EARTH MOTHER AND SKY FATHER GENDERED ARCHETYPES IN NORTHROP FRYE’S WORK
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This paper proposes a reading of Northrop Frye‘s work in the context of certain conflicting claims of feminist theories. On the one hand, postmodern thinkers advocating gender scepticism question the legitimacy of comprehensive communal symbols; on the other hand, building on the binaries of gender, feminists continue to perform a useful critique of the extremely ―masculine‖ values of Western culture. I argue that Frye‘s unique distinction between primary concern (mythology) and secondary concern (ideology) can be used to theorize the difference between archetype and stereotype, and thus to distinguish the ideological and oppressive from the nourishing and liberating aspects of gendered imagery in our culture. And ultimately, Frye‘s typological dialectic provides a way of going beyond the binaries of gender towards the interpenetration of masculine and feminine, subject and object, culture and nature.
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