Beyond the male hero myth in Clint Eastwood films

Authored by: Steve Myers

The Routledge International Handbook of Jungian Film Studies

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138666962
eBook ISBN: 9781315619163
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315619163-14

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Abstract

Jung saw little value in artistic analysis that focused only on identifying the archetypes in a work of art, or in demonstrating how such art conformed to a recognised myth, such as the hero. He argued that such an approach could sometimes disguise or ‘cloak’ the significant meaning the work contains (1930/50: §143). For Jung, the value of any form of art or literature lies not in reaffirming the myths we already know, but in promoting psychological health, transforming individual lives and relationships, and in the advancement of contemporary culture through the discovery of new meanings. It follows this is not achieved in cinema by highlighting the archetypal or mythical structures it contains, but by recognising how a film goes beyond and transcends previous versions of those myths.

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