The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid’s Tales and Its Various Archetypes 12th Grade

Every piece of literature has already been written; the reason for this is the phenomenon of archetypes. Archetypes are symbols, images, characters, ideas, and themes that are occurring all throughout literature. Carl Joung believed that these archetypes are due to the human unconsciousness. He stated that humans all share a collective unconscious, this is where all history human experiences are stored, therefore all humans will pull the same ideas, the same stories from this collective source of memories. This is the reasoning for archetypes. Since humans all share an unconsciousness, any piece of work written will contain similar patterns and meanings. This collective unconsciousness also allows readers to recognize these patterns which will add new meaning and understanding to a piece of literature. No matter how original a piece will sound, the piece will always have a similar companion. This is the case with The Handmaid’s Tale. Although seemingly an original concept, The Handmaid’s Tale depicts the archetypal journey of a denied hero attempting to regain his or her freedom, in addition to this, various symbols such as certain colors, flowers, gardens, and the bible bring depth and understanding into the work.

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