Medicine River Questions and Answers
by Thomas King

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What are archetypal characters in Medicine River?

Archetypal characters in Medicine River include Will's mother, who can be considered a mother figure; his father, the absent father figure; and his brother, who represents the explorer.

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In King's novel Medicine River, several characters represent common literary archetypes.

Will's immediate family meets the definitions of the mother figure, absentee father, and explorer archetypes. Will's mother, Rose Harlan, represents the mother figure archetype. Rose raises her two sons alone after being abandoned by her family and the father of her sons. She is caring and protective, and tries to protect her children as much as possible. The novel portrays Rose through flashbacks, as she is deceased.

The archetype of absent father is representative of Will's dad, who abandoned...

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