Volume 8, Issue 34 (2020)                   CFL 2020, 8(34): 1-30 | Back to browse issues page

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bazrafshan M, sadeghzadeh M, Kheir Andish S. The Individuation of Heroine in Iranian Fairy Tales based on Murdoch's Psychological Cycle. CFL. 2020; 8 (34) :1-30
URL: http://cfl.modares.ac.ir/article-11-41456-en.html
1- M.A of Persian Language & literature
2- Assistant Professor of psychology – Salman Farsi University - Kazeroun
3- Associate Professor of Persian Language and Literature – Payam Noor University , kheirandish.1960@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (335 Views)
Individuation is a term used in analytical psychology to characterize the integration of human psyche. Relying on clinical experiments as well as evidence from world-renowned legends and myths, Murdoch has identified a circular psychological travel pattern for womenchr('39')s individuation. The present study examined the fitness of the heroine’s individuation journey in Persian fairy tales considering the stages of the psychological cycle. The results of the study, while confirming the general conformity of the tales with Murdoch’s psychological cycle, have identified three different subsets for the Iranian fairy tales centered on a heroine. The first subset, including more than fifty percent of the studied stories, are the fairy tales which fully coordinates with Murdochchr('39')s psychological cycle for the heroine individuation; the second subset corresponds only to the first part of the intended cycle; finally, the third subset corresponds only to the second half of the Murdochchr('39')s psychological cycle. The psychological implications of these three subsets and the overall conclusion are also discussed in the article.

Research background
So far, little attention has been paid to the solo journey of the female heroine in the Persian fairy tales. Although some studies (Heidari, 2017; Yahaghi et al., 2017), based on the morphological theory of Prapia Estés model of literary criticism, have examined the journey in one or more myths, the rest of the studies seem to have focused on the position of women next to the menchr('39')s heroic journey. Mahmoudi Bakhtiari et al. (2014) analyzed the psychological cycle of Murdoch in three films, namely, Dog Killing, Occupation, and Facts About Leila Idrischr('39') Daughter, and Ismeilipour (2015) did the same on the novel We Get Used Do. Although these studies have investigated Murdochchr('39')s pattern in relation to the contemporary Iranian women, they have not considered the examination of older cultural evidence for this cycle, as Murdoch himself has noted.
Aims, questions, and assumptions
Influenced by Murdochchr('39')s psychological stages, this study examines those Persian fairy tales that reflect the individual herochr('39')s journey. The question that this study seeks to answer is whether the events described in these myths correspond to the particular psychological cycle that Murdoch posed for womenchr('39')s psychological individuality. The answer to this question can lead to a better understanding of Iranian culture towards women as independent and separate personalities from men.
The herochr('39')s movement through a journey in fairy tales is to reach a goal which is, according to Jung, successfully achieved in the process of individuality (2011, p. 135). In The Depth of Being Woman (2015), Murdoch describes the stages of a womanchr('39')s heroic journey to achieve individuality in 11 categories: separation from femininity, identification with masculinity, gathering allies, the path of difficult trials, success, awakening, feeling the dryness of the soul: death, descent into the realm of femininity, a strong desire to be reunited with femininity, healing of the mother-daughter gap, healing of masculinity, wounded inside and holy marriage: the bond of femininity and masculinity. These steps can be identified based on the events of the story and the actions of the female protagonist. Accordingly, the Iranian fairy tales that have considered the individuality of the female heroine (Darvishian, 2009) have been studied, and examples for each step have been identified accordingly. Based on this, different forms of each step have been categorized.
Many of the fairy tales analyzed in this study are consistent with the pattern of Murdochchr('39')s mental cycle. The Murdochchr('39')s psychological cycle has two main parts: the first part begins from the first stage (separation from femininity) to the fifth stage (achieving success), and the second part begins from the sixth stage (feeling of dryness of soul) to the eleventh stage (holy marriage). In the first part of this cycle, the journey of the female protagonist focuses on the growth of the "I" or ego; the second part, which is a meeting with the Goddess, is dedicated to the restoration of female energy at the mental level. These two sections are symbolically presented thoroughly in 75 of the 146 myths analyzed in the present study (i.e. more than fifty percent). This shows the cultural context of these myths, acknowledging and accepting the independence and individual identity of the female heroine that is achieved in the first part of the cycle, and femininity in the form of respect for the goddess as a positive source of power, wisdom, and deep strength. The legends included in this group are usually myths that are far better known than other myths.
After this group, there are 55 myths that have the first part of the cycle of individuality, i.e. the first to the fifth steps and also the tenth to the eleventh steps. The first part of the cycle of individuality is concerned with cultivating the independence and strength of the female protagonist and the competence of women in the outside world. Thirteen myths have been identified as examples for adapting the second half of Murdochchr('39')s cycle, which are the seventh step onwards. In the second half of her journey, the female protagonist revives the feminine traits she has lost through the struggle for victory and success in the male world.
The first, tenth, and eleventh steps of Murdochchr('39')s psychological cycle, namely, "separation from femininity," "healing wounded masculinity," and "holy marriage or the bond of femininity and masculinity" can be observed in all the myths under consideration - whether they fully cover the cycle, or remain to be matched with only one of the two.
  •  Darvishian, A. (2009). The legendary culture of the Iranian people (in Farsi). Tehran: Books and Culture Publication.
  •  Heydari, M. (2017). Explanation and analysis of mythological themes in the structure of Moon Brow story. Literary Techniques,18, 141-158.
  •  Ismailipour, M. (2016). The female heroic journey in the novel ‘We get used to’ by ZoyaPirzad based on Maureen Murdochchr('39')s theory. Mystical and Mythological Literature, 51, 13-48.
  •  Jung, C. (2011). My biography: memories, dreams and thoughts (translated into Farsi by Behrooz Zaka). Tehran: Parseh Book Translation and Publishing Company.
  •  Mahmoudi Bakhtiari, A., KordMafi, F. & FarshiJalali, N. (2014). The journey of a female hero in three screenplays by Bahram Beizai: A comparative study of three screenplays of dog killing, occupation, and facts about Leila Idrischr('39') Daughter in the Framework of Maureen Murdoch theory. Woman in Culture and Art, 6(2),149-166.
  •  Murdoch, M. (2015). The depth of being a woman (translated into Farsi by Simin Movahed). Tehran: Culture of Life Foundation Publication.
  •  Yahaghi, M. J., Ghaemi, F. & Esmaaelipour, M. (2017). The study of some Iranian myths based on the Estés model of self-awareness in the forests of the underworld. Popular Culture and Literature, 16, 161-192.
Full-Text [PDF 530 kb]   (79 Downloads)    
Article Type: پژوهشی اصیل | Subject: Popular literature
Received: 2020/03/16 | Accepted: 2020/07/5 | Published: 2020/10/1

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