Archetypal Theory

THE STORY OF THE LARGE ANT

Major Tenets

  • Concerning with the way cycles and reiterating patterns of tradition, culture, inborn images...
  • Operating with certain symbols represent the same ideas no matter the time or place.
  • Symbols can strike readers' unconscious.
  • Dealing with symbolism of nature and the cosmos.

Strengths

  • Focusing on certain symbols and meanings.
  • Acting as a powerful tool in teaching and expressing universal feelings, beliefs, and ideas.
  • Linking with psychological theories and criticism.
  • Explaining why literature touches the deep inside the heart of the reader.

Weaknesses

  • Excluding other sources or criticisms.
  • Not all literature contains symbolism; some is simply written for enjoyment.
  • Symbols can elicit multiple meanings; one might interpret a literary work that is entirely different from the author's intentions.

Frequently asked questions

  1. How do the characters in the text mirror the archetypal figures?
  2. How does the text mirror the archetypal narrative patterns?
  3. How does the protagonist reflect the hero of myth?
  4. What trails or ordeals does the protagonist face?
  5. What is the reward for overcoming them?
  6. What greater significance do the settings or situations convey?

Example story--The Large Ant

Big image

Applications to the story

Collective Unconscious


Mr. Morgan states, “Whatever kind of a man I am, I react as a man does. I think that any man, black, white or yellow, in China, Africa or Russia, would have done the same thing.”


1. We as the human being are the most intelligent creatures on the plant.

When three official men asked the Mr. Morgan why he killed the creature, he cannot think of the reason. Then, Fitzgerald point out that “[he] killed it because [he is] a human being.”


2. Fear of unknown and defense

When Mr. Morgan meets the experts he illustrates that “I couldn’t bear to touch it with my bare hand.”

He is scared of the “large ant” so he takes the action without thinking.

He demonstrates that “and somehow I knew that I must kill it. I didn’t think or decide. I just grabbed the iron and hit it.”

At that moment, he cannot have rational thinking because his instinct leads him to defense himself. The fear of unknown and defense is deep inside his mind that he cannot even realize.


Transgressor---Ant (pushes the limit of human knowledge)

Before the appearance of the large ant, human beings won't know there will be creatures that are more intelligent than ourselves. Besides, it makes us to question ourselves that do we really have the power over others, especially in the aspect of life.


Hero--- Mr. Morgen

He wants to explore the unfamiliar creature and wants to give the truth to the public. After facing the difficulties, he successfully writes down the story, trying to push the people into deep thinking and start to change themselves.


Destroyer (villain; wants destruction of his own sake)

In the story, Lieberman, Fitzgerald and Hooper are seemed as destroyers for blocking the news and information from the public.

Stay the way we are. Persuade Mr. Morgan not to write the story.





Social Narrative


1. We as the human being are the most intelligent creatures on the plant.

When three official men asked the Mr. Morgan why he killed the creature, he cannot think of the reason. Then, Fitzgerald point out that “[he] killed it because [he is] a human being.”

Mr. Morgan states, “Whatever kind of a man I am, I react as a man does. I think that any man, black, white or yellow, in China, Africa or Russia, would have done the same thing.”


2. People are not willing to believe there are the creatures that are more intelligent than human beings.

Three official people try to convince Mr. Morgan that people will not believe him even he publishes with the photographs. They illustrates that “They still won’t believe you. They will just say you faked the photographs, but no one will believe you.”


3. People always assume that if other creatures have something with them, the thing will become a weapon and they will use it to hurt human.

When three official people tell Mr. Morgan that the creature’s “instrument”, Mr. Morgan wonders why the creature does not use the “instrument” to hurt him and assumes that “there must be a weapon of some kind.