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Jungian Archetypes

Novelists, poets, music artists, artists, and writers involved in the world of literature and art all have one thing in common. They create content that imitates life. Or I could also simply say they make content about life. One remarkable thing about this is that each one of them does this almost unconsciously. This is proof of Carl Jung’s argument about archetypes. We are going to look at the Jungian archetypes.

The definition of Jungian archetypes

Jungian archetypes refer to the idea that every person in the world has an understanding of patterns, symbols, images, tendencies, and situations and that the understanding of these things connects everyone. Carl Jung referred to the connection of people by this understanding as to the “collective unconscious”. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself about this subject? No! Why? Because the Jungian archetypes are almost like a basic instinct. You already have a “predetermined psychological program” about all the ideas you read about in literature. That is why the writers in Asia, with their very unique culture, will still write stories that have an unmistakable similarity to those of writers in Europe, and any other place in the world.

What do the Jungian archetypes comprise of?

The concept of the Jungian archetypes is everywhere. It can be seen in movies, songs, books, and every other type of art the world knows. There are many types of Jungian archetypes. The main four are the persona, the shadow, the anima/ animus, and the self.

The persona

The persona refers to the traits a character displays. This can also be interpreted as the outward appearance of a character. The persona is what a character appears to be, it is usually not the true self of a character. The character’s persona is like a mask of the character’s true traits.

The shadow

The shadow refers to the dark side of a character. Usually, a character does not acknowledge his or her dark side. The dark side is considered an unconscious side of a character because the character does not show it.

The anima

The anima refers to a male character’s feminine side. The anima highlights a male character’s urge to connect with a female character.

The animus

The animus refers to the male side of a female character.

The self

The self can simply be defined as the character’s unified and whole self. This is what we can refer to as the true or real traits of a character.

The Jungian archetypes also entail events such as birth, initiation, marriage, death, and more. It entails figures such as gods, demons, the devil, parental figures, and many other figures. There are also a diverse variety of Jungian archetypes motifs. These motifs may have influenced the classification of the categories of literary genres. The motifs include the apocalypse, the deluge, the creation among others.

The use of Jungian archetypes

Writers use the Jungian archetypes to pass a moral lesson on to their audience.

Writers use Jungian archetypes to make their literary work interesting.


Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Keith Mbuya