Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Unstructured Archetypes: The Bad Mother

She is Cinderella's Step-Mother. She is the Wicked Queen.

She is a woman, but she has no womanly virtues.

She is evil. Worse, she is wicked.

She is a usurper. She steps into the place of the Good Mother, after the Good Mother dies, but she can not replace her.

She rarely has a name, only a title.

She is hateful.

She is jealous of the Good Mother’s child.

She is a witch and a bitch.

It is to be assumed that she is a slut and a whore, although we never catch her in the act.

She is a deceiver.

She wants to deprive the True Children of the Good Mother of their rightful place in the world. She wants to see them humiliated and killed.

She must be killed but only after she is humiliated.

She is dangerous and powerful.

She is an atheist and probably a Satanist.


magidin said...

She also almost invariably has children of her own, not of the Father, whom she advances to the detriment of the Good Mother's child...

Andrew Lias said...

Indeed she does, and I am abashed that I didn't think to add that.

Anonymous said...

She is the version of a mother that step children see in order to despise the new mother figure in their lives.

. said...

In modern times, I'd say that's mostly true, however it should be noted that the archetype isn't based on an entirely unfair stereotype when you consider the origins of the stories that had wicked step mothers.

In medieval times, step parents often did do bad things to their step children because resources were poor and their step children were competing for resources with their biological children.

The Grimm fairy tales (and their source legends) were exaggerations, but exaggerations based on real situations. The fairy tales were meant to be morality stories. One of their functions was to warn step parents not to harm their charges in spite of the temptations to do so. The threat of punishment was intended to be a deterrent.

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