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Archetypal Symbolism in Alice Walker's Possessing the Secret of Joy

Archetypal Symbolism in Alice Walker's Possessing the Secret of Joy Archetypal Symbolism in Alice Walker s Possessing the Secret of Joy by Geneva Cobb Moore Alice Walker’s fifth novel, Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992), marks a new beginning for an author/activist who explicitly appropriates Carl Jung’s archetypal patterns of the ego, the shadow, the anima/animus, and the Self in a psychological process that promises individual har- mony and wholeness for those earnestly seeking self-knowledge and well-being. It is worth noting that at the beginning of her writing career, Walker embraced the national ethos of protest, resistance, and libera- tion that defined the revolutionary 1960s, and her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, especially in the segregated South, was a sign of her profound commitment to changing society and to being a viable part of the struggle for African American liberation and women’s free- dom from the exterior forces of oppression. With the political assassi- nations of the 1960s, however, Walker, as made clear in Meridian (1976), experienced the pathos of a somewhat successful but now aborted move- ment. Significantly, then, Walker shifted her authorial emphasis from the external conditions of society to the internal psychological development of the individual, and in Possessing the Secret of Joy, she turned http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Archetypal Symbolism in Alice Walker's Possessing the Secret of Joy

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 33 (1) – Dec 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Department of English of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

Archetypal Symbolism in Alice Walker s Possessing the Secret of Joy by Geneva Cobb Moore Alice Walker’s fifth novel, Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992), marks a new beginning for an author/activist who explicitly appropriates Carl Jung’s archetypal patterns of the ego, the shadow, the anima/animus, and the Self in a psychological process that promises individual har- mony and wholeness for those earnestly seeking self-knowledge and well-being. It is worth noting that at the beginning of her writing career, Walker embraced the national ethos of protest, resistance, and libera- tion that defined the revolutionary 1960s, and her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, especially in the segregated South, was a sign of her profound commitment to changing society and to being a viable part of the struggle for African American liberation and women’s free- dom from the exterior forces of oppression. With the political assassi- nations of the 1960s, however, Walker, as made clear in Meridian (1976), experienced the pathos of a somewhat successful but now aborted move- ment. Significantly, then, Walker shifted her authorial emphasis from the external conditions of society to the internal psychological development of the individual, and in Possessing the Secret of Joy, she turned

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Dec 1, 2001

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