Thursday, September 6, 2012

Delirium Archetype Essay

According to Jung, an archetype is an inherited, unconscious pattern of thought. We are all born with certain thought and ideas about life that guide us through our experiences. Most of these ideas fit into molds that will often repeat themselves several times within our lives. These patterns will often show up in literature.

One example of an archetype is the Shadow. The shadow is essentially a projection of ourselves. However, it is not the projection of the self that we typically like to think of ourselves as, in fact, it is just the opposite. The Shadow symbolizes the part of ourselves that we tend to deny exists, such as an evil side or a weak side, projected onto other objects or beings.

This archetype is present in Lauren Oliver's Delirium. Oliver writes of a world in which every citizen within the city limits of the U.S. fears love to the point of considering it a disease to be avoided at all costs. This represents the fear that every human has of getting hurt when it comes to love. Oliver takes that intrinsic fear and projects it onto the authorities and scientists. She ostracizes them, making it seem outrageous for so many people to fear love. In reality, though, we are all afraid of love in one way or another.

There are many different archetypes, or subconscious patterns of thought. One prime example is the Shadow. This archetype represents the projection of our own fears and insecurities on others. Lauren Oliver perfectly portrays the shadow of human's fear of love in her novel Delirium. The image that she paints of a whole country of people who are greatly apprehensive towards love seems outrageous and unfathomable to the readers. However, deep down, we are all afraid of being hurt in the face of love.

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