Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Jungian View of Fairy Tales

From the Jungian perspective, Fairy Tales all have a set pattern or archetype that make it a fairy tale. Major archetypes include: persona, ego, shadow, self and anima/animus. The most common are: the wise old man (Dumbledore, Gandalf- this character usually meets a horrible fate and is not there to help the hero finish his quest), primeval forest, evil stepmother, eternal child (like Peter Pan), trickster (Norse God, Loki), the shadow, anima/animus ( found in the unconscious of a male with feminine personality traits, found in the unconscious of a female with masculine personality traits) and self. In every single fairy tale you read, you can find at least one, if not more, of these archetypes. According to Jung these archetypes are apropos. These Jungian viewpoints are a mapping system (structure/skeleton) as to what a tale contains, every tale. Also outlined is the journey of the hero. The hero must go through a certain number of stages to complete his journey. First the hero is seen to be withdrawn and detached. Because of his/her behavior they must undergo a transformation. Through this transformation they will learn the error of their ways and will re-transform and return to teach his/her findings of their wrongdoings. They will then be separated from their path. From their they will have their initiation and finally, their rebirth (they will finally be free from their curse/whatever mistakes they had to learn from and be "born again" as a person with all the knowledge they were lacking prior to their journey. Therefore making them a better and more developed person). 
The entire relationship between Fairy Tales and Jungian Psychology is based on the fact that they are linked together. The entire scheme of Jungian Psychology can be used to accurately describe the elements found in Fairy Tales.

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