I personally find most Realistic literature lacking whatever mysterious element it is that evokes from me an emotional response. Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories is a definite exception. In fact I was so emotionally challenged by the work that I was compelled to reread it almost immediately. I really had no idea why I found Jewett's story so powerful. The elements which touched me so deeply were unseen by my conscious mind, but were nonetheless felt by a deeper part of my being. My task was to identify, as clearly as possible, the exact nature of my emotion al responses to the work and then to locate within the work those places that, in one way or another, linked my responses to the story. At once I began to suspect that I had encountered what Carl Jung termed an archetype. Jung points out that when archetypes are encountered they are always accompanied by an outpouring of intense emotion which initially seems to have no clearly defined source (Hall 118). An exploration of the imagery which appears to be associated with those emotions will disclose an archetype.
© 1989 by the Board of Student Publications, University of Northern Iowa
"Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs: A Search for the Archetypal Female,"
Draftings In: Vol. 4:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/draftings/vol4/iss1/3