10 Jan, 2006
Lost & Jungian Archetypes
Posted by: Above The Aether In: Uncategorized
(Yes, we talk about stuff like this all the time).
This, of course, begs the question, am I’m reading too much into the show’s writing? Giving it a depth that it may not have? Or, are Jungian Archetypes so common in storytelling that you can find them anywhere? Or, have the writers of Lost planned these similarities on purpose?
I have no idea, but it’s interesting to ponder.
So here is my match-up of characters on Lost and their corresponding Jungian Archetypes (keep in mind, I’ve watched 75% of the first season, so if there are any revelations in the second season, I haven’t seen them yet. In other words, these are my best guesses from the episodes I’ve seen so far):
- Dr. Jack Shephard = The Hero
I think this guess is pretty solid (since there’s not a “healer” archetype in Jung’s world). I have a feeling Jack will end up sacrificing himself, in a very Judeo-Christian way, for the good of the group. Possibly to help them get back home.
- Hugo “Hurley” Reyes = The Trickster
Dude. I like Hurley. I like Hurley a lot. If he’s not the fun-loving Trickster archetype, I’ll eat my shoes.
- John Locke = The Wise Old Man
Locke is probably my favorite character on the show. He reminds me of Hemingway – a hunter/poet who is living a larger-than-life experience that nobody else seems to understand. Even though he is living on the exact same island as his fellow castaways, he is living in a completely different world from them.
- James “Sawyer” Ford = Animus
Sawyer seems to exude the traditional swaggering male characteristics better than anyone else on the island. He’s pretty good at cheating, drinking, whoring and fighting. He’s got the most caveman in him and not kept in check, he’s the most likely to go completely “Lord of the Flies” on everyone.
- Walter ‘Walt’ Lloyd = The Child
I haven’t gotten a really good handle on Walt yet. My hunch is that he’s got some terrible untapped power that no one, not even himself, knows about or understands.
- Sayid Jarrah = The Shadow
Comparing Sayid to the Shadow archetype probably isn’t completely spot-on. He displays some of the characteristics of the Shadow (ruthless torture of Sawyer, former member of the Republican Guard, etc), but I also believe he is atoning for his sins and is a decent human being so far. If there were a Warrior archetype, he’d fit that much more accurately. But there isn’t.
- Claire Littleton = The Great Mother
I’m giving Claire the Great Mother archetype even though she probably doesn’t fit it perfectly. Being pregnant throughout the first season, she is the most obvious candidate for this title.
- Katherine “Kate” Austen = Anima
Kate displays both characteristics of Anima as well as Shadow. Pinning her down to one single archetype is very difficult (and really everyone on the show are combinations of all the archetypes, but most display dominant characteristics of one or two archetypes. She’s still a mystery to me.
- Charlie Pace = No clue.
I’d peg Charlie as a runner up for The Trickster, but he also displays traits of a Father-like figure or protector of Claire. Like I said, these guesses are far from perfect. Maybe even way off on some. Jung didn’t have an Archetype for the Father, so I’m stumped, really.
I’d welcome any comments or guesses from the internet peanut gallery on these guesses. Keep in mind I haven’t seen any of the second season thus far. So if you spoil something for me, I will send you fish guts in the mail on a regular basis.
Thanks and good night.