Saturday, March 2, 2013

Blog 5: Jung and Fairy Tales

http://fairytalesfantasy11.umwblogs.org/files/2011/09/beauty1.jpg
When looking at fairy tales, one can see many Jungian ideas about the psyche throughout the stories. For starters, Jung's idea of the "collective unconscious", or archetypes, is somethings that all fairy tales share. We have discussed and seen how certain idea, thoughts, fears, attributes of people, etc. can be seen in fairy tales around the world that are yet still very similar. It is how we get stories like both Little Thumbling and Hansel and Gretel. Both stories expresses these collective unconscious ideas and fears of growing up and not having to rely on parents. The stories also communicate the harsh realities of life and touch upon every child's fear of abandonment. For all children, regardless of social stature, materiel wealth, etc., experience these fears and anxieties because they do not have the knowledge or experience yet to know whether or not they have to actually be afraid or how they have to handle it. Furthermore, especially in Little Thumbling, parts of the Psyche and personality types can be clearly seen. In that story, LT's persona is one of a small dumb child who is just the worthless runt of the family. The only thing is he is just introverted and instead of walking around saying foolish things, he spends his time thinking, observing, and absorbing the things around him. Though the people around him don't understand him and he chooses to stay mostly within himself, he is not entirely who they think he is. Other archetypes and parts of the Psyche can be seen in the story of The Pig King. The pig king is a tale about a prince who was born a grotesque pig. Everyone despised him because of his appearance and because of that he became calloused. He desired a wife so his mother goes out to find him one. She finds a woman with 3 daughters. The eldest marries the prince but he kills her because she does not appreciate him and only consents for the royalties. He kills the 2nd one as well in that marriage for the same reason. However, the 3rd and youngest daughter is sweet and gets to know the king and looks beyond the outer appearance and cares for him. Only then does the prince show that it is only an outer skin, and on the inside he is a handsome prince. This story can reflect Jung's ideas on the archetype of the Hero's Journey, which is about detachment -> transformation -> return transfigured and teach. The pig is detached and separated because of his ugly appearance. However, the love of this girl transforms him by softening his heart. He in the end permanently sheds his outer skin, teaching the listener of the tale that inner beauty is what is important and that judging those from the outside is what is the most important.

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