Looking At Blood Diamond With The Archetypal Criticism

1564 words - 6 pages

Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, stated in a conference, “I was one of those children forced into fighting at the age of 13, in my country Sierra Leone, a war that claimed the lives of my mother, father and two brothers. I know too well the emotional, psychological and physical burden that comes with being exposed to violence as a child or at any age for that matter,” (Brainy Quotes). He grew up during the civil war in 1991, when the Revolutionary United Front (R.U.F.) attempted to overthrow the government. The R.U.F. took control of eastern and southern Sierra Leone territories that were rich in diamonds. In order to purchase weapons and ammunitions, the R.U.F. would enslave villages and use the citizens to mine diamonds and then sell the diamonds to Guinea and Liberia. The rebels would also force children to become soldiers for them. The war lasted eleven years, with an estimated amount of 50,000 to 300,000 dead.
The movie Blood Diamond is a 2006 political war thriller directed by Edward Zwick, about the Sierra Leone civil war. In the movie, the main character Solomon Vandy, an African fisherman, who survives a rebel attack on his village, is sent to work as a slave in a diamond-mining camp. During this, his family escapes and seeks safety from the rebels, however Solomon’s son, Dia, is kidnapped by the R.U.F. and forced to be a child soldier. In the camp, Solomon finds a large pink diamond and hidden it from the leader of the R.U.F. After an attack on the R.U.F. camps by the military, Solomon is sent to a jail where he meets a diamond smuggler who goes by Danny Archer. After overhearing Solomon mention the large pink diamond, Danny pays for Solomon to be released from the jail. Danny and Solomon make an agreement that Danny will help Solomon reconnect with his family, and help save Solomon’s son Dia from the rebel forces in exchange for the diamond that Solomon has hid. The movie stresses the importance of being aware of where the products consumers are purchasing come from.
Blood Diamond follows Dr. Carl Jung’s archetypal criticism. According to Jung, archetypes are forms personified in images, symbols or patterns, and he said that literature imitates the dreams of human kind. Jung states that there are three categories of archetypes (sometimes called Jungian archetypes); narrative archetypes, character archetypes, and archetypal images. Blood Diamond follows Dr. Carl Jung’s theory of archetypes through the actions and stories of the main characters Solomon and Danny. Looking at the movie through an archetypal lens, we can learn some insight about human kind, such as how extreme one person will go for a cause they believe in.
In the movie Blood Diamond, Solomon’s personal story follows the narrative archetype of the journey. According to Jung, the journey sends the Hero of the story on a quest that will help save their kingdom or home (Archetypal Criticism). Joseph Campbell, an American writer,...

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