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Archetype film analysis: Back To The Future

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Daniel Tsiu

on 18 May 2013

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Transcript of Archetype film analysis: Back To The Future

Archetypal Film Analysis
Robert Zemeckis George McFly
Hades Archetype Lorraine Baines
Aphrodite Archetype Jennifer Parker
Demeter Archetype Biff Tannen
Hermes Archetype -loves to play practical jokes
-hates to plan things ahead of time
-impulsive and reckless, without limits
-can't handle responsibility
-expert con-man
-hates authority figures
-embarrasses his future self and family
-expects others to do things for
-easily angered Emmett Brown
Apollo Archetype -strong will to get things done
-logical and strategic thinker, great detective, teacher, or analyst
-thrives on order
-finds work and new ideas to be his only passions
-obsesses with his career
-gives his attention only to those who can further his career
-can be loyal and trustworthy
-loves to help others
-has trouble expressing emotions
-can be arrogant
-doesn't handle rejection well Marty McFly
Poseidon Archetype -Loves to create and change things
-is spontaneous and instinctual
-could be a great creative artist
-full of passion and intensity
-loves his family and friends despite how he acts around them
-will seek revenge for a harm done to him
-is very street smart
-invades other people's boundaries
-takes things to extremes
-is obsessive and relentless in his need for revenge
-reckless and full of rage -Prefers to be left alone
-longs for the next project or idea to occupy his time
-psychically sensitive
-may long for a small family
-doesn't play games or get involved in their own drama and drama of others
-inexpressive and withdraws easily
-afraid of his emotions and seems devoid of feeling
-has trouble talking to others
-few intimate relationships
-Usually likes to be alone -Puts others ahead of herself
-Driven to help people
-Wonderful to be around
-extremely helpful
-a good listener
-committed to family
-worries constantly about her children
-worries about what the future might hold for others.
-Positive attitude towards life. The call, Refusal/ Answer Marty is not formally asked to join Doc. Brown in his maiden voyage through time, but the possibility is present. Therefore, there is no real refusal without the presence of an actual call, however, he does reject the concept as a dream later on. He is forced to time travel to escape the renegade Libyans trying to shoot him down. Guide Doc. Brown's past self, and some parts of his present self that Marty is familiar with, explains the concept of time to Marty. He helps Marty understand the delicate structure of the fabric of time and how one change in the past can have drastic consequences for the future. Talisman At first glance, the Delorean could be seen as the most significant object to Marty, as it is the only thing that can take him back to his time. However, we later see that Marty constantly looks back and holds onto a picture of himself with his siblings, who gradually fade away in the picture as time goes on. Crossing the Threshold and the Guardians The threshold is idealistically the fabric of time, where Marty goes back 30 years to the 50s. Being forced to accept the call, the enforcers are also the guardians. The Libyans' purpose was to shoot Marty down and kill him, but unknowingly they were shooting him down to stop him from time traveling. However, the point where the stress of unfamiliarity hits Marty is when he finds his way to Hill Valley. He is mesmerized by the 50s scene and is feels completely out of place. Companions The main person who helps Marty on his journey is Doc. Brown. Doc. explains the concept of time and the consequences of changing the past to Marty and also helps explain to Marty how to complete his challenges that he faces. George Mcfly also can be considered a helper, since Marty hangs out with him through the whole film, but it is Marty who is really helping George, unless you think of it has George saving Marty's life as Marty begins to fade away. Road of Trials
and the Journey Marty's whole journey basically takes place in the confines of Hill Valley during the 50s era. Places within the city include the school, Doc's house, and the interior and exterior of the soda shop.
Challenges Marty faces are structured by importance. The overall and initial goal was to get back to 1985. However, more challenges make themself present, such as producing 1.21 gigawatts of power for time machine, getting his parents together to save his own life, and the struggle to tell doc. about his death. Brother Battle
and Meeting the Goddess A physical fight was planned to happen as George would beat up Marty to look heroic for Loraine, however that did not happen. Instead a mental battle is present as Marty tries to convince George to ask Loraine to the "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance.
The Goddess is undoubtedly Loraine, Marty's mother. Marty is amazed at how thin she is when he first sees her, and Loraine repeatedly tries to charm Marty. This Goddess is more like a siren with the power of a mother. Abduction and
Atonement with Father The only real similarity to a character being kidnapped in the film is when Biff takes Loraine hostage in the car that Marty took Lorraine to the dance in.
Marty literally connects with his father on an individual level. Marty learns things about his dad he never knew, such as that George writes science fiction novels. Dragon Battle
and Apotheosis It is rarely shown in the first movie, but it is highly defined in the sequels, that Marty can't take being called a coward. His inner-demon is his excessive pride- hubris.
Marty is not idealized as a God, but the mood of the dance scene portrays him as a "Rock God" as Marty wails on the guitar. The crowd is mesmerized by his playing as well as his moves. Ritual Death
and Sacred Marriage Marty sees the doc. get shot at the beginning of the film, and believes him to be dead. However, due to Marty's meddling in the space-time continuum, the doc. survives being shot with the use of a bullet proof vest.
Marty has strong emotional bonds with both George and Lorraine because they are his parents. However, his real emotional attachment is with that of Jennifer, his girlfriend and future wife. Ultimate Boon
and Magic Flight The Lightning that struck the old clock tower is used to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of power needed to for time travel.
However, a strike of lightning is quick and doesn't last long. It is not really a flight to escape something but a flight to race against time. Marty takes the DeLorean to 88mph to hit the lightning strike at the right moment to get the amount of energy needed to time travel. Rescue from Without Marty doesn't necessarily die, but instead is almost erased from existence. Points of hopelessness show up in both Marty's efforts to get his parents together and his return back to 1985.
In the dance, George seemed as if he were going to give up on Lorraine, thus ending Marty's existence.
In terms of getting the energy from the lightning strike, the car at a point stops working and the cables needed to transfer the energy keep disconnecting. The Return, Master,
and Freedom to Live The hero clearly returns home when he sees the old mayor "red" sleeping on the park bench as a hobo. Specifically he is aware he is home when he awakes inside his house the next morning.
Two world: Marty worked out the problems of the past and is thanked by his parents for bringing them together. Due to his meddling, his present is now better as he finds his family is a better societal position.
Marty resolves the unforeseen problem of making his dad more aggressive, which leads to his dad making better choices and his family living a better life. Marty McFly can't stand to be called a "chicken" and will always pick a fight with someone messing with him or those close to him. He wails out with his emotions on the guitar and seeks a career in his playing. Marty shows himself as the slick skateboarding cool guy with an attitude and is often referenced as a slacker. Although he portrays himself with a hardcore demeanor, Marty is a passionate guy who cares deeply about his family and his girlfriend Jennifer. Emmett Brown, referred to as "Doc," is a scientific genius with a few screws loose. He is excitable about his inventions, however does not communicate well with others except Marty. Talked quite calm to the police officer and tried to not make eye contact when Loraine came to see Marty. He looks to make something of his life, to achieve success. Time travel is seen as his key to a better life, as his attempts to go to the future and start his life again from there. George Mcfly is the very definition of a pessimistic nerd who is bullied all his life. He, just as his son Marty, is called a slacker. George is creative in writing, but hides his emotions and talent in fear of rejection and ridicule. Completely opposite that of Marty in which Marty constantly makes remarks about how was it even possible that he was even born. George avoids confrontation and conflict, but tries to act the opposite when confronting love. Tries to act cool for Lorraine. With the changes made to the time line, George ends up in the altered future as a confident, cool man in charge of his life and everyone around him. Biff Tannen, like the rest of his ancestry, is a big, stubborn brute. He is aggressive, loud, and bullies others. Feels need to be violent and in charge. Immature and never seems to change with age. Tall and big, he stands with an intimidating demeanor. Always grumpy and an oaf, Biff lacks refined manners and intelligence. He is one of the conflicts that stands between George and Lorraine getting together. The main person he bullies is George, as he constantly, in the past and future, messes with George and forces him to do his work for him. A Hero In Marty? Marty McFly is the hero of Back To The Future.
His adventure through time presents similar elements to Campbell's monomythic journey, however not complete nor in proper order. The film lacks some parts but makes it up by portraying similar elements of the part of the journey in another part/ time in the film. Marty: The Hero The film resonates with the audience because of its impression upon their fancies. It tickles people's sense of uncertainty, as most sci-fi films do, but time travel is a particular concept of mystery. The archetypes portrayed are somewhat to an extent over exaggerated, especially with Biff. However, this exaggeration helps to point out flaws in personality traits that all humans may possess. This film is mainly a form of entertainment, taking those flaws of human characteristics and making them into a scheme of comedy and suspense, helping the audience relate to their daily lives, except with all the destruction of the fabric of time mumbo-jumbo. -Loves to be the center of attention
-Feels the need to express herself
-is emotional and deeply feeling
-loves herself and her body
-loves to dress up and wear alluring clothes (like at the dance)
-Unable to do things alone
-Lives fot eh moment and never thinks of the future
-falls in and out of love easily (Marty to George)
-is impulsive
-is self-focused Lorraine is a flirtatious diva, who falls head over heels in love with Marty. Marty of course is at a lost for words with this turn of events. She is not afraid to show her true colors nor express how she feels. Lorraine is the type of girl who knows what she wants, and won't stop till she has it, like when she followed Marty to his temporary stay in Doc's house. Jennifer is Marty's girlfriend and future wife. She has a lovely outlook on life, always telling Marty to keep trying, that everything will work out. Not much is actually known about Jennifer, do to her appearances in the first film being only at the beginning and end, and she being asleep for the most part of the two sequels. She hopes to have a family with Marty, and when she sees in her family in the future, she is overwhelmed with joy. She does not seem to question much and is very accepting of what happens, such as when the Delorean comes out of nowhere, she does not question where it came from but just gets in the car anyway because Marty trusts the Doc. Therefore, Jennifer is a very positive and trusting person. The Film as a Myth The Mentor Doc. Brown fulfills the role as the mentor.

-freely gives advice and wants to be involved in helping Marty get back to his own time
-an advanced helper
-the prestige he gets from helping, the success of building something that works
-travels with the hero and compromises mission (this is better seen in third sequel)
-wants to be involved every step of the way
-tells Marty his goals are, to get his parents together, and the concept of time. The Pessimist George Mcfly fulfills the role as the pessimist.

-disapproves of some of Marty's methods, such as cursing
-has a "nothing will work" attitude
-doesn't try because nothing will go his way, afraid to ask Lorraine out
-master of inaction, does not even consider going to the dance
-makes Marty doubt his existence
-causes a conflict that stops the hero from moving forward towards his goal, being too afraid to talk to Lorraine The Joker Biff fulfills the role as the joker.

-is a troublemaker, but is not sharp witted
-loves to play pranks
-basks in the trouble he causes
-can be obnoxious, boisterous, and loud
-shows up at bad moments, like when Marty was in the car with Lorraine
-is self-absorbed
-creates conflict by causing the hero to go out of his way to avoid him The Lover Jennifer fulfills the role as the lover.

-is Marty's girlfriend, therefore the love interest
-is "security," Marty says to her "aren't you a sight for sore eyes."
-is the one the hero vents his feelings to, the one Marty talks about his future as a guitar player
-opposite to the hero, Jennifer is cool-headed and calm, whereas Marty is easily flustered
-sensitive and easygoing
-her being trouble for the hero does not come till the second film The Hero's Journey Antagonist The obvious antagonist would have to be Biff. However, Biff doesn't really recognize Marty as of any significance, except for the fact that Marty got manure all over his car. Biff is more like an obstacle that keeps getting in the way rather than the antagonist. Another step to climb over.

The antagonist could be symbolic ideal. The concept of time, which fits appropriately with the theme and purpose.
The laws and fabric of time is what causes the problems. Time is also what Marty must race against to achieve his goals, to unite his parents and stop himself from fading away and to hit the lightning strike at the precise moment to time travel back to his own time. The Protagonist
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