Characters on the Couch (Part 12)

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

This Follows on from: Characters on the Couch (Part 11). The first part can be found at: Characters on the Couch (Part 1).

The Yearning for Paradise

The Innocent Archetype

“Free to be you and me.”

The Innocent wants to be happy and to do things right. They have faith and opportunism. Other key traits include cleanliness, purity and trust. The innocent are uncontroversial. They may seek to retain or renew faith. They are often children or childlike. They often lead idyllic lives.

Their dark side is that they can be boring and may turn out not to be an innocent at heart as they appear. An innocent with a dark secret or less than innocent intent can be an evil being. They may be in denial or deny the obvious truth of a situation. The may repress themselves or others so they can try to remain innocent.

Examples include Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz), Alice (Lewis Carroll) Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens) and most Shelleyan heroines. Some versions of Maid Marian and Guinevere are innocents. Many fairy tale character’s are innocents including Snow White and Cinderella. Drew Barrymore in E.T., Tom Hanks in Big and Jon Voight’s Midnight Cowboy are all classic film performances. They show that an adult can be just as effective, if not more so than a child in the role. Cupid, Harpa-Khruti (Egyptian god) and Harpocrates (Greek god) are all mythical versions of the archetype.


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