Personality Cafe banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Retired
Joined
·
7,007 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Or songs, I wanted to discuss some songs I liked as well.

I figured, since a lot what this website is about, MBTI and Keirsey, is pretty much based on the ideas of Jung, and ideas concerning individuation and the ego vs. the shadow, I thought it might be interesting to explore how the idea of the collective unconscious might be an influence on stories. I believe it's why some stories just resonate so much with people all over the world as inherently human, and it's why stories in settings, and including elements exotic to our daily lives, can seem so strangely familiar.

I wanted to start off discussing this phenomenon with a book that I became enamored with in the 10th grade: Jane Eyre, as well as Wuthering Heights, and Possibly Villette. I have some vague ideas of tv shows and movies that I'd like to discuss that include a lot of archetypes that I identify with a great deal.
 

·
Registered
Retired
Joined
·
7,007 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The Rise of the Orphan: Jane Eyre

View attachment 329994 "Gothic": this is a word that many literary critics use to describe Charlotte Bronte's classic. I had to look up the word to get a good feel of what that really meant, and was titillated with Wikipedia's description as being a story that "feeds on a pleasing sort of terror." Gothic literature also, often has many romantic elements, and, can sometimes incorporate a Byronic hero. Later on, I would like to discuss the Byronic hero in much more detail, and discuss some of my favorite Byronic heroes and why I find them so intriguing.

Before I get into the character Mr. Rochester's role as a Byronic hero, I wanted to discuss Jane's role as being an embodiment of the orphan archetype. According to one site, the orphan is considered one of the ego types, along with the innocent, the hero, and the caregiver. She has every disadvantage a woman could possibly have had: lacking money, family, and even beauty, but overcomes these challenges to pursue a happy and fulfilled life.

What I find even more interesting than the self proclaimed heroine of the novel, is character who becomes known as the "madwoman in the attic", Bertha Mason. When Jane first sees her, she describes her in such a way that conveys more animalistic than human traits. She even describes her as an "it". What I find even more interesting about this, is that, while she describes Bertha as pacing back and forth, in an earlier chapter, she had described herself as pacing back and forth with a similar sort of restlessness. I can see Bertha as representing the shadow. Jane even rejects the idea of her being a member of womankind, so as not to feel akin to her, and quickly forgives Rochester for his roughness in the way he had handled her.

Speaking of Rochester--the Byronic hero: it's been common in literature, even before the classic bad boy, Lord View attachment 330002 Byron inspired the now used term: the classic bad boy, who, for some reason, female readers and viewers swoon over. (Pre-Byron, Byronic heroes would include Prometheus or Hercules.) If I were to explain it in Jungian terms, the appeal of the Byronic hero, I would say there would be some correlation to the idea of the animus/anima. Byronic heroes tend to be dominant figures, heroes that we would associate with masculinity: being more dominant, and action oriented, but at some point, they become changed, by love. The animus/anima, eventually, become integrated.

I also wanted to discuss a few scenes which added to the exotic feel of the story starting with Jane's first meeting with Rochester. From her perspective, she believed she saw a mythical dog like spirit known as a Gytrash, whereas, he believed that she bewitched his horse. It's so interesting how Bronte interweaves elements of the Supernatural in what would be an otherwise straightforward love story. This supernatural element is exemplified when, miles away, Jane hears Rochester calling for her, and he hears her reply. Another scene of note is when Rochester poses as a fortune teller, and decides to read Jane's fortune, by, basically guessing--or perhaps reading--her thoughts, and when she realizes that Mr. Rochester is in disguise, she's left unsure as to whether she's dreaming or awake.

But, this novel is written in almost a stream of consciousness manner in which dreams are given an equal venue with Jane's waking thoughts. Several decades before Freud and Jung decided to write on the topic of dream interpretation, Jane had her own interpretations for her dreams and their significance. She dreams of an infant before her aunt dies, and is convinced that dream is a harbinger of doom. Also, before she leaves Thornfield the phantom baby appears again in her dreams. Also, at one point, she describes a dream in which Mr. Rochester laughs sardonically at both her and Blanche Ingram, possibly representing her anxieties about being separated from Thornfield and her master.

Come to think of it, the relationship between dream and wake is often blurred. But dreams are where the unconscious mind shines. Maybe this is why this novel creates a world that seems so familiar, that resonates so much so long after it's been written.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top