The depths

We had some intense discussions about a variety of psychology resources for storytellers. It shall be noted that we did not all agree on these issues.

  • Screenwriting with Jungian Archetypes and Symbolism Brief intro from a fan of archetypes in storytelling.
  • How to Write Better Hero and Villains: Archetypes  The author says: Archetypes are the core character models of storytelling, found in nearly all books. The famous psychologist Carl Jung is known for his work on archetypes, and he also developed a personality typology that sheds light on how humans approach life and do what they do.
  • C.G. JUNG — IN THE HEART OF DARKNESS by Michael Ortiz Hill. This is an essay about Jung’s writing about his time in Africa. The author says: Throughout Jung’s memoirs, one is impressed by the subtlety and complexity of his mind and the depth of his psychological insight – except when he writes about “the others.” (Emphasis mine.)
  • The Same Difference by Suman Fernando. The author says: Racism is not dead. It is deeply embedded in Western culture – so deeply that few are aware, for example, how far both Freud and Jung integrated it into Western psychological theories. They were, of course, only reflecting commonly-held views of the time.
  • Why I Don’t Like Joseph Campbell The author says: Any attempt to define the universal story of myth will end up defining the author’s own personal bias.  

Jung via Joseph Campbell via Christopher Vogler have had a deep influence on how we think about story. Examining the underlying assumptions they made about the human experience is therefore necessary. And much as I love all of these dudes, well, they projected the Western view in a manner that maybe kinda sorta totally obliterates even the mere possibility of others.

No, I take it back; somewhere in The Writer’s Journey Vogler states (paraphrasing here) that the various symbols and story features might mean something different in a non-Western cultural milieu. But Jung and Campbell thought they were explicating universal aspects of the human mind.

They probably weren’t.

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