The following is the second installment of a three-part series on the use of myths and archetypes in memoir writing. In the first part of Your Life as a Myth, I wrote about both archetypal patterns in general and about the martyr archetype. In today’s post, I write about the orphan and the prince-left-at-the-pauper’s-door. Both frequently make appearances in a memoir. These posts are excerpted from Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories.
What is the orphan archetype?
One example of myths and archetypes is the orphan. People who do not develop or maintain personal ties can be said to be pursuing the orphan archetype. Artists are an example of the positive side of this archetype. Because many artists feel detached from roots, family, etc., they are free to tell the truth as they see it, to risk much in the pursuit of their art. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]