Harvey Weinstein is GUILTY!!! Duh! But YEY!
Beyond the Hero’s Journey, there’s no denying it, rebellious female characters—from Katniss Everdeen to Olive Kitteridge—dominate literary fiction.
Following the countless cases of male victimization and sexual harassment in the headlines lately, it seems that fictional heroines reflect a mood of defiance with the world that men have programmed and ruled. There’s a new movement of modern-day heroines who are damaged, flawed or even unapologetically ridiculous. Some who still seek romance, sure, but others who just as self-assuredly seek a one-night stand with or without a man. And while she may change in the progression of the story, divulging strengths and tactics that astonish us, a woman’s conformity is no longer required.
Carl Jung’s archetypes are the building blocks of the story world. In Chris Vogler’s book, The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, he teaches about the vital use of archetypes in storytelling; the hero, the mentor, the threshold guardian and so on….
Beyond those central standards are the 8 FEMALE ARCHETYPES writers should be paying close attention to.
According to Jungian psychologists, there are 7 feminine archetypes prevailing in modern society—the Mother, the Maiden, the Queen, the Huntress, the Wise Woman, the Mystic and the Lover, to which I add, the emergent, Mermaid.
The Mermaid Archetype is emerging in today’s troubled world. This seductive, wild, Mermaid represents the feminine power of water—strong, loving, nurturing, self-indulgent and gorgeous, yet at the same time untamable, belligerent and outrageously independent—picture Aquaman’s mermaid mother, played by Nicole Kidman. She is a shapeshifter, a turbulent temptress, representative of both the loving abundant features of the ocean and the raw immense power of the seas and its undercurrents. Love and adore her, yes, but don’t piss her off!
These newly resurrected and empowered archetypes are used in modern day literature, on screen, and they now permeate society far beyond the secret whisperings of Jane Austen, to the anger of Lizbeth Salander, to the controlled madness of Gone Girl, and the literal Mermaid in Aquaman.
Archetypes have a language all their own. In the DNA of that unspoken language we often find the words and images essential for communicating our (personal and fictional) otherwise indescribable inner worlds (thoughts and feelings). Inner and outer continuously seek one another, and it is the sacred labor of the writer (or artist) to bring the two into artistic relationship; to reach deep into the hearts and minds of readers and provoke a rich and enlightening story experience.
Writers should be having fun with these emerging archetypes and should be delving DEEP into their imaginations to tap these mythic like women, Amazons or Mystics, for the multi-layered storytelling of which the world hungers.
Oh, and did I mention, Harvey Weinstein is GUILTY!!!
If you liked this please post it on your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page. Thanks.
Leave a reply or comment below. Thank you.
Types of Heroes
(Adapted from Chris Vogler, 1999, pp. 41–44)
What kind of hero are you writing?
Willing, active, gung-ho heroes: (Tarzan, King Arthur, Luke Skywalker, Wonder-woman)
- committed to the adventure
- without doubts
- always bravely going ahead
Unwilling heroes: (Frodo Baggins, Spiderman, Han Solo)
- full of doubts
- needing to be motivated or pushed into the adventure by an outside force
- usually change at some point and become committed to the adventure
Anti-heroes: (Billy the Kid, Jack Sparo, “Bride” from Kill Bill)
- specialised kind of hero
- may be outlaws or villains from the point of view of society
- audience is in sympathy with them
- they may win in the end over society’s corruption
Tragic heroes: (Darth Vader, Brutus)
- flawed heroes
- never overcome their inner demons
- brought down and destroyed by inner demons
- may be charming
- their flaw wins in the end
Group-oriented heroes: (Nemo, Simba)
- are a part of society at the beginning
- journey takes them to unknown land far from home
- separate from group – have lone adventure in the wilderness away from the group
which they eventually rejoin
Loner heroes: (Indiana Jones, Incredible Hulk)
- story begins with hero apart from society
- natural habitat is the wilderness
- natural state is solitude
- journey is one of re-entry into the group, an adventure within the group, then a return to
Catalyst heroes: (Teacher from Dead Poets Society, any mentor)
- central figures who act heroically
- don’t change much themselves
- main function is to bring about change in others
If you liked this please tweet it out, join me at @MindyHalleck
To receive your FREE 12 Page Writer’s Craft Kit today
sign up for the Lit-Liaiz Newsletter HERE.