Scott Pilgim Vs the World Jungian Archetypes

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Scott Pilgim Vs the World Jungian Archetypes

Post  sashaoriordan on Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:55 am

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a film based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series, Scott Pilgrim. This movie follows the adventures of the twenty-two year old slacker rocker Scott Pilgrim and his battle to achieve the girl of his dreams by defeating her seven deadly ex-lovers. The movie begins with Scott dating a young seventeen year old high school girl, Knives Chau despite the protest of his friends. He soon meets the mysterious Ramona Flowers whom he had first seen in his dreams, and to Knives Chau’s dismay; he ends the relationship with her abruptly. He soon discovers that to be with this woman he must defeat the entire league of evil ex’s, lead by Gideon who is the main antagonist of this movie.

Symbolic Archetypes:
The Battle Between Good and Evil
The dominant symbolic archetype throughout this movie would be the battle between good and evil. Scott Pilgrim battles the entire league of evil ex’s throughout the whole film. The title of the league itself is evidence that the league is one of the primal forces in opposition. Scott represents the other primal force as he is fighting for a good cause - to be able to date Ramona Flowers.

Situational Archetypes
The Unhealable Wound
The archetype of the unhealable is very evident in this film. Scott Pilgrim was wounded psychologically when his ex-girl friend Envy Adams ended their relationship. He is constantly self-conscious about his hair becoming too shaggy. The last time he cut his hair professionally was three hours before Envy broke up with him, and he has been cutting his hair himself ever since. This is a great suggestion that his psychological wounds have not been fully healed yet even though their relationship had ended a long time ago.

The Magic Weapon
Another situational archetype that is evident in this film is the magic weapon. At the end of the movie Scott is about to fight Gideon, the final of the seven evil ex’s. He professes his love for Ramona and earns the power of love, which is a special sword. He fails to defeat Gideon, and upon his second try he finally admits to himself that he wants to defeat Gideon for himself rather than anyone else, so he earns the power of self-respect, which is another special sword that he then uses to defeat Gideon.

The Initiation
The initiation happens twice in this film, both towards the end in the final scenes of the film. Scott and Young Neil both are initiated into adult life. After Scott dies, he is forced to realise all of his wrong doings. He quickly comes back as though he were starting from the beginning of a game and beating the levels one by one. He apologises to each of the girls he had hurt, and then admits to his immaturity and wrong doings. This shows a clear difference in Scott’s behaviour. There was a switch from immaturity to maturity. Scott then provides the second initiation of the film by telling Young Neil that he has become a man, and that he is now Neil, as opposed to Young Neil, suggesting an initiation into adult life.

Character Archetypes
The Temptress
The temptress can be applied to Ramona Flowers in this film. Before Scott Pilgrim even laid his eyes on her, he had already seen her in a dream. It is very apparent that he is physically attracted to her as he stalks her at a party until she leaves, and he breaks up with his girlfriend for her. Being killed by Gideon, and the fact that dating Ramona meant Scott had to fight her seven evil ex’s’ suggests a downfall caused by her.

The Devil Figure
A prime example of the devil figure in this movie is Gideon. Founding the league of evil ex’s whose purpose is to kill Scott Pilgrim, is an indication of Gideon’s devil-like personality. Defeating Scott himself and attaching some sort of mechanical device on the back of Ramona’s neck so he could control her shows that he has a dark side to him. However, at the very end of the film Scott comes back from being dead and defeats Gideon once and for all.

In conclusion, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a hilarious movie that is chalked full of Jungian Archetypes. There is evidence of the symbolic archetype of the battle between good and evil. The character archetpyes of the temptress and the devil figure are also very evident through out the film. Finally, the initiation, the unhealable wound and the magic weapon are all examples of situational archetypes that I found. The archetypes that I listed are only a few of the many that exist throughout the movie. It's a great movie if you haven't seen it. I highly suggest it.


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Mattia's Response

Post  Mattia Thillaye-Kerr on Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:57 am

This is a really solid analysis. I agree with all of your archetypes, but I think that you should have included the situational archetype of Death and Rebirth. This archetype applies when Scott is battling Gideon. Scott uses the power of love weapon, and is defeated. He dies, but is reborn to free Ramona, apologize to Knives and defeat the Devil figure of Gideon.
It could also be said that Ramona and Scott are Star Crossed Lovers, for most of the movie. They want to be together, but have problems caused by the League of Evil Exs. Scott is constantly being attacked for trying to with Ramona, and this causes them to drift apart. At first it seems like Scott has failed to win Ramona from Gideon, but unlike most star-crossed lovers stories, he wins Ramona and overcomes the forces pulling them apart.

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Maïmouna's Response

Post  Maï on Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:00 pm

It might also be said that Scott fulfills another situational archetype; The Task.

Scott has to preform the nearly superhuman deeds of defeating Ramona's seven evil exes to win his fair lady, Ramona, to save the kingdom. Or in the case of this movie, "the Kingdom" doubles as Ramona's freedom.


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Post  Mr. C on Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:33 pm

Sasha - I'll repeat Mattia's post: a very solid analysis. Well done! It is very interesting that Pilgrim is self-conscious about his hair getting too long. This is an inversion of the Samson and Delilah story where the source of Samson's strength was his long hair. My only comment is that I have no doubt there is evidence of Good vs. Evil, however, I don't know if fighting people in order to date a specific girl is evidence of "good" Smile
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