The Strange Case of Victorian Repression

Think of the Victorian Era and you’re bound to think of the term “repressed.” Though of course everyone was not repressed in this time period, there was quite a bit of it going around. There were also “rules” about ways in which one should act in society. These rules could be quite constricting, and Robert…

Guenevere Defends Herself

Poor Guenevere has had her share of mistreatment over the long history of Arthurian-legend. Her role as adulteress over shines her role as queen, and her beauty is more often talked about than her ability as a wise ruler. Sometimes she is treated with pity, sometimes with scorn and sometimes with outright vilification, such as…

Fallen Women and Female Madness

There are some pretty strong Bronte-vibes coming off of Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Old Nurse’s Story. No wonder she was asked by Charlotte Bronte’s father to write a biography of her. Both are writers of gothic stories, and Gaskell’s has some things in common with Jane Eyre: the old, gloomy, ancestral setting; the “mad” woman (though…

The Survivor

Image Credit I’ll be very honest: my first thought for Jo, the main character from Kate Walbert’s His Favorites was the archetype of The Victim. This thought lasted about one minute, after my googling’s showed me that there are connotations to this archetype that I really do not like, mainly the implication that someone is…

Mirror, Mirror

Image Credit R.O. Kwon's The Incendiaries is an interesting one. The story of Phoebe, the book's main female character, is not told from her own perspective, but from the perspective of narrator Will. The story revolves around Phoebe. And yet, what we see and know of her comes only from Will, who may or not…

Tell Me a Story

I guess now is the time I tell you that not all of the archetypes I use will be the "traditional" ones. Look up the one I'm using today, and you'll find a few more new-age, shall we say, websites, and then a whole lot on how to use archetypes in your storytelling. For some…

The Evil Stepmother, The Princess and The Maiden

Exploring archetypes in Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi is probably going to be one of my easier tasks. Fairy tales are known for having clear cut archetypal characters, and as a reimagining of Snow White, Boy, Snow, Bird does have characters that fill certain roles. However, unlike the usual fairy tale, the characters in this novel don’t always fit into their roles perfectly and are all the more interesting for it.

What is a Woman For?

Our first book, Red Clocks by Leni Zumas, is undoubtedly the easiest to approach with regards to archetypes. Zumas decided to make it very easy for me and went ahead and assigned the characters archetypes herself, as the characters are referred to as The Biographer, The Wife, The Daughter and The Mender. But that doesn’t mean that my work is done. Zumas may have assigned the characters archetypes, but she left the analyzing each to the reader.