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The Hero's Journey Through Adolescence: A Jungian Archetypal Analysis of "Harry Potter"

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Christine Gerhold
Abstract:
The classic story of the hero's journey, where an innocent goes on an adventure and returns a hero, is a metaphor for the everyday journeys taken in life. This is particularly true for the child who navigates through the challenges of adolescence in order to become an adult. Fantasy stories about a hero, such as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, can be used to help young people through the turbulent times of adolescence. The journey that Harry experiences contains archetypal significance that mirrors the struggles young people go through during their own unique journeys. This dissertation looks at the necessary archetypal transformations that Harry undergoes in order to become a hero, and explains how this relates to the psychological significance of developing youths. This information can then be used by mental health professionals to help their young clients who identify with the challenges that Harry faces, with their own everyday challenges.

Table of Contents Copyright ii Signature Page iii Acknowledgements iv Abstract v CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 Psychological Relevance and Uses for this Dissertation 2 A Personal Note 4 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 6 Adolescent Development and the Journey 10 The Hero in Fairy Tales 12 Psychological Benefits of Fairy Tales 14 Harry Potter as Fairy Tale 18 Archetypes 20 Jungian Archetypes of the Psyche 23 Archetypes Encountered During the Journey 29 Application of Archetypes and Harry Potter in Film and Literature 46 Hermeneutics 48 Methods 51 CHAPTER 3: HARRY POTTER ARCHETYPAL THEMES 53 The Shadow 56 Harry's Journey through Adolescence 64 vi

The Parental Figures in Harry's Life 65 The Wise Old Man 67 Peers in Harry's Life 70 The Trickster 72 Note to the Reader 73 CHAPTER 4: BOOK 1, THE BEGINNING OF THE HERO'S JOURNEY 75 Analysis of Harry's Readiness for the Journey 81 Initiation 85 The Mirror of Erised 86 Meeting Voldemort: Representation of the Shadow. 89 Return 92 CHAPTER 5: HARRY THROUGH EARLY ADOLESCENCE 95 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 96 Prejudice in the Wizarding World 98 The Attacks and the Chamber of Secrets 100 Battle with the Serpent 105 The Return 108 Prisoner of Azkaban 111 Fear and Loathing in Hogwarts Castle 115 Expecto Patronum 118 Confrontation with Black and the Dementors 120 The Return 126 vi i

The Goblet of Fire 1 2 7 The Triwizard Tournament 133 The Death of Childhood 1 3 7 The Return 1 4 2 CHAPTER 6: THE JOURNEY THROUGH ADOLESCENCE 146 Everything is New Again I 4 6 Unfair 1 4 8 Harry the Orphan. 1 Harry's Connection to Voldemort Revisited 162 Fathers 1 6 6 Harry the Hero? I 6 8 Moving On, in Harry's Sixth Journey I 7 7 A Return to Normalcy 17 8 Harry Accepted - 181 Transition to Adulthood 18 2 Malfoy's Mission I 8 4 Voldemort !8 8 Harry's Mission 191 Meanwhile... 196 Harry's Transformation and Loss 199 The Death of Dumbledore 2 0 5 CHAPTER 7: HARRY'S FINAL JOURNEY 207 viii

Gifts Bestowed Before the Storm 210 The Search for Horcruxes and Loss of Safety 213 The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore 220 Of Reunions and Deathly Hallows 223 Disaster 229 Preparations for the Final Battle 235 Snape Exposed 240 Confronting the Shadow 242 The Hero's Return 246 Hero's Journey 249 CHAPTER 8: LESSONS LEARNED FROM HARRY POTTER AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS 256 For the Mental Health Worker 256 Final Thoughts for the Mental Health Worker 266 Limitations of this Dissertation 268 The Significance of Harry Potter and Archetypes in Real Life 270 REFERENCES 272 APPENDIX A: BOOK TIMELINE 277 ix

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION One of the most common themes seen in stories across culture and history is the story of an innocent who journeys and goes on to become a hero. This is known as the hero's journey and is present in Odysseus' journey through The Odyssey, in Luke Sky walker's journey through Star Wars, as well as countless other stories, myths, and fairy tales, some of which have been around for as long as human history has been recorded (Campbell, 1949/2008). One of the reasons the hero's journey is so pervasive is because of the metaphor it represents for journeys taken in every day life. These journeys, while not necessarily leading to a different location, lead the person to a new chapter and understanding in their life. Some examples include going off to college, getting married, or beginning a new career (Pearson, 1991). The hero's journey in fiction can be a supportive metaphor for these everyday journeys as "the adventure of the hero" is "the adventure of being alive" (Campbell & Moyers, 1988, p. 206; Pearson, 1991). One of the more popular stories in the past decade to contain the hero's journey is J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. This dissertation organizes the themes in the seven Harry Potter books, Philosopher's Stone (Book 1), Chamber of Secrets (Book 2), Prisoner ofAzkaban (Book 3), Goblet of Fire (Book 4), Order of the Phoenix (Book 5), Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) and Deathly Hallows (Book 1), into Jungian archetypes, while following the hero, Harry, and his journey from innocent to hero. Please see Appendix A for a layout of the chronology of the Harry Potter books. In addition to identifying the overall archetypal themes in Harry's journey, this dissertation will also focus on the journey from childhood into adolescence. This is 1

because the journey through adolescence as an overall theme is pervasive throughout the books, as Harry's journey is a coming of age tale. Harry begins the first book as an 11 year old, placed in a magical world where good and evil are clearly delineated. As Harry matures, the challenges that Harry has to face become more complex, representing the same complexity that children face when they transition from innocence to knowledge, childhood into adolescence. As a result, this dissertation will be particularly beneficial when using Harry Potter therapeutically with children and adolescents. Psychological Relevance and Uses for this Dissertation The purpose of this dissertation is to be a guide for people working in the mental health field with youths in therapy who are familiar with the Harry Potter series. "We find a model for learning how to live in stories about heroism. The heroic quest is about saying yes to yourself and, in so doing, becoming more fully alive and more effective in the world" (Pearson, 1991, p. 1). Therefore, if clients state that they can relate to a certain part of Harry's journey, or that they feel a connection with one of the characters in the books, that content represents psychologically significant archetypes from Jung's collective unconscious. "The concept of the archetype, which is an indispensable correlate of the idea of the collective unconscious, indicates the existence of definite forms in the psyche which seem to be present always and everywhere" (Jung, Archetypes, p. 42). All people, especially children who are only beginning to understand who they are and the place they belong to in their environment, can relate to the journey of the hero 2

who is also trying to find his or her place in the world, and be successful (Bettelheim, 1975; Jung, Archetypes, vol. 9). Bruno Bettelheim (1975) believed that fantasy stories, fairy tales in particular, have the ability to support children's psychological development. This includes helping the child to develop a sense of identity, offering validation to their unconscious drives, alleviating their existential anxieties, and giving children hope for their future. Harry Potter offers these same gifts to children that Bettelheim mentions, meaning that after reading this dissertation, a counselor in the mental health field will be equipped to better help support a child's psychological growth and development using Harry Potter. The reason this dissertation chose Harry Potter as its source material is because the series is a popular contemporary story that has grown to icon status in today's culture. The seven books in the Harry Potter series have taken 7 of the top 10 "best selling books of the past 15 years" according to USA Today (MuggleNet.com, 2008). The BBC News Channel states that as of October 2008, Rowling is the highest earning writer, earning six times more than the second largest earning writer, James Patterson. Rowling is estimated to have sold over 400 million copies of Harry Potter books, which have been translated into 67 languages (BBC News Channel, 2008). Harry is arguably "one of the most popular characters in the world" (Morris in Bagget & Klein, 2004, p. 9). Based on these statistics, the chances are high that a person in the mental health field will work with a client who is familiar with the Harry Potter books. It is my hope that this analysis of the seven books will help mental health workers better understand the psychological significance of Harry Potter, and to be able to use it

in session with clients also familiar with the books. Because the hero's journey is such a pervasive metaphor for everyday challenges faced, it can be a valuable tool to help understand psychological turmoil a child or adolescent may be facing, using the content from Harry Potter as the bridge to help talk about these existential themes. A Personal Note My interest in this dissertation stems from my interest in the hero's journey in fiction. Having experienced typical hardships of growing up, I personally had always found strength in the fictional heroes I had come to admire and love. I found strength in their heroics. I found models for who I wanted to be. I saw guides for how I wanted to live my life. Though Jungian theory was not a large part of my education in graduate school, I was introduced to Jung during my undergraduate years, where I wrote a paper about Jungian themes in a season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I had also previously been exposed to Jungian analyses of Star Wars and was fascinated by the analysis of the heroic and psychic themes present. I knew that I wanted to do an in depth Jungian analysis of the hero's journey for my dissertation. This leads me to the personal reason I chose to look at Harry Potter. Like many children before me, Harry Potter taught me to love reading. The only difference is that I was 20-years-old and studying abroad in Australia when I read the first book. While I had read many books for school before then, reading was never a leisure activity I actively enjoyed. When I picked up Harry Potter, something was different. I genuinely looked forward to being able to spend time with the books! When I finished Harry 4

Potter, I wanted to read more and sought out other books to read and enjoy, beginning my journey of reading for leisure. With this dissertation, I want to showcase the psychological benefits of stories that encompass the hero's journey in order to better understand the role it plays in adolescent development. In addition, for other students of psychology, like myself, who never had an opportunity in graduate school to study Jung's body of work, this dissertation will also serve as an introductory guide through Jungian archetypal theory. 5

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW The main theme running through the Harry Potter books, and what this analysis will focus on, is the hero's journey. The hero's journey is an archetypal quest which Joseph Campbell (1949/2008) broke down into three parts: the departure, the initiation, and the return. Each of these three parts may be broken down even further into several sub-parts. The hero's adventure begins with either something missing, which the hero then searches for, or with the hero sensing that something is lacking in the normal experiences he or she is permitted to have, and goes questing to find those experiences. The hero can recognize this lack, or a herald can come and announce it to the hero. While there are some heroes who choose to undertake the journey, some will initially refuse the call, though they tend to suffer for it. Once the hero accepts the quest, he or she receives supernatural assistance along the way. The hero then crosses the threshold into a new world he or she is not familiar with. Sometimes this comes in the form of a rebirth where the hero is transformed. This ends the departure, and is the start of the initiation. In this new realm, the hero faces trials in which he or she is challenged to survive, again receiving aid from a supernatural helper. Throughout the journey, the hero's sense of reality is changed and the hero is faced with trials. Parts of these trials are represented as the opposite sex of the hero. For a male hero, he may be confronted with a temptress who wants to distract him from the journey. This also represents the hero's difficulty with the fact that the "Truth" and his subjective reality are not the same. The hero must 6

confront this and then continue on the journey. The male hero also makes amends with a tyrant father figure in order to know himself better. Finally, for the male hero, the ultimate trial involves marriage to a queen-like or mother figure, which represents the hero's mastery of life, and sense of wholeness. Before the end, the hero will undergo a change, sometimes a complete disintegration. This is usually a voluntary sacrifice on the part of the hero. Quite often this disintegration leads to a superior hero, as the hero may be able to do things he or she could not before, or see a larger point of view. The hero then receives the ultimate boon, which may be a physical treasure for which the journey was begun, or a new found sense of awareness. Whether the boon is tangible or not, the hero knows that his or her home society, or "kingdom," will be able to benefit from it when the hero returns. Sometimes the hero does not want to return to the ordinary world after experiencing the extraordinary. Sometimes those in the extraordinary environment do not want the hero to leave, especially if the hero is taking back an acquired object. This may require the hero to flee, or be assisted with outside help in order to return home. The hero then crosses the threshold back into the normal world, which he must accept as reality. Even though the hero returns from where he or she came, because of what was acquired, either physically or through experience, the hero is a fundamentally changed person from whom he or she was before the journey. This is described as the hero being able to perceive both human and divine worlds. The fruits of the journey are then shared with society. This is the hero's journey in its most basic structure, of leaving innocent 7

and returning with a boon which forever changes the hero and the hero's environment for the better (Campbell, 1949/2008). Pearson (1991) references Campbell's "hero's journey" as a metaphor for the everyday journey. "Few of us literally slay dragons or even villains. The swords we use are less often literal weapons and more often money, status, image, power, influence, and highly developed communication skills. But the patterns remain the same" (Pearson, 1991, p. 31). This means that heroes need not only come from myth and fairy tales, as there are real life heroes as well. A hero can be the founder of something, be it a new age, new government, new religion, or a new art form. In order for this new order to be found, the hero must leave the old and quest for what will bring about the new. Some of America's heroes include George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, as well as pioneers like Daniel Boone. They had to give of themselves in order for a greater good to be accomplished, galvanizing society onto the same trailblazing path (Campbell & Moyers, 1988). However, heroism need not be on such a grand scale. Pearson (1991) stressed the importance of the everyday journey and how every individual has their own unique journey to take, as small and insignificant as it may seem. This is because each person is on a quest to discover who they are and who they want to be. The hero's journey is about saying "yes" to one's self and therefore, becoming more fully alive and effective in the world. There is suffering involved in being fully alive, and the everyday quest through life has its pitfalls. However, the rewards for taking the journey are great. "Everything seems to fall into place" as the individual is able to see the "beauty, intelligence and goodness" in one's self without 8

worry about having to prove anything to anyone (Pearson, 1991, p. 5). The hero's journey is not another self improvement project, nor is the hero's journey meant to mean reaching some ideal perfection. It is about "finding and honoring what is really true about you" (Pearson, 1991, p. 5). When individuals do not accept the call to take their journey, not only do they tend to suffer for it, but there is a collective suffering as well. Someone may have all of the right material possessions, such as the right car, the right house, the right job, and still feel unfulfilled and empty inside because they have not taken their own unique journey. There is a lack of purpose and meaning in life which is felt by all. Anyone who has worked in an office setting with a self-destructive co-worker will understand how one person can bring down other people as well (Rath & Clifton, 2009). But additionally, there is the cost to society of lost productivity by individuals who attempt to numb the emptiness felt in their lives with drugs and alcohol (Pearson, 1991). "This is why the myth of the hero is so important in the contemporary world. It is a timeless myth that links us to people of all times and places. It is about fearlessly leaping off the edge of the known to confront the unknown..." (Pearson, 1991, p. 2). The path of the hero's journey is not linear, as it appears in fairy tales where they live "happily ever after." Rather in life, the journey is cyclical, as when one journey or turmoil has ended, another begins (Pearson, 1991). This cyclical journey is similar to Erikson's theory of human development in which the individual comes to face a particular trial, which must be surpassed, only to face another crisis to then surpass that as well (Cole & Cole, 2001). The journeys never end so long as the person has life. 9

Adolescent Development and the Journey Erik Erikson, who was a student of Sigmund Freud, is a well known figure in lifespan development. He saw identity formation as a life long process and developed eight stages of development which are categorized as conflicts, or crises, that the individual must overcome in order to find his or her identity. Erikson held that the main theme of life is the quest for identity, which he conceptualized as a stable core of personality. In order to move along in the search for identity, the first crisis must be resolved if the person is to move on to the next stage of development. These stages are seen psychosocially. In other words, the stages are seen in terms of how well the person is able to meet the demands expected of him or her by the environment and how well the person is received by the environment. It is a growing individual's culture that provides the interpretive tools for how well the person's personality is maturing (Cole & Cole, 2001). While the eight stages of development encompass the entirety of the lifespan, only the first five stages will be detailed, as the emphasis of Harry Potter and this analysis, is childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. The first of Erikson's stages is "basic trust versus basic mistrust." This is in the first year of life where babies learn to trust others to care for their basic needs, or to mistrust others. They also learn to trust that when their mother leaves their sight, that she will return. The next stage seen in the second year of life is "autonomy versus shame and doubt." This is where children learn to exercise their own will in order to control themselves. If they cannot do this, they become doubtful that they can do things by themselves. The third stage, experienced in 1 0

the third to sixth year of life, is "initiative versus guilt." This is where children learn to either enjoy their ability to initiate their own activities and accomplishments, or they are not allowed to follow their own initiatives and they come to feel guilty for wanting to be independent. The fourth stage is "industry versus inferiority," which is experienced in the seventh year up through puberty. Here children learn to be competent in the activities that are valued by adults and peers, or they feel inferior. Then in adolescence, the fifth stage is "identity versus role confusion," where adolescents develop a sense of personal identity within their own social group, or they become confused about who they are and what they want to do in life (Cole & Cole, 2001, p. 399). These stages will be touched on later during the analysis of Harry as he grows through the seven books. Erikson's final three stages of lifespan will not be discussed during this analysis because the books do not extend into Harry's adulthood, with exception to the epilogue. These final stages include: "Intimacy versus isolation," "generativity versus stagnation," and "integrity versus despair." "Intimacy versus isolation" involves finding an intimate life companion, or risking being lonely. "Generativity versus stagnation" occurs when adults are productive in their work and are willing to raise the next generation, lest they risk stagnation in their lives. Finally "integrity versus despair" is the final stage of life where people try to make sense of their prior experience and assure themselves that their lives had meaning, or they despair over their unachieved goals and ill-spent lives (Cole & Cole, 2001, p. 399). This completes Erikson's lifespan development. Adolescence is one of those common journeys that everyone goes through, represented in the same three stages as the hero's journey. In metaphor, Jung saw a

typical hero pattern to be the hero breaking ties with the parents, particularly the male hero breaking from his mother (Storr, 1983), which can be seen as the departure. This also includes letting go of dependency on the parents and of infantile desires. A death of the childhood self occurs and the initiation requires the adolescent to become a responsible adult, experiencing a rebirth of a more mature person. The return involves a return to what is important to the individual, a sense of wholeness (Campbell, 1949/2008; Storr, 1983). Jung's psychoanalysis was predicated on finding this wholeness within a person's psyche. He believed that people were made up of opposites, including: introvert and extrovert, good and bad, man and woman, dark and light. He believed that human beings were always striving toward balance within themselves, allowing all parts to live in harmony. Jung called this process of becoming whole "individuation" (Jung, Archetypes). Individuation "denotes the process by which a person becomes a psychological 'in-dividual,' that is, a separate, indivisible unity or 'whole.'" (Jung, Archetypes, p. 275). The individuation process, or the search for the Self, will be further detailed later. The Hero in Fairy Tales Not only can the hero's journey represent the journey through adolescence, but stories of the hero, particularly in fairy tales, can assist children psychologically. Fairy tales help children move beyond "being stuck" in their psychological development (Campbell & Moyers, 1988, p. 168). If someone, child or no, is psychologically stuck, 1 2

there is a mythological counterpart to that person's problem which can be worked out unconsciously through the story. (Campbell & Moyers, 1988). In most cultures there is no clear line separating myths, fairy tales, or other stories. Apart from the knowledge that children acquire from their family, they receive information from mythical and religious stories, fables, as well as fairy tales. These fantasy stories usually represent an inner conflict in symbol form and also suggest how it may be solved, again represented in the metaphor of the hero's journey. However, while there are similarities, there are also important differences between these different types of stories. Myths, fables, and related religious stories offer answers for the world's origin and also demonstrate social ideals and the proper way to behave. Heroes of myth, including Achilles or Hercules, are superhuman. Their journey of becoming a hero demonstrates the proper ways to behave, such as Hercules being the strongest man, but not being beneath cleaning a filthy stable. These heroes are role models for which the child strives for, but ultimately cannot reach. This leaves the child feeling inferior to the hero of myth because the child does not measure up to the almost divine model the mythic hero demonstrates (Bettelheim, 1975). This is where the fairy tale differs. There are four ways fairy tales assist the growing child. These four rules separate fairy tales from religious or mythic stories. First, fairy tales feed children's imaginations and stimulate their fantasies. Most fairy tales are not cautionary moral tales that suggest the child act in a certain way; children need only receive pleasure from the stories. "The people just enjoy telling [folk] stories and leaving them at that. They feel refreshed by them, for they have a positive healing effect, but they are not assimilated; they are not 1 3

reflected upon, as are mythologies that form the basis of religious systems for civilizations or alchemical philosophies" (von Franz, 1997, pp. 144-145). Second, the characters in fairy tales are also usually homely and quite human, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, or Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk. As a result, there are no heroes of mythic proportions that the child feels inferior to. Because the child is able to identify with the hero of the fairy tale, it gives the child hope for the future that he or she may be in the same place as the commoner hero and be able to overcome his or her simple circumstances. Third, almost all fairy tales offer a happy ending, whereas myths and cautionary tales do not necessarily (Bettelheim, 1975). These rules are not definitive as there is some overlap with the distinguishing features of myths and fairy tales. But perhaps the fourth, and most definitive way to determine if a story is to be considered a fairy tale is something Bettelheim (1975) quotes from Lewis Carroll. He calls fairy tales "love-gifits" to children (p. 26), meaning the tale demands nothing from the child. The child is not asked to act in a certain way, nor is even the smallest child meant to feel inferior when compared to the hero. "Far from making demands, the fairy tale reassures, gives hope for the future, and holds out the promise of a happy ending" (Bettelheim, 1975, p. 26). A tale that can be thought of in this way can be thought of as a fairy tale. Psychological Benefits of Fairy Tales Fairy tales deal with universal human anxieties, especially those that the child is preoccupied with. Hansel and Gretel being abandoned in the woods by their father to

fend for themselves, speaks to the child's separation anxiety from the parents. The story teaches that the child's fears are unwarranted as the children are victorious against the witch in the gingerbread house and they are reunited with their father. Jack taking on the giant who lives on top of the beanstalk speaks to the powerlessness that children feel around adults. It also shows that they can overcome their small stature in order defeat the giants and be successful. "The fairy tale... takes these existential anxieties and dilemmas very seriously and addresses itself directly to them: the need to be loved and the fear that one is thought worthless; the love of life, and the fear of death" (Bettelheim, 1975, p. 10). Fairy stories speak to and encourage the child's budding sense of self, or ego development. The child wonders first "who am I?" Stories offer content which the child can use to daydream with, helping him or her to better understand who he or she would like to be. According to Bettelheim (1975), a child's sense of self is not so much guided by what is right or what is wrong when he or she reads fairy tales, but rather by which characters encourage the child's sympathy and antipathy. It is not a matter of "I want to be good," but rather "Who do I want to be like?" Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk, stole from the giant, a decidedly antisocial behavior. But the point of this story is not to be moral, but rather to show the child that even the meek can master their difficulties and overcome giants, something the child surrounded by "giant" adults may unconsciously relate to. A good intentioned parent may think that a child should only be exposed to fantasy stories where the hero is completely pro-social and only does the right thing in order to encourage their child's healthy development, leaving out fairy tales which 1 5

Full document contains 287 pages
Abstract: The classic story of the hero's journey, where an innocent goes on an adventure and returns a hero, is a metaphor for the everyday journeys taken in life. This is particularly true for the child who navigates through the challenges of adolescence in order to become an adult. Fantasy stories about a hero, such as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, can be used to help young people through the turbulent times of adolescence. The journey that Harry experiences contains archetypal significance that mirrors the struggles young people go through during their own unique journeys. This dissertation looks at the necessary archetypal transformations that Harry undergoes in order to become a hero, and explains how this relates to the psychological significance of developing youths. This information can then be used by mental health professionals to help their young clients who identify with the challenges that Harry faces, with their own everyday challenges.