Honors English 10
Archetypal Comparative essay
The idea of universal constants inadvertently present and similarly used in multiple works is one of the most intriguing concepts in literary analysis. The complex archetypal symbolism, character types, and journeys represented in Fellini’s La Strada and Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men share an eerie amount of interesting parallels. Each is a masterpiece of human conflict and the tragedy it can create if allowed to continue indefinitely. The very different approaches taken to each tale does not inhibit the striking similarity of the issues presented to and by the main characters involved in both.
One of the most common and distinct archetypes shared is that of character. The character Gelsomina in La Strada though often portrayed in a semi-humorous manner, is in actuality a perfect example of an innocent archetype. She is constantly followed by symbols of this innocence, such as children and animals, and is most comfortable in a natural setting, specifically by the sea, further proving the state of purity she represents. Despite her intellectual simplicity her moral compass is innate and utterly pure, any wrong she does commit being completely accidental and much repented afterwards. Zampanò, in contrast has a low form of ethics relative to his entirely physical outlook on life. His primary worries consist of the consequences of his actions—if he kills the Fool, will he be locked up? This accidental murder and the horror and pain Gelsomina experiences because of it, illustrates the power of his random and uncalculated violence. Zampanò’s misogynistic attitude also portrays his reliance on physical interaction. Valuing women only for their usefulness, both sexual and domestic, he hires a whore and sleeps with the earth mother figure Teresa within the film. Despite these obvious differences between him and Gelsomina and the clear resentment in their relationship, they also appear...