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Carl Jung’s Theory About the Limitedness of Stories and the Usage of Irony

Some people regard short stories as something entertaining, childish, and not serious. The size of the book cannot show its context. Short stories are even better to perceive, as you read without interruption. The reader perceives the whole information at once and can make some conclusions immediately. Short stories are easy to perceive and read.

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Carl Jung writes that there are a limited number of stories, and, likewise, a limited number of characters in short stories. This Jung’s theory about the limitedness of stories isn’t confined to plots but extends into character. Authors use archetypes in their stories with the only aim: the recognition of the characters in the stories by readers. The usage of archetypes is very important for short story writers in particular because much information should be limited in small size text.

In the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, the author uses the archetype of Mother, nurturing and devouring. This archetype helps us to get a quick understanding of her character and attitude toward her daughters, Maggie and Dee. The author should not use the long description of Mother, her character, and her relation to her daughters, we read a story and take it for granted.

There are six categories of myth in literature. The story under consideration may be the example of the quest and coming home myths as the roots and past are the main concern of the story. The mentioned story presents the reader with the comparison of culture and heritage, which turns to be very interesting, how all this is represented by the quilt. The story takes the example of the African-American people.

The irony is a stylistic device that is aimed to create a humorous effect in the story. The irony creates the vision of ridiculing the vices of people lightly, without using strong sarcasm. The irony is used in many short stories to lighten the authors’ work. The irony helps the reader to understand the authors’ attitude to this or that character or situation in the story.

The usage of irony in short stories provides a special effect on the reader. The purpose of irony in short stories is described by Freud. He says that things or information which cannot be percept by people’s consciousness can be percept by our unconsciousness. The psychoanalysis of jokes (or irony) in short stories demands from us “paying a lot of attention to language, in puns, slips of the tongue, displacements, and condensations” (Psychoanalysis and Sigmund Freud 2001). This attention is paid on the unconscious level.

The story under consideration, “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane, represents an example of comic irony. This type of irony may be observed in the author’s illustration of isolation, indifference, and insignificance. All these items are created with the help of symbols that could be understood by the reader’s unconscious.

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We read in Freud that, “psychoanalytic literary criticism often fits better with the humanist models of literary production than with the structuralist and post-structuralist models” (Psychoanalysis and Sigmund Freud 2001). The purpose of a psychoanalytic reading is to give the unconsciousness way out. While reading short stories, our conscience decides “what course of action one should take” (Ego, Id, Super-Ego), and our unconsciousness is ready to perceive the information which is unavailable to our consciousness.

So, the use of irony and archetypes in short stories helps the reader to understand the author’s idea better on the unconscious level of perception. This is very important in short stories as much information should be limited within one short story.

Works Cited

“Ego, Id, Super-Ego”. Web.

“Psychoanalysis and Sigmund Freud” 2001. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 25). Carl Jung’s Theory About the Limitedness of Stories and the Usage of Irony. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/carl-jungs-theory-about-the-limitedness-of-stories-and-the-usage-of-irony/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 25). Carl Jung’s Theory About the Limitedness of Stories and the Usage of Irony. https://studycorgi.com/carl-jungs-theory-about-the-limitedness-of-stories-and-the-usage-of-irony/

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"Carl Jung’s Theory About the Limitedness of Stories and the Usage of Irony." StudyCorgi, 25 Oct. 2021, studycorgi.com/carl-jungs-theory-about-the-limitedness-of-stories-and-the-usage-of-irony/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Carl Jung’s Theory About the Limitedness of Stories and the Usage of Irony." October 25, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/carl-jungs-theory-about-the-limitedness-of-stories-and-the-usage-of-irony/.


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StudyCorgi. "Carl Jung’s Theory About the Limitedness of Stories and the Usage of Irony." October 25, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/carl-jungs-theory-about-the-limitedness-of-stories-and-the-usage-of-irony/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Carl Jung’s Theory About the Limitedness of Stories and the Usage of Irony." October 25, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/carl-jungs-theory-about-the-limitedness-of-stories-and-the-usage-of-irony/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Carl Jung’s Theory About the Limitedness of Stories and the Usage of Irony'. 25 October.

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