How to Read Literature Like a Professor

The word archetype means the original type from which other copies are produced. It has different meanings within different contexts—for example, psychology or philosophy—but in literary analysis it refers to the shared understanding of certain types created through myth. For example, thanks to ancient myths and subsequent literary traditions, we have a shared understanding the archetype of the “hero.” Elements of literature (like characters) that seem particularly close to this original form are then referred to as “archetypical.”

Archetype Quotes in How to Read Literature Like a Professor

The How to Read Literature Like a Professor quotes below are all either spoken by Archetype or refer to Archetype. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of How to Read Literature Like a Professor published in 2014.
Introduction Quotes

Memory. Symbol. Pattern. These are the three items that, more than any other, separate the professorial reader from the rest of the crowd.

Page Number: xxvii
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Chapter 4 Quotes

There is only one story. Ever. One. It's always been going on and it's everywhere around us and every story you've ever read or heard or watched is part of it.

Related Symbols: The One Story
Page Number: 27
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Interlude: One Story Quotes

Don't bother looking for the originals, though. You can't find the archetype, just as you can't find the pure myths. What we have, even in our earliest recorded literature, are variants, embellishments, versions, what Frye called "displacement" of the myth.

Related Symbols: The One Story
Page Number: 199
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We—as readers or writers, tellers or listeners—understand each other, we share knowledge of the structures of our myths, we comprehend the logic of symbols, largely because we have access to the same swirl of story.

Related Symbols: The One Story
Page Number: 200
Explanation and Analysis:
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Archetype Term Timeline in How to Read Literature Like a Professor

The timeline below shows where the term Archetype appears in How to Read Literature Like a Professor. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Introduction: How’d He Do That?
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...to make the deal and sell his soul to the devil. Hansberry thus employs an archetypical storyline but adds her own twist. (full context)
Chapter 4: Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before?
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...all works of literature can be enjoyed in their own right. Identification of patterns and archetypes can thus be thought of as a “bonus.” Understanding intertextual gestures, parallels, and archetypes enriches... (full context)
Chapter 7: Hanseldee and Greteldum
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...modern era is almost always laced with irony. At the same time, certain fairy tale archetypes seem perfectly suited to the modern world, such as children who’ve wandered far from home.... (full context)
Interlude: Does He Mean That?
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...of writers who we know made conscious choices in the way they including symbolic, intertextual, archetypical, and ironic meaning; these are called the “Intentionalists,” and many were part of the modernist... (full context)
Interlude: One Story
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Foster then introduces another analytical term: archetype. An archetype is an image, gesture, figure, or idea that is repeated and modified and... (full context)