Collective Unconcious - (in Jungian psychology) The part of the unconscious mind that is derived from ancestral memory and experience and is common to all humankind, as distinct from the individual's unconscious.Racial Memory - In psychology, genetic memory is a memory present at birth that exists in the absence of sensory experience, and is incorporated into the genome over long spans of time. ...
became convinced that all humans share a “collective unconscious,” an unconscious “which does not derive from personal experience and is not a personal acquisition but is inborn” (Jung 289)
Jung called the contents of the collective unconscious archetypes, which he defined as primordial or “universal images that have existed since the remotest times” (Jung 288)
The image of the beautiful woman, anima, is, in C.G. Jung's words, "the archetype of life itself." In myth, anima is associated with feelings, passions, and the instinctive, unconscious aspect of the psyche. In her higher manifestations she suggests the vivifying power of soul, or spiritual life.
Frye has a differing opinion of archetypal patterns than Jung or Frazer…he relies on the analysis of literature to find the patterns. Archetypes are created by authors…exist throughout time
For Frye, every work of literature has its place within this scheme or myth, and every piece of literature adds to the myth.
Archetypal Myth Criticism
Archetype from the Greek archē,or beginning, and typos, orimprint
ar·che·type - a constantly recurringsymbol, theme, or motif in literature; apattern from which other, similar thingscan developArchetypes often appear in variouscultural traditions and myths
Has roots in anthropological andpsychological studiesLate 19th and early 20th centuries
Though some important mythic and archetypalcriticism was done in the early twentieth century,its great flowering was in the 1950s and 1960s.Since then the prestige of mythic and archetypalapproaches still have great popular appeal andcontinue to exercise fascination over each newgeneration of students exposed to them. Thevogue of Joseph Campbell and his theories ofmyth in the 1980s is an example of thiscontinuing appeal.
It is closely related to a psychologicalapproach and the work of Carl Jung,mythological and archetypal criticismlooks at commonalities among dreams,myths, legends, religions, visual arts,and literature.
Archetypal critics account for auniversality in literature by pointing torecurring patterns and images thatappear so deeply embedded in thehuman mind and culture that they strikea responsive chord in everyone.
According to Carl Jung, these patternsare embedded deep in the "collectiveunconscious" and involve "racialmemories" of situations, events,relationships from time immemorial
The archetypal patterns will help clarifythe individual text by connecting it tomore universal patterns that oftentranscend/go beyond literature itself
Archetypal criticism assumes that thereis a collection of symbols, images,characters, and motifs that suggestbasically the same response in allpeople.
archetypal women - the Good Mother, the Terrible Mother, and the Soul Mate (such asthe Virgin Mary)water - creation, birth-death-resurrection, purification, redemption, fertility, growthgarden - paradise (Eden), innocence, fertilitydesert - spiritual emptiness, death, hopelessnessred - blood, sacrifice, passion, disordergreen - growth, fertilityblack - chaos, death, evilserpent - evil, sensuality, mystery, wisdom, destructionseven - perfectionpersona- a mans social personality (usually the hero), and anima or "soul image"(usually the heroine).Hero archetype - The hero is involved in a quest (in which he overcomes obstacles).He experiences initiation (involving a separation, transformation, and returnTHEY BELIEVE THAT THESE ARCHETYPES ARE THESOURCE OF MUCH OF LITERATURES POWER.
Carl JungJung addresses the relevance ofarchetypal theory in literature and thearts most clearly in The Spirit inMan, Art, and Literature (1966)which contains two significant essayson literature and poetry (firstpublished 1922 and 1930).
• psychologist• student of Freud• The Basic Writing ofC.G. Jung• first gave prominenceto the term archetypebecame convinced that all humansshare a “collective unconscious,” anunconscious “which does not derivefrom personal experience and is nota personal acquisition but is inborn”(Jung 289)Collective Unconscious• Shared by all humans• an unconscious “which does notderive from personal experienceand is not a personal acquisitionbut is inborn” (Jung 289)
In Jung’s archetypal theory, theunconscious mind plays a profoundrole, and it has a purpose, which is toassist individuals in maintaining abalanced psychological state.
Archetypes• contents of the collectiveunconscious• defined as primordial or “universalimages that have existed since theremotest times” (Jung 288)• formed during the earliest stages ofhuman development
Although the theory may seem almostmystic, Jung found no other way toaccount for the appearance of nearlyidentical images and patterns in themind of individuals from whollydifferent cultures and backgrounds.
Jung notes instances which suggest thatwater is a symbol of the unconscious andthe action of descending to the water is asymbol of the frightening experience ofconfronting the depths of one’sunconscious.• dreams of Protestant clergymen• legends of African tribes
Jung’s account of a patient who in 1906related visions containing odd symbolicconfigurations.- later he encountered similar symbols ina Greek papyrus first deciphered in 1910
Theory of IndividuationA psychological “growing up”A process of learning of one’s own individualityA process of self-recognition which isessential to becoming a well-balanced personNeuroses are result of person’s failure toconfront and accept archetypal components ofthe unconscious
Inherited components of the psychePrinciples ArchetypesAnimusAnimaShadow
ANIMUS• Physical man• Represents physical, brute strength ofman and his animal instincts• Can be the “masculine” designation ofthe female psyche
ANIMA• The “soul image”• The spiritual life-force• The “living thing in man, that which lives ofitself and causes life…” “…the archetype of lifeitself” (Jung, Archetypes 26)• Feminine designation in the male psyche• Associated with feelings, passions, instinctive,unconscious aspect of the psyche
SHADOW• The darker side of our unconscious self• Inferior, less pleasing aspect of the personality• Represents “the dangerous aspect of the unrecognizeddark half of the personality” (Jung, Two Essays 94)• Needs to be suppressed• When projected, this archetype becomesThe villainThe devil
The theory of archetypes would explainnot only such instances as these but alsothe similarity of myths and rituals foundby Frazer, for archetypes are universalpatterns from which myths derive.
Northrop Frye (1912-1991)Canadian literary critic, bestknown as a major proponentof archetypal criticism.Anatomy of Criticism: FourEssays (1957)• Relies solely upon literatureto draw the archetypalpatterns.• Calls the theory ofcollective unconscious an“unnecessary hypothesis inliterary criticism” (Frye 112)
In this branch of literary criticism, literature andother art forms are seen as manifestations ofuniversal myths and archetypes (largelyunconscious image patterns that cross culturalboundaries). Frye’s most important work,Anatomy of Criticism (1957), introducedarchetypal criticism, identifying and discussingbasic archetypal patterns as found in myths,literary genres, and the reader’s imagination.
Frye’s works combine a formidablebreadth of knowledge with clarity ofthought and an accessible style. He wascommitted to literary criticism as a vitalcomponent of cultural life rather thanan intellectual hobby.
• Shifts definition of archetype frompsychological to the literary• Archetype is “a symbol, usually animage, which recurs often enough inliterature to be recognized as anelement of one’s literary experience asa whole” (Frye 365)
In literature, characters, images, andthemes that symbolically embody universalmeanings and basic human experiences,regardless of when or where they live, areconsidered archetypes. Common literaryarchetypes include stories of quests,initiations, scapegoats, descents to theunderworld, and ascents to heaven.
A symbol which recurs often enough in literatureto be recognizable as an element of onesexperience devises an elaborate classification ofmodes, symbols, myths, and genres. It establishesa comprehensive correspondence between thebasic genres- comedy, romance, tragedy, andirony. And the myths and archetypal patternsassociated with the seasonal cycle of spring,summer, fall, and winter.
Four Types Of Literature (NarrativePatterns)• mythosUnifying Myth• analogous to seasons of year• to the story of the birth, death, andrebirth of the mythic hero
Mythos of SUMMER: Romanceanalogous to the birth and youthfuladventures of the mythic herosuggests innocence and triumphnarrative of wish-fulfillment withgood character triumphing over bad• Sir Gawain and the Green Knight• Robin Hood• old-fashioned cowboy movies
Mythos of AUTUMN: Tragedy major movement toward the deathor defeat of the hero• Oedipus• King Lear
Mythos of WINTER: Irony or Satirehero now absentsociety is left without effectiveleadership or sense of norms/values• Swift’s A Modest Proposalsocial norms are turned upside down for artistic purposes• Conrad’s Heart of Darkness• Kafka• Camussense of hopelessness and bondage
Mythos of SPRING: Comedyrebirth of herorenewal of life in which thoseelements of society who would blockthe hero are overcomehero and heroine take their rightfulplaceorder is restored• Shakespearian comedies
Every work of literature has its placewithin this scheme or myth.Every piece of literature adds to themyth.
Strength:It allows us to see the larger patterns of literature.Studies of anthropology, psychology, and culturalhistory have broaden through the usage of this typeof criticism.
Weakness:It tends to ignore the individual contributions of theauthor and the specific cultural and societalinfluences. Many are skeptical of this approach, sinceit appears to lean towards the occult. There is alsomuch confusion over the definitions of the objects inthe actual myths, and the fact that people are moreinterested in concrete ideas.
The death-rebirth theme is a patternwherein it starts with the quest by theprotagonist who must leave her/his home,travel into unfamiliar territory, meet a guide,endure dangerous situations and adventures,reach the object of his goal, gain importantknowledge, and return home with thatknowledge to share with others.
The readers are able to recognize storypatterns and symbolic associations.Somehow, they are able to formassumptions and expectations from theencounters.
Archetypal images and story patternscan encourage readers to participate inbasic beliefs, fears, and anxieties oftheir age. These archetypes constitutethe clearness of the text but also tapinto a level of desires and anxieties ofpeople.
Archetypal criticism helps in thedeepening of events into experiences. Itprovides a universalistic approach toliterature. It works well with works thatare highly symbolic.
SUMMARYThe aim of this approach is to find out how we can look in awork for this kind of structures and these universal symbolswhich allow us to describe a work as classic, universal, becausethey can produce a similar human response not only at the sametime, but also at different times and places of the history.The archetypical criticism has several points in common with thepsychological criticism, but it researches the personality of eachindividual and the psychoanalysis considers the literary work as aproduct of neurosis. The mythology and archetypical criticismconsider the literary work such as a manifestation of those vitalstrengths that rise from the “psique”