Date: December 2000
Creator: Gregg, Gretchen Esely
Description: Female archetypes reflect a social construction of reality, expressing expected modes of behavior, beliefs, and assumptions about women and are reinforced by repetition of common patterns and themes. Often female archetypes take on the physical characteristics of animals, commune with nature, engage in sexual promiscuity, and possess special powers to bewitch and control men into doing their bidding. Four prevalent archetypes include: the Predatory Woman, who with her bestial nature becomes the hunter of men; the Sacrificial Woman, who dutifully negates herself for the sake of men; the Bad Mother, who is cold, unnatural, and challenges men; and les enfants terrible seductive girl-women who at once tempt and torment men. This research traces the development and evolution of female archetypes and explores how images of women, nature, sexuality, and evil are structured within a cultural framework of Western tradition: myths and folktales, religious, philosophical, and scientific works, and film.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries