Wednesday, January 21, 2015
archetypes of Card
Despite his seeming lowering popularity due to his positions on same-sex marriage, Card’s reviews on his particular book The Seventh Son was fairly positive. This book navigates the life of Alvin Miller, a gifted and blessed seventh son of a seventh son, starting from before his life began up until his eleventh year. Thomas Wagner says “while the story avoids stereotypes, though, it positively basks in archetypes,” implying that the story is simply based on other characters, people, and stories to create an entirely new one. Wagner continues to say this book is a “humanistic story, revealing a deep love for humanity and its indomitable drive to overcome even the hardest struggles and persevere.”
Card is able to do this, to create this relate-able and enjoyable story and build up these beloved ideals, because of his use of these archetypes. In essence, none of his story is novel. None of what happens is new. How it is said, the context, the individual characters and names, places and history, those are slightly new. Many reviews critique his use of the modern-day Latter-day Saint prophet Joseph Smith and his life as an outline for the young Alvin Miller, but at the same time isn’t Card simply using the hero’s journey as an outline? Everyone who is anyone in the world of literature has used this outline in at least one of their works, if not all of them. Aren’t all stories and books, pieces of literature, archetypes of something or another? It is because of these archetypes that we, as readers, are able to enjoy and relate to these stories. They resonate with us, they’re familiar to us, and that causes us to like them and feel for them. There is a connection made in what we already know to what we are reading.
Overall, Card uses these archetypes effectively in creating an entertaining and emotionally charged book that allows the reader to join the journey of the Miller family and the town of Vigor.
Wagner, Thomas. "SF REVIEWS.NET: Seventh Son / Orson Scott Card ☆☆☆☆½." SF REVIEWS.NET: Seventh Son / Orson Scott Card ☆☆☆☆½. SF Reviews, 12 Oct. 2007. Web. 17 Jan. 2015. <http://www.sfreviews.net/alvin_maker_1_seventh_son.html>.