Archetypes In Trifles By Susan Glasspell And El Santo Americano

807 Words4 Pages
DezQuannee’ Chavis
Dr. Henderson
English 102
April 25, 2014
Archetypes
Generally you would have stories that usually have a character, situation or symbol that appears so often in a work that has a deep universal meaning or a response; like how the color red represents passion or blood, three would represent trinity or mind, body, spirit; and wilderness is danger. This literary device is called an archetype. Numerous stories have the same archetype such as Trifles by Susan Glasspell and El Santo Americano by Edward Bok Lee. Both these two play writers use the victim archetype in these two works. The victim archetype is when a character is hurt by someone or lives in fear that someone will hurt him or her.
In “El Santo Americano,” Jesse, Clay and Evalana’s son is the victim character. You may say how Jesse is a victim in this scenario; well he is a victim of a failing marriage between his mom and his dad. Then on top of that he is a vulnerable kid, with no power, which is symbolized throughout the play because he has no lines. Evalana demonstrates her marriage during her argument with Clay when she says “Jesus, Clay. Listen to yourself. Your whole life you been faking it. Fake husband. Fake father. Fake man. That’s what they ought to call you: Fake Man” (943). It is also shown throughout the play that Jesse is a victim because his dad kidnapped him and his mother with a gun and drives off at the end of the night.
Although, there is another quote that shows how Clay badly wants his son’s approval when he says in his monologue “My five-year old son [. . .] friends call his daddy a loser,” (944). You can just imagine how the kids are picking and making fun of Jesse because of his dad’s struggling career. A littl...

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...or instance, did you notice how both of the plays had a struggling married couple? Or that the men in these plays both are controlling? Or both the victims didn’t have any lines? Jesse might be a later male development of Mrs. Wright from a different perspective. Mrs. Wright showed how somebody in a marriage could be victimized and Jesse showed how a child could be victimized due to the marriage. All in all both these characters are good examples of victimized archetypes.

Works Cited
Glasspell, Susan Trifles. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing 4th Ed.
Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Pearson, 2012. 659 - 671.
Lee, Edward Bok El Santo Americano. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing 4th Ed.
Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Pearson, 2012. 941 – 946.

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