The Power of Choice: A Critique of Joseph Campbell's "monomyth," Northrop Frye's Theory of Myth, Mark Twain's Orthodoxy to Heresy, and C.G. Jung's God-image

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Pacifica Graduate Institute, 1998 - 370 pages
The purpose of this study is to critique the work of a mythologist, Joseph Campbell, a literary critic, Northrop Frye, a fiction writer, Mark Twain and a depth psychologist, C.G. Jung in order to discover the underlying assumptions about life which influence these authors' lives and the lives of their readers. Joseph Campbell's four functions of mythology are expanded to include a distinction between orthodox functions and heretical functions of myth. Campbell's mythological formula, the & ldquo;monomyth, & rdquo; is shown as a construct that subtly imposes its dogmatic frame of reference by insisting that a certain kind of heroic journey is universally recognized as the path of divinity and highest form of individuation. The critique of Northrop Frye's theory of myth is an attempt to challenge the notion that his is & ldquo;a rational account of some of the structural principles of western literature. & rdquo; This study will argue that Frye's & ldquo;structural principles of literature & rdquo; are instead an accurate description of western literary orthodoxy, an orthodoxy that, by definition, cannot hear the voice of & ldquo;heretics & rdquo; who do not view life through the filters of this world order. Mark Twain's two novels of boyhood, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) provide examples of the distinction between an orthodox novel and an heretical one. The concept of divinity which is described by C.G. Jung distinguishes between God and & ldquo;God-image, & rdquo; a distinction based upon Kantian philosophical perspective. This study will attempt to show how much of Jung's & ldquo;God-image & rdquo; was influenced, not only by Kantian & ldquo;categories of knowing, & rdquo; such as time and space, but by Jung's culture, religion and historical circumstances. Additionally, his personal relationships with his mother and father and his relationship with Freud affected his image of divinity. It is the unending task of individuals and human collectives to become increasingly conscious of the mythologies we live in. The greater our awareness, the greater our capacity to chose the manner in which we participate in them. This dissertation is in the tradition of the humanities, whose task it is to revisit and critique all assumptions regarding what is a lived life or a wasted life, an individuated life or an unindividuated one.

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I first read portions from this GREAT book online in the early noughties. I was immediately exicted because what Druscilla French was writing about I knew to be vitally important!
I was able to
contact her, and was SO pleased when kindly she shared with me her manuscript which I treasure. I am so glad to find that she appears to have published this important work! I am currently composing a post for my blog where I have mentioned Druscilla's important influence on me. And I will link to here.
What she reveals is that there exists a definate suppression of literary expression which exposes the contrived hierarchy maintained throughout thousands of years of patriarchal civilizations.
I now can very much recognize this in even fairy stories, like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Merlin, etc etc, which Hollywood carry on the themes into the minds of new generations of children.
We see the same chief characters, of the MALE 'solar hero' under attack from the 'evil FEMALE witch', and the hierachy, usually of royals, who feature promininetly in the storyline as though only 'rich' people matter. Studying Druscilla's great revealing work will, I assure you, open eyes to how all forms of literature etc carry on the paradigms which keep things the way-they-are!!
EXCELLENT, and a Masterpiece! ( 5 STARS etc)
ps, Notice we cannot say 'Mistresspiece'??!

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