Archetype and Mythical Element in Film

Topics: Alice in Wonderland, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Red Queen Pages: 6 (2145 words) Published: January 1, 2013
Assignment of Western Cultural Civilization II
Members of Group:
• Inhimas Amaliah121012002
• Sarah Istiqomah121012012
• Putri Mutiara121012015
• Rohmatul Fitriyah D.121012016
• Anik Nur Qomariyah121012017


Myth is a traditional story about heroes or supernatural beings, often explaining the origins of a natural phenomena or aspects of human behaviour (Dickerson and O’Hara). It has influenced many aspects of modern life such as a film. Myth in film also deals with Carl Jung’s theory about archetype which is considered as a connection between the psychology of people and to universal cultural patterns and symbol covering the character archetypes, archetypal symbols, and situational archetypes (Smith & Brown, 2007). In addition, the common pattern of storytelling, the Hero’s Journey, will be our discussion as well to know how this structure is conducted within the film. This film epitomizes in a very formal way, Joseph Campbell’s formulation of the Hero’s Journey following almost step by step the path of the hero that he elucidates (Hochenedel). This discussion will concern in analyzing the archetypal symbols which come up through the characters and identifying the Hero’s Journey pattern within this film.

Lightness vs. Darkness as the Archetypal Symbols
Several symbols in the movie sometimes can be considered as a part of allusion to the mythical realm. We can find the mythical elements and the archetypes that stick around to the characters. The symbol of lightness is closely related to the truth, purity, cleanliness, maturity and wisdom. In contrast, the symbol associated with the darkness represents the ugliness, deceitfulness, revenge and injustice. Here are the archetypal symbols of each character that represent lightness and darkness. • Alice Kingsleigh

Alice as the main character in the movie can be associated with the symbol of lightness. Since she was a little girl, her arrival has been expected by the Wonderland’s inhabitants as the one that may replace the ‘dark’ atmosphere which is full of terror, anxiety, and injustice powered by Red Queen. The symbol of lightness that sticks to Alice is not merely because of the high expectancy of Wonderland’s inhabitant toward her. It is also because of the symbols that dominantly reflect her as a girl itself. We know that she is still fresh, young, beautiful, and full of curiosity. Alice’s curiosity is closely related to the archetypal symbol that refers to ancient Greek mythology, Athena, the Goddess of the science, wisdom, strategy and war who is the daughter of Zeus and Metis. Alice’s character works particularly almost the same with Athena’s. She is as a knight and a hero of Wonderland who keeps maintaining her struggle for the Wonderland’s sake, and eventually shows her determination. The power of optimistic in viewing the whole life regarding her curiosity can be seen clearly as part of Athena’s soul. Meanwhile, the darkness symbol that sticks to her is her insanity because of her fantastical dreams and carelessness toward the destiny. Alice indirectly imitates his father manners, the man who always dream and does not care about what is going to be happened. Her inattentiveness can also be seen when Hamish, a young nobleman who wants to marry her. He attempts to make a good impression to her through his jokes, but that does not impress her much. Other example of the archetypal symbol of Alice is portrayed by Persephone, the Goddess of the underworld and the harvest, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter (Metzareph, 2005). Like Persephone, she is also very fascinating and innocence. In Persephone story, she falls into Hell. Compared to Alice, she falls into the rabbit hole. Alice character is also represented as Fool in the Tarot archetypes. The Fool card also represents the way Alice pursuing her destiny...
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