When animus and anima meet - Carl Jung Depth Psychology
The first one is All About Eve by Joseph L. Mankiewicz - a cult 's film Upon meeting Psyche, Eros realizes that another variation of anima. 35). lung had met in Freud a man who was interested and . that Jung discusses arc the persona, shadow, anima and animus, and the self. “The animus, just like the anima, exhibits four stages of development. It also shows the woman meeting her experience of her father in a healing way. The old guy, Joseph married the young girl Mary and couldn't or didn't father the child.
On a psychological level, negative anima leads people "away from the individually human situation" and contributes to human relatedness only when "the persons concerned share the same mood or fantasy.
Margo and Eve need fame, gay men need safety. However, there comes a time when Margo wants love and gay men want to have a life outside their immediate gay community - and this is precisely when relatedness is vital and performance is meddlesome. Margo cannot differentiate between theatre and life. In Lloyd's words she "overplays reality.
If she can walk, crawl or roll - she plays," Karen comments. Moreover, without the show there is no Margo Channing. And Margo is intelligent enough to realize it. And I want Bill. I want him to want me.
But not Margo Channing. And if I can't tell them apart - how can he? Ten years from now Margo Channing will have ceased to exist She knows that if she wants a measure of personal success, she must change, she must reclaim her positive femininity. In, perhaps, the most famous monologue of the film, Margo laments: You forget you'll need them again when you go back to being a woman. That's one career all females have in common - whether we like it or not - being a woman. Eve, naturally, gladly accepts them.
Everything is going according to her fantasy: She is ready for a new frontier: It is the ruthless and unfeeling Addison DeWitt who pulls Eve out of her dream and brings her back to reality. With a dose of hard-hearted realism he mercilessly announces that he knows Eve for what she is: It's time you did. I am Addison DeWitt.
Least of all yours," he tells her and exposes all of her lies one by one. He will not have her run away with Lloyd - she must belong to him. We have that in common. Also a contempt for humanity, an inability to love or be loved, insatiable ambition - and talent. We deserve each other," he says to a reality-stricken Eve who realizes that she has failed: Similarly to Margo and Eve, prior to Stonewall, many gay men faced a social challenge of developing a conscious relationship to "reality".
Camp - perhaps, the most prevalent form of pre-Stonewall gay sensibility - could not coincide with this reality: Nonetheless, in-order to be Margo, Eve - and Camp, for that matter - one must have an acute understanding of the reality that one tries to run away from laconically, one must know one's enemy.
As Ann Yeoman points out, fantasy always exists in relation to reality - the one constellates the other. And, after Stonewall, gay men made many strides on this path of relatedness. Let us quickly recall All About My Mother's plot. Manuela, a single mother and an amateur actress, sees Esteban, her year old son, die in a road accident as he tries to get the autograph of Huma Rojo, the great theatre Diva and the star of A Streetcar Named Desire.
Deeply distressed, she leaves Madrid for Barcelona with the hope of finding Estaban's father, now a transvestite prostitute named Lola. Unable to go back to Madrid, Manuela stays with La Agrado and befriends Sister Rosa, a local nun committed to helping transvestite prostitutes.
Shortly thereafter she once again meets Huma and, by happenstance, becomes her assistant. Meanwhile Sister Rosa announces her pregnancy with Lola's child. Unable to take care of herself, Rosa asks for Manuela's help, and Manuela reluctantly agrees to become her full-time caregiver, quitting her work with Huma. Let us begin our analysis with Esteban. It is hard for gay men not to like him: He is fascinated with All About Eve and becomes very upset when the Spanish television incorrectly translates the title of this movie.
It seems fair to say that a lot of gay men identify with Esteban. The question that interests me is why this initially popular character is killed so soon after the beginning of the film? It seems to me that on a psychological level Esteban's death results from negative anima function. In All About My Mother this function is personified by two people: Huma, whose autograph Esteban desperately wants, is not a simple actress: The fact that Esteban is killed while running after her can be interpreted as a message that Diva Worship stagnates one's growth and development.
Esteban is killed by a car, a symbol for speed and progress - two concepts that he cannot relate to because of Manuela's devouring aspect. Manuela keeps Esteban cloistered and alienated from the outside world: She is the chief object of his interest. As a writer he is only interested in her: There is even some evidence of a libidinal component at play: Esteban asks Manuela if she would ever prostitute herself for his sake.
Esteban truly suffers because Manuela does not tell him anything about his father. Being intelligent and perceptive, he understands that a crucial masculine component is missing from his life, and helplessly searches for it.
The only way, however, that this masculine component can develop is through a connection with positive femininity. Recall that it is Psyche - Positive - Anima who must collect the ram's wool.
So Manuela must learn how to develop the positive anima energy: As was mentioned earlier, Manuela's journey takes her to Barcelona. Seeing that A Streetcar Named Desire is performing there, she is overpowered by her wish to see Huma. This desire could be said to stem from Manuela's unconscious need to punish the Diva who caused Esteban's death.
Similar to Eve who wants to dethrone Margo, Manuela befriends Huma. In a matter of weeks, Manuela becomes Huma's personal assistant, and finally appears in A Streetcar.
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What is significant is that, even though both Manuela and Eve have the same task of dethroning a Diva, they do it in very different ways. While Eve uses negative anima energy to fight with Margo, Manuela's weapon is positive anima energy. Eve is the illusion-maker. Manuela, after Esteban's death and the Madrid experience that follows, is firmly grounded in reality. The importance of reality in her life can be seen through studying a series of acting performances she has as an amateur actress.
One of the opening scenes of the movie is Manuela playing a grief stricken widow in the "Organ Donation" simulation - a role that she knows nothing about since she has not yet faced the grief of losing her son.
Then, Manuela transforms into a pragmatic and realistic Stella - a part, which is a startling contrast to Huma's fantasy-bound Blanche. By the end, she seems to abandon acting all together.
To raise her new child, Manuela leaves Madrid's theatre world and goes back to Barcelona. Nonetheless, Manuela does not understand the importance of reality - a key component of relatedness - a priori. It is rather a lesson that she must learn through Esteban's death and her experience in Madrid.
In Madrid, her primary teacher is La Agrado. One of La Agrado's roles is to be a mediatrix between fantasy and reality.
Her entire life is a kind of dramatic spectacle 37 where she always finds herself on a stage, with a spotlight, adored by the public. Her name "La Agrado" means "to please" in Spanish.
La Agrado, however, unlike Eve, Margo, or Huma does not live the role. She remains grounded in realty, acutely observing and commenting on the world around her: Authenticity is of paramount importance to her, and her multiple plastic surgeries are not an instrument of illusion, but rather an apparatus that helps to bring out an "authentic" woman in her. On a certain level La Agrado is similar to DeWitt in that both of them are blunt, witty, and extremely clever critics.
DeWitt, however, does not have a capacity for love and, hence, relatedness. La Agrado, on the other hand, does. She is a former whore and as such brings out sensuality, instinct, and feeling - three components arguably necessary for the successful development of relatedness.
In addition to the lesson of relatedness, Manuela, like Psyche, also learns the importance of spirituality and positive masculinity. Sister Rosa contributes to Manuela's understanding of spirituality. Rosa's greatest virtue is patience and love. As a nun she divides her time between the prostitute ring where she gives out condoms and the rehabilitation centre where she helps drug addicts.
Rosa is Madonna personified: Her desire to alleviate suffering is so great that she has sex with HIV positive Lola, Manuela's ex-husband and Esteban's father, while Lola is trying to combat her drug addiction. Upon getting pregnant, Rosa, being unafraid of her closed-minded parents, gives birth to a child and dies in the process.
Her last wish is that the child be named Esteban Jr. La Agrado is a transvestite -a former truck driver who underwent a number of extensive plastic surgeries to become a woman. Being a transvestite, she demonstrates a complex intertwining link between the feminine and the masculine. In a movie where there are no psychologically mature male characters this link could be interpreted as carrying an important message of maintaining psychological balance between the psychological forces of yin and yang.
It is precisely this balance that Manuela is unable to give to Esteban who helplessly searches for it in the beginning of the film.
It is Manuela's well-developed relatedness abilities - not her lying and backstabbing - that dethrone Huma-The-Diva. Huma like Margo in All About Eve undergoes dramatic personal change. At the beginning of the film Huma struggles with differentiating reality from fantasy.
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- When animus and anima meet
Her stage image is blown out of proportion: She uses the play's dialogue both on and off stage: Being intelligent, Huma desperately searches for an alternative. She realizes that her life - modeled after Bette Davis - is nothing but smoke, and her stage name "Huma" means "smoke" is a constant reflection of this.
Befriending Manuela and La Agrado, Huma realizes the importance of reality, and grows. At the end of the film she is no longer a self-destructive Blanche, but a reality-stricken Mother from Lorca's Blood Wedding To summarize, we can perceive All About My Mother as a film that deals with the successful development of positive anima function. In order for Esteban Jr.
This process begins when the tragedy of Esteban's pre-Stonewall gay identity death takes Manuela to Madrid. In Madrid, she meets La Agrado who - through her acting and transvestism - helps her to understand the importance of reality and positive masculinity, as well as Sister Rosa who - through her constant self-sacrifice - provides Manuela with valuable examples of spirituality.
As a result of her experiences, Manuela learns and develops positive anima energy, which, in turn, dethrones Huma. Almodovar ends his film with a bright message of hope for the future. As we find out at the very end, Esteban Jr. The negative anima deconstruction is complete: Conclusion Indeed, as it turned out, my initial worry regarding the lack of personifications and applications of the anima function was baseless.
My exposition grew as I became amazed by the numerous manifestations of the anima dynamic in gay North America. As Jung himself said anima is the archetype of life, 38 and when one starts to study such a complex phenomenon as anima, one naturally sees an almost infinite number of her manifestations in the surrounding environment. What I found out in my study is that gay men have had an extraordinary relationship with the anima function for a long time.
Before Stonewall, gay culture centered itself around Diva Worship - a phenomenon that could be explained in terms of the negative anima function. After Stonewall, driven by desire to develop and taught by the sad lesson of Eve from All About Eve, gay men - like Psyche in the Psyche-Eros Myth and Manuela in All About My Mother--focused on developing their conscious relationship to a positive anima function.
William Haviland, Cultural Anthropology, Toronto: The image is fundamentally unconscious, an hereditary factor of primordial origin engraved in the living organic system of the man, an imprint or "archetype" of all the ancestral experiences of the female, a deposit, as it were, of all the impressions ever made by woman--in short, an inherited system of psychic adaptation. Even if no woman existed, it would still be possible, at any given time, to deduce from this unconscious image exactly how a woman would have to be constituted psychically.
The same is true of the woman: Actually, we know from experience, that it would be more accurate to describe it as an image of men, whereas in the case of a man it is the image of woman. Since this image is unconscious, it is always unconsciously projected upon the person of the beloved, and is one of the chief reasons for passionate attraction or aversion.
I have called this image the "anima," and i find the scholastic question Habet mulier animam? As a beam of white light breaks into every visible colours when it hits a prism, so does the visible world only come into focus through the consciousness-constricting lens of the ego. And even though the psyche is itself a reflection of the greater, transcendent consciousness of the universe, the mind is so narrowed as to make the eternal realm not only invisible, but inconceivable.
The visible world is but a single, ragged shard of a lost whole. Each and every division so obvious and real in the visible world simply disappears in the transcendent realm, even the most basic distinctions like light and dark, male and female.
From the point of view of the eternal, male and female mean nothing, in fact, neither exists. Expanding our vision, and our consciousness, to the great, transcendent reality behind this world is the heart of mythology.
For Jung, the psyche is made up of both masculine and feminine aspects. The Self holds the potential for the full expression of both types of energy, and whether that Self is contained in a male or female body is insignificant. Masculine energy is characterized by the realm of the mind, rationality, logic, assertiveness, directed will and intention, and outward action. Feminine energy, contrariwise, is the realm of emotions, tenderness, sensitivity, patience, connection with nature, and the nurturing and creative instincts.
These do, unfortunately, correspond with many gender stereotypes, and Jung, who quite famously had a few strange ideas about women, certainly meant it.
But he was also human, and alas, none of us get everything right. Forms and conceptions that the mind and its senses can comprehend are presented and arranged in such a way as to suggest a truth or openness beyond.
Women, in myth, are also typically more closely aligned with the eternal, or, they can access it more directly and easily than their male counterparts, because their bodies are a microcosm of the transcendent creative energies that birthed the visible world.
More broadly, the masculine represents the conscious, intellectually curious energies, its avatar is the ego; the feminine represents the unconscious, creative energies which are the whispers of the eternal realm. Or, as Campbell puts it: The hero is the one who comes to know.
It lies deep in the unconscious: For while the Self is the full expression of every human potential, the ego and persona are made up of the fraction which allows us to fit into our specific society. And likewise, in women who have personas which express mostly feminine energy, their animus is comprised of their forgotten masculine traits. Now, this is not always the result of some conspiracy of society.
Many expressions of either masculine or feminine energy in the persona are merely the ticks, or preferences of the personality. The other is internalized within us.