Story and Character: Archetypes.

Ugh! Annoyingly so, I had to stay at home today due to my knee putting me out of action (its currently all red and infected, and I cannot walk- ew). Despite my current situation, I am now much more appreciative of having Moodle as a resource and wealth of stored information! After having had a look at the slideshow and watching the three Youtube clips, I can safely say I am up to speed with this class- yay! 
I liked that there was a section in the slideshow dedicated to recapping over the previous week’s key points. These four points were made in regards to understanding why semiotics (and why Barthes, Saussure or Pierce’s points of view) are important to us as designers and storytellers:

  • It’s important to distinguish between ‘the thing in the world’ and whatever meaning we make of it; they’re not the same.
  • The meaning we make of our experience is not natural – it occurs in social and cultural settings.
  • This indicates why meaning changes or can be different in different contexts.
  • It also indicates that meaning can be changed and can be different in different contexts.

Moving onto story I see that the class looked into the mind of Carl Jung, in order to better grasp character and story creation, as well as what archetypes are and how they work. I think that using Jung’s theory of the unconscious psyche to be quite fascinating. The way in which he perceives this idea of the collective unconscious is quite intriguing; just because I have never personally thought of how my own self character has developed in alignment to that of character archetypes; am I the hero of my own life? What archetypes will I develop and grow into later on?

“Archetypes are components of the collective unconscious and serve to organize, direct and inform human thought and behaviour.”

I agree with his belief that all humans share distinct commonalities regardless of our national borders; otherwise how would stories, myths, legends and even various types of religions or faiths even exist? Also, we all naturally share the human experiences of life and death, love, pain, marriage, separation, family, friendship and many more natural human interactions and processes. Jung’s idea makes sense really; we do unconsciously share this idea of creating archetypes and their traits toward characters such as family, animals, objects. Lion: Confident, ego, bold, leader etc. Peridot: Birth stone, healing, revival. Mother: Giver of life, nurturer, caring.

In terms of story-making, we use content (costume, setting, sounds etc) and form (cinematography) to make sense of these archetypes. Campbell’s and Vogler’s narrative cycle circles also help to make sense of all the types of narrative archetypes. This class was obviously very informative, and although I wasn’t there, reading through the lie a couple of times has certainly taught me a lot more…the class exercise will certainly help me to start thinking more about archetypes in the world around me; whether it be in films, books, people around me, animals, nature and so on.

Some concluding points:

  • Characters are not people.
  • Stories are not natural.
  • Both characters and stories are made objects. They are designed and made by people to serve a very specific purpose.
  • Often, that purpose is to help us forget that they are made objects.

Also, this clip because it was awesome:







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