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Unit 2: The Archetypes

"The Archetypes" by Christopher Vogler & The Wizard of Oz

Prof Johnson

on 15 February 2018

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Transcript of Unit 2: The Archetypes

ENGL 312
R. as W. across M.


Reading Discussion via The Wizard of Oz
Quick Summary of Important Points
Collect annotations & journal notes

TedTalk: "The Hidden Meaning in Kids' Movies" by Colin Stokes
Someone set your phone alarm for 4:00 p.m.

A Short Summary
Get out your annotated reading and journal notes.
Which Archetype Are You? OR: Quiz YOUR character!
Jump online and take this test as yourself or as a character you have created for a creative work. Google:

Free personality test, type descriptions, relationship

Once you've taken the test, jot down "who you are" and try to connect it to today's reading.
According to psychoanalyst Carl Jung, the word archetype refers to "ancient patterns of personality that are the shared heritage of the human race" (qtd. in Vogler).

While cultures and settings and circumstances may vary, (most) everyone around the world experiences love, bravery, fear, joy, loathing, jealousy, competition, crippling stasis, intellectual challenges, success, defeat, gratitude, etc.

Again: These emotions and situations have been experienced
by (almost) everyone.
The exception?
Archetypes are NOT fixed. A hero is not always a hero; a shadow figure is not always a shadow figure.

Instead, archetypes are "functions performed
by characters to achieve certain effects in a story." The archetypes "can be thought of as masks... needed to advance the story" (Vogler 24).
In service of the STORY, not themselves
In The Wizard of Oz, the initial appearance of The Lion does not demonstrate cowardice. If the Lion were a true coward, he would have stayed in the forest and not come out. Watch his personality shift from fearless to fearful:
Can you think of another moment in the film when The Lion wears a different mask?
The Archetypes as Facets
Another thing Vogler says in today's reading is that archetypes can serve to represent facets of the main character's personality.

A facet is one side of something many-sided. Like personalities. Complex.

For example...
(higher self) promotes change/new life
(old self) resists change/death
no emotion/emotion
In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy becomes aware that she must stop being a child (death of the old self) and become an adult (birth of the new self).
(Adult: Learn to handle problems.)

As such, this is a "Coming of Age" film and it launches Dorothy into an kind of identity crisis.
Archetypes serve to help a hero move through the STORY and CHANGE as a result of the story ACTION.
With that said, let's break into small group discussions.
Find the person(s) who had the same archetype as you.
For fun: discuss the "test" you took at the start of class. Which archetype are you? Or: Which archetype is your character?
Prepare to present the "dramatic function" of your assigned archetype and the "psychological function" of your archetype and who in Oz fits these characteristics.
When we regroup, I will draw an "archetype" and we will jot down the characteristics on the board. (Volunteer board writer?)

"The Hidden Meaning in Kids' Movies" by Colin Stokes (the talk is slightly outdated - 2012 - but I like what Stokes has to say about non-violent leadership)
Turn in your annotated reading
and journal notes.
Because I have just collected the annotated imitations from Marin's group, I will hand back materials next week.
Imitations are worth 10% of your course grade!
5 pts. = written imitations
5 pts. = workshop
Full transcript