What is the difference between archetypes and allusions?

Asked on by MintGreen

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sgale's profile pic

sgale | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Archetypes are recognizable characteristics that we use to categorize people or things into groups.  

For example:  A woman who is a perfect mother and wife, a giving member of her community, and a societal model of morality might be archetyped in a book as "an angel," or even as "Eve."  

Theses are the type of  characteristics that create a motif in the reader's mind of good, bad, silly, morally corrupt, etc...

Allusions are leading to a conclusion without absolute description. An author may alude to the fact that a character is doing bad things without showing the action of a bad deed. Allusions are a more ambiguous way of leading to the building of archetypes, while archetypes are often more recognizable which enables grouping into absolute patterns. 

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coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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An archetype is a bit like a template as its the original pattern or model from which other things of the same kind are taken from of copied from - or what they are based on , such as a model or first draft - a bit similar to a prototype.
In literature, and in Jungian psychology, it can refer to a collectively inherited idea or an unconscious thought pattern or image, something we all have, but individually perceive. In literature also we might think of the archetypal villain as being Satan, with all that come after, variations on him.
An allusion is a reference, for example mentioning one novel in relation to another one. Sometimes these are subtle, especially in poetry, and one has to have heard of and recognise the second, before one can recognise the allusion in the first.

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