Presenter(s): Madison Faulk
Title: Archetypes in the American Gothic: A Psychological Critique of Oates's Bellefleur
Developed under the guidance of Dr. Sherry Truffin , English
In the American Gothic novel Bellefleur, Joyce Carol Oates reveals psychological forces at work when individuals embark on the lifelong task of reaching their full potential. One of Oates’s acknowledged influences, Carl Jung, known for his Theory of Analytical Psychology, defined that task as the process of individuation and explored the role of archetypes, elements of every human psyche, in that process. In Jung’s view, each archetype influences personality and may determine whether or not a person reaches individuation. Understanding these psychological forces can provide insight into both human behavior and Gothic literature, including Bellefleur.