A Jungian View of Fairy Tales

You can relate fairy tales to Jungian psychoanalysis very simply. From my previous posts, you can already tell that fairy tales have a much deeper meaning (or you can pull out different meanings for yourself) then it seems. Jungian psychology has a lot to do with Archetypes and Personality types.

An Archetype is is a universally understood symbol or pattern of behavior. Some examples of Archetypes are the Ego, the Shadow, and the Self. Lets talk specifically about the Shadow Archetype for a moment. The Shadow typically represents the villain in the fairy tale. An example of a Shadow character would be Hades from Hercules, or Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. These characters are dark-souled, and the opposite of the good guy (which is the Ego Archetype). Shadows are necessary in a fairy tale. I have never personally read a fairy tale without a villain.

You can definitely apply the different Personality types to different characters in fairy tales too. Some Personality types are Introvert, Extrovert, Thinking and Feeling. An example of an introvert might be Cinderella. She’s quiet and does what she is told, spending most of her time inside. An Extrovert might be Madam Mim from The Sword In The Stone. She is boisterous, and is never afraid to do what she needs to get her way. As for thinking and feeling personalities, you could look at Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore. Winnie the Pooh is always trying to find a solution to whatever problem arises in the Hundred Acre Wood, where as Eeyore is always sitting there moping about. He is always talking about how he is feeling about the situation instead of actively trying to find a solution. 

Overall, Jung, and other influential psychologists have had many good points when it comes to the brain and the way we act. Pretty much all of the theories that Jung, and others, have explained are all visible in one way or another in fairy tales.Image

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Posted on March 3, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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