The Innocent Annika Kohlmeier Mackenzie Talbutt Evan Gustavsen
Understanding the Innocent We’re all familiar with the typical innocent, but what really defines the archetypal innocent and why are they so important?
The innocent is not necessarily intelligent, but is often wise. They are pure of spirit The innocent is often young, either physically or mentally. The innocent is often trusting and optimistic. They often cannot see or are blind to evils or dangers; they have difficulty seeing the dark side of things. Innocents will often have high moral standards and ideals. Often naive or foolish, especially at the beginning of a quest. Some basic characteristics…
The Fool and the Innocent • The archetypal fool and the archetypal innocent are very closely related and the two terms are often used synonymously. • They both represent wisdom without classic intelligence and purity of spirit.
The role of the innocent • While the innocent may lack the physical strength or know-how of the typical hero, their optimism and ability to see the good in others is often the key to their success. • They usually help the hero in a key way that enables the successful completion of the quest. Some examples of the innocent’s role include:
Merry and Pippin • Merry and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings enter the quest young and unprepared for the dangers ahead. • They both grow over the course of the quest, eventually becoming heroes in their own right: convincing the Ents to fight Saruman, slaying the Witch King, and saving Faramir.
Dory • Dory enters Finding Nemo as an air-headed, scatter-brained nuisance. • She brings out the best (and worst) in the sharks, helps Marlin remember the address, speaks to the whale, and brings out the best in Marlin.
Little Foot in The Land Before Time C-3PO in Star Wars Flounder in The Little Mermaid Forrest in Forrest Gump The Lost Boys in Peter Pan Jaq and Gus-Gus in Cinderella The Seven Dwarves, especially Dopey, in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves Prince Myshkin in The Idiot by Dostoyevsky The Fool in The Fool of the World and The Flying Ship Other examples of The Innocent
In Jungian terms • The innocent can be a representation of inner child and past youth, they represent the innocence and naiveté of all people. They are a representation of the incorruptible, outspoken side of people.