Jungian Archetypes in Bones

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Jungian Archetypes in Bones

Post  mganly on Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:16 pm

Madeleine Ganly

Plot Summary

Bones is a television series set in Washington, DC. The protagonist of the series is Dr. Temperance Brennan. Dr. Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist for the F.B.I. She works with her team at the Jeffersonian institute and her F.B.I partner, agent Sealy Booth. Together the characters of Bones solve homicide investigations. Brennan’s team collects scientific evidence while Booth uses his “gut feelings” and skills as an army trained sniper to solve cases and put murderers in prison.

Character Archetypes
The character of Angela Montenegro embodies the archetype of the Earth Mother. Angela often understands her colleagues’ emotional states better than they do. Angela is quick to offer advice and condolences when a friend is going through a difficult emotional time. Angela is the most intuitive of the female characters and the most spiritual. Angela trusts her intuition and often guides her friends and colleagues spiritually when the nature of their work starts to get to them. Angela is the only female character on the show to become pregnant. She is the only female character that has ever expressed a desire for children. Angela seems to emotionally heal those who she comes in contact with. Angela’s love interest (Hodgens) is an angry outcast prior to coming in contact with Angela. Angela’s presence in Hodgens’ life seems to immediately heal the emotional wounds responsible for his anger. Hodgens is immediately integrated into a social group when he is united with Angela. Angela also displays traits that coincide with those of the Temptress. Angela is a very beautiful woman and men are often immediately attracted to her. So far, Angela has broken the heart of every man she has been romantically involved with on the show. She rejects Hodgens’ marriage proposal leaving him emotionally destroyed. After their relationship ends, Angela continues to tempt Hodgens back into her life just to push him away again. Angela embodies the Earth Mother, but displays traits associated with the temptress.
Zack embodies the archetype of the Outcast. Zack is permanently banished from a social group for committing a crime against his fellow man. Zack is forced out of his social group when his colleagues discover he has committed multiple cannibalistic murders. Zack is forced to spend the rest of his life as an outcast from society and will never be reintegrated into his former social group. Zack embodies the archetype of the Outcast.
Hedgens is also seen as the archetype of the outcast. Hodgens is outcast from society. His inheritance of a large fortune and his anger towards the world can be seen as his crime. Hodgens is an outcast in the lab until he meets Angela who successfully integrates him into the social group where he belonged all along.
Situational Archetypes
The Fall is present in the show when Zack is discovered to have committed multiple cannibalistic murders. Zack descends from a higher state of being to a lower state of being when he is discovered to be a murderer. Before Zack’s descent, he is respected in his social group for his intellectual brilliance. When Zack is discovered as a murderer, he is seen as the enemy. Before Zack’s fall he is seen as an innocent, naïve, brilliant young man. Zack’s fall causes him to lose him innocence and the bliss that came with being successfully integrated into a social group. Zack’s job as being a part of Dr. Brennan’s team would be paradise to anyone in the scientific community. Zack is expelled from “paradise” because of his moral transgression and disobedience to society, just like Adam and Eve were expelled from The Garden of Eden.
Booth’s coma has many parallels to the Journey. When Booth is unconscious he experienced an alternate reality. In Booth’s case, he does not descend into hell, but experiences heaven. His experiences in his alternate reality force him to discover and admit truths about himself and what he needs to do in order to achieve the happiness he experienced while in his coma. When Booth regains consciousness and “returns to the world of the living” he accepts responsibility for his happiness and decides to do what will make him happy.
Symbolic Archetypes
Brennan, her team and the F.B.I are the good that are constantly in opposition with evil. Every case they attempt to solve is a battle between good and evil. Everyone involved in solving the case represents the good, and everyone who opposes Brennan’s efforts can be seen as evil. Often, the evil opposing Brennan is not just the guilty party. Often “higher-ups” at the F.B.I, lawyers, bureaucrats, and a lack of hard evidence can oppose Brennan’s efforts and represent evil. Friends and family that may enable the guilty party are also seen as evil.  Therefore everyone who attempts to prevent the truth from being revealed and opposes Brennan and her team are evil.


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Post  Mr. C on Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:35 pm

Mimi - good job here, lots for me to think about. I thought it intriguing that you had a character who was both an Earth Mother AND a Temptress. This is a perfect example of how we should use Jungian archetypal analysis (or other literary theories) to deepen and broaden our understanding of characters and literature as opposed to pigeon-holing characters as stereotypes. Given your evidence, it is clear that Angela has traits of both...and why not? Why can't a woman have those two archetypes...and dozens more? Thanks!
Mr. C

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