Research Repository

Archetype and Archetypal Image in Chinese Myths, Legends and Tales

You, Xiao (2018) Archetype and Archetypal Image in Chinese Myths, Legends and Tales. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

Archetype and Archetypal Image in Chinese myths, Legends and Tales.pdf

Download (1MB) | Preview


This research aims to examine Chinese myths, legends and tales from the perspective of analytical psychology. Considering that analytical psychologists have paid little attention to Chinese myths and that previous studies on Chinese myths from the standpoint of analytical psychology are lacking, this thesis investigates the universal archetype and its cultural carrier, or archetypal image, in Chinese mythical texts. First, this study examines both Jung’s engagement with Chinese culture, in order to see the function and significance of Chinese thought in analytical psychology, and the reception of Jungian thought in China, in order to demonstrate the lack of research on Chinese myths from the perspective of the theory of analytical psychology. Second, the study defines the concepts of archetype and archetypal image, and adopts the method of myth analysis from Jung and his followers to interpret Chinese motifs and symbols. Third, interpretations from the perspective of analytical psychology are applied to three motifs in Chinese culture: creation myths, flood myths and erotic anima figures. These provide materials for exploring similarities and differences in the mechanism and development of the human psyche between East and West. Fourth, this research concentrates on discussing two important Chinese symbols – Long (dragon) and Qi lin (unicorn) and their counterparts in western culture – by analysing these symbols at both the archetypal and cultural levels. The final part of this study explores the possible therapeutic value of Chinese myths in helping analysts to comprehend the human psyche and analysands to understand themselves in greater depth. This thesis fills a gap in the understanding of Chinese myth by means of Jungian psychology with the hope also of applying analytical psychology to Chinese culture more thoroughly and insightfully in both theoretical and practical contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Xiao You
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2018 16:59
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2021 02:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item