The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 17, No 1 (2013)

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Exploring the Intent and Ramifications of Spiritual Archetypes in Children’s Fantasy Literature

Stacey Freeman

Abstract


The King James Bible has saturated the English language in idioms with a frequency that is both remarkable and surreptitious.  This article reveals that the language of spirituality is a persistent and often unrecognized presence in every aspect of most everything in which we engage ourselves because unbeknownst to most people, according to Nicolson, it “is speaking through us” (Nicolson 43).  This article examines the abundance of spiritual archetypes in children’s fantasy literature and utilizes Carl Jung’s theory of the “collective unconscious” to investigate the possible reasoning for this abundance.  It then delves into Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting, with a discussion of her inadvertent use of the archetype of Death, in order to further explicate the concept of a universal psyche.  It concludes with an exploration of Michel Foucault’s concept of the Panopticon in order to explain the possible ramifications of spiritual archetypes in children’s fantasy literature.

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680