Batman Begins
Similarly again, the hero in Star Wars is Luke Skywalker who begins his life as an orphan. His father fallen, believed to be dead, and his mother who died after giving birth. The fact he had a twin sister is not known to him at this time. So he was raised by his uncle until the day came when Luke meets Obi Won Kenobi and learns a little about his father Anakin. However when he returns to his uncle's he finds them murdered by stormtroopers. It is then that Luke wishes to join Obi Won and become a Jedi Knight. This begins his journey of becoming a Jedi and fighting Darth Vader and destroying the Death Star. Along the way Obi Won Kenobi is considered his mentor. He teaches him everything he can to become a Jedi and influences him the most.
Star wars
The basis of the hero's journey
Storytellers today all seem to have one thing in common: the main character's background. This is suggested by the fact that most heroes have to go on a journey that will force the hero to have characteristics such as self sacrifice or courage, and then proceed on a right of passage. However, many characters are based on archetypes that were described by Carl Jung, which are a basis for personalities of the human race. These archetypes have been going around for centuries in all cultures and are believed to be part of the human unconscious. It can be found in most forms of storytelling as well. So have we lost all creativeness when it comes to the character's background when writing books and movie scripts?
Now that the definition of what archetypes are has been discussed, how does this affect the storytellers? All storytellers follow a similar background story with the characters. This can have beneficial results if many books or films have similar character backgrounds. In the article written by a teacher, she uses archetypes in picture books to help young boys learn positive personality characteristics from multiple stories. The storytellers can also be presenting a story that the intended audience will enjoy. However, if it is so common to use the same character archetypes, wouldn't the story always be the same? Until these stories' main characters are aligned in a row, you never really notice the similarities between them all.
Secondly, How are these Archetypes presented?
Have we become Storytelling robots?
Seeing four different stories aligned so closely with two main characters from the plots bring up results are not unique. The heroes are young, in this case, male, orphaned, and must go on a journey for a right of passage. This involves battles, courage, and self sacrifice. A mentor who is a common character as well, has the same job and even look the same being old, in this case, male again, old and with a white beard. Although the way they are executed is different, does this mean that all the stories written are presumably the same just in a different setting with different battles? Yet this is what readers enjoy. So are the storytellers just writing this because its what the readers want or is it because we as humans have no other way to structure stories? That all of our archetypes that we place characters into are part of a collective unconscious shared by all cultures? To be honest, I don't have an answer. But next time you read a book or watch a film, look for archetypes. You are bound to find them in every story.
http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html
http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html
http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html
http://archetypesexplained.com/2013/07/22/the-jester-archetype-strengths-and-weaknesses/
http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Lincolns-Way-Patricia-Polacco/dp/0399237542
http://www.amazon.com/Willy-Wimp-Anthony-Browne/dp/1406318744
http://bannedbooks.world.edu/2011/03/13/banned-book-awareness-lord-rings-jrr-tolkien/
http://books.google.com/books/about/Harry_Potter_and_the_Sorcerer_s_Stone.html?id=wrOQLV6xB-wC
http://www.mckellen.com/galleries/72.htm
http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/5-ways-disney-plans-to-expand-its-star-wars-brand.html/?a=viewall
http://www.taylormarsh.com/2013/08/ben-affleck-cast-as-new-batman/
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/batman_begins/
http://guardianlv.com/2014/04/star-wars-episode-vii-lupita-nyongo-to-play-ahsoka-tano/
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