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Synthesis Essay: Archetypes

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Synthesis Essay: Archetypes As a person progresses in age, or experiences traumatic situations, it is common that the innocence once possessed as a child can dissipate. Innocence can be easily viewed as temporal due to its tendency to falter in a myriad amount of people. Loss of innocence is a prevalent archetypal theme in Star Wars, Grapes of Wrath, Lord of the Flies, A Separate Peace, and Swing Kids. Although all novels display this archetypal theme well, the character Tom in Grapes of Wrath suffers the greatest loss of innocence due to the tragic effects of the Great Depression and the crime he participates in. In Star Wars, a young man, Luke Skywalker, who has lost his parents, lives with his aunt and uncle and is brought into a world of violence on his mission to become a Jedi. He encounters the ultimate archetypal devil figure, Darth Vader. Darth represents the darkness humanity possesses. Although Luke’s encounters with supernatural beings and death are frequent in the film Star Wars, this sharply contrasts with the isolation Tom Joad faces in Grapes of Wrath. While Luke’s loss of innocence is accepted as a way of life in Star Wars, including killing clones and destroying an entire planet, Tom’s inability to tolerate injustice, resulting in violence, is a crime in the world of his character. Essentially, Luke’s loss of innocence brings him closer to the people in the world he is surrounded by; his destroying of the Death Star is an act of bravery. Tom kills men who displayed violence and evil, but it is a crime in his world. In this perspective, Tom’s loss of innocence, which ultimately separates him from his family and has him living as a criminal, is superior to Luke’s loss of innocence. In Swing Kids, the audience follows a group of boys living amongst an extremely racist government highly involved in World War II, and more importantly, the Holocaust...

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