A Shapeshifter

Joseph Campbell, the expert in mythology, has taught us about the archetype of shapeshifterthe Shapeshifter.

This is a powerful persona for our stories. With a shapeshifter, the hero doesn’t know what’s coming next and neither do we readers. When will Clark Kent change into superman? When will the polite supermanman turn into a werewolf?

Men think that women are shapeshifters. They say women are moody, fickly and unpredictable. Women complain that men are vague, unable to commit and anger turns them into beasts.

It seems that shapeshifters are a good way to keep the tension up in a story.

According to the psychology of Carl Jung, the animus is the name for the male element in the female unconscious, the bundle of positive and negative image of masculinity in a woman’s dreams and fantasies. The anima is the corresponding female element in the male unconscious. In this theory, people have a complete set of both male and female qualities which are necessary for survival and internal balance.

Mike was a boxer, a big man with a massive neck and chest. He was a student in fightermy prison creative writing class. The previous week I had said that men often write romances and use female names. The next week Mike came into class with chapter one of Breach of the Heart. The guys loved it and asked how he had done it, how he had seen so deeply into a woman’s psychology.

Only Mike could have given this answer in a tough prison – “I just got in touch with the female part of myself.”

images courtesy of:

  • freemium-themes.blogspot.com // sign
  • fanpop.com // superman
  • dreamstime.com // fighter
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2 responses to “A Shapeshifter

  1. Pingback: Anima and animus « Solmaz Hafezi·

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