Mythological and Archetypal Approaches

Crossing the First Threshold: — The First Threshold for Dorothy's journey can be seen when she takes her first steps on the yellow brick road despite threats of revenge from the sister of the dead witch.

Mythological and Archetypal Approaches


The stages and archetypes of the Journey are summarized in TWM's .

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The Lesson Plan also contains suggested assignments.

: Born in Munich, Germany, von Franz met Jung in 1933 and became a Jungian analyst, founding the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich. A prolific writer and interpreter of Jung’s work, her contributions to Jungian typology focus on the inferior function and the Feeling function. Her essay on the inferior function appears in Lectures in Jung’s Typology (1971), co-authored by James Hillman.

Ages: Secondary school ages 12+.

Most prompts in the worksheet have no single correct answer.

TWM has also created a to help students identify the stages and archetypes in any story in which the protagonist successfully completes an important quest.

Most of the film concerns Dorothy's time in the Land of Oz.

reality. As Mark Schorer says in (New York: Holt, 1946), "Myth is fundamental, the dramatic representation of our deepest instinctual life, of a primary awareness of man in the universe, capable of many configurations, upon which all particular opinions and attitudes depend" (29). According to Alan W. Watts in (New YorK: Vanguard, 1954), "Myth is to be defined as a complex of stories--some no doubt fact, and some fantasy--which, for various reasons, human beings regard as demonstrations of the inner meaning of the universe and of human life" (7).

TWM estimates that the lesson will take at least four 45 to 55 minute class periods.

They both find helpful and protective figures.

Nevertheless, he was not so far off the mark, and we only have to shift our aim slightly, to the crystaline packings of , to find the appropriate modern applications of Plato's geometry.

Rationale: Stories told on screens are the literature of today's youth.

Dorothy meets Glinda, her three friends, and later the Wizard.

She has returned from her journey with the self-assurance necessary to live fully and the knowledge that to do anything, you must first believe in yourself.

Distribute TWM's  and review the questions with the class before showing the film.

They both go through many ordeals and eventually gain their reward.

As obviously close connection exists between mythological criticism and the psychological approach discussed in chapter 3: both are concerned with the motives that underlie human behavior. Between the two approaches are differences of degree and of affinities. Psychology tends to be experimental and diagnostic: it is closely related to biological science. Mythology tends to be speculative and philosophic; its affinities are with religion, anthropology and cultural history. Such generalizations, of course, risk oversimplification; for instance, a great psychologist like Sigmund Freud ranged far beyond experimental and clinical study into the realms of myth, and his distinguished sometimes protegé, Carl Gustav Jung, became one of the foremost mythologists of our time. Even so, the two approaches are distinct, and mythology is wider in its scope than psychology. For example, what psychoanalysis attempts to disclose about the individual personality, the study of myths reveals about the mind and character of a people. And just as dreams reflect the unconscious desires and anxieties of the individual, so myths are the symbolic projections of a people's hopes, values, fears, and aspirations. According to the common misconception and misuse of the term, myths are merely primitive fictions, illusions, or opinions based upon false reasoning. Actually, mythology encompasses more than grade school stories about the Greek and Roman deities or clever fables invented for the amusement of children (or the harassment of students in college literature courses). It may be true that myths do not meet our current standards of factual reality, but then neither does any great literature. Instead, they both reflect a more profound