If it can be imagined, it can be created.
This is the motto of the Creator, the Jungian archetype driven by the need to see dream become reality, while providing structure to the world. They are the great architects: the artists, the scientists, the gods and goddesses. Their mind is always questioning, tinkering, and entertaining new theorems. Ingenuity is their hallmark.
As I have mentioned in prior posts of this series, this collection of posts deals with the archetypes first put forth by psychiatrist Carl Jung, and the use of these archetypes in fiction. Every post deals with the motivations, character profiles, and Shadows (or negatives) of each archetype. This week continues the group known as the Soul types, which are defined by goals related to personal development, or agendas that serve to improve their spiritual, mental, or physical standing with the world. The Creator, driven by a need for progress, is today’s selection.
THE TWELVE ARCHETYPES
Also known as the artist, innovator, inventor, architect, musician, artist, and dreamer, the Creator is solely focused on examining the boundaries or our reality and perception. As a character, they often take the position of the well-meaning scientist, or savant artist.
The Creator carries an inexhaustible imagination, often excelling at their chosen vocation. When presenting as a mortal character in a reality-based world, he is often portrayed as a man ahead of his time. There are often better examples of this archetype in the real world (Galileo, Einstein, Mozart, Steve Jobs) than in fiction!
Mediocrity is the Creator’s worst fear. Whether this result comes from concept or execution doesn’t matter. The creator wishes to be an authentic voice in a world of white noise. They gain rivals easily, answering those challenges with innovation in their work, and their personal outlook.
The Creator, however, has no shortage of a Shadow. Often given to starting multiple projects but finishing none, or abandoning morality for the sake of their craft, they can be taxing on other people for their insensitivity. Because of their genius, the Creator often tends to play god, allowing the end to justify the means, and deciding what is best for the masses without consulting outside opinion. Many a tormented villain began life as the over-eager, excitable, and impulsive Creator.
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Karen Eiffel, the effective “god” of Stranger than Fiction, is an author who does not realize the words of her imagination are reality for her protagonist Harold Crick, but in the end, she chooses compassion over genius, sparing his life.
Wayne Szalinski, from Honey I Shrunk the Kids, rarely thinks about the consequences of his inventions. He sees them only for the good they can do. This of course led to a highly successful series of movies revolving around his irresponsibility with his genius, where he must often rely on his children to clean up his mistakes.
Ratatouille is the creator chef, and with his rat’s palette, he is able to combine new ingredients for unexpected tastes.
Kevin McCallister, from Home Alone, is the common portrayal of the Child Creator. Like Dennis the Mennis, Harriet the Spy, and Matilda, Child Creators’s ingenuity is often used for the good of harmony and overpowering those who disrupt the proper order (happiness and peace) of the world.
Dr. Emmett Brown of Back to the Future fame, is your standard Creator archetype. Like most inventors, his inventions tend to backfire in unexpected ways, and he must both grapple with and correct those errors before they result in catastrophe.
Turning to Chinese mythology for a moment, we have Nüwa, the female equivalent of Zeus. She, too, made humans from clay, and set order to the world, at one point repairing the heavens when they tore away from the world.
Frida Kahlo, as portrayed by Salma Hayek, was a woman beyond the literal scope of her reality. Confined in body but not in spirit or mind, she advances the ideas of feminism, marriage, sexuality, and art in ways few in her era could.
Another example of the Creator falling victim to his own genius, Tony Stark is a master tinkerer, unable to keep himself from exploring, or asking questions that shouldn’t be answered. In the most recent film, this led to the creation of the diabolical Ultron and the neutral Vision.
All of the characters pictured here from Big Hero 6 (sans Baymax) could be included in the Creator Archetype, which may be the reason that some found the story a bit flat — there were no real foils or different personalities to round out the cast.
John Hammond wanted a simple thing: to create life. To bring what was extinct back from the dead. But his internal vision was not the outcome: chaos can not be controlled, and Hammond was no god.
Mozart, as portrayed in Amadeus, is so consumed by his brilliance that he can not notice the way his life is crumbling all around him, ultimately bringing him to his final destruction.
Wednesday Addams is one of the more precocious children in TV and Film, taking her “arts” to new levels at every opportunity. She lives outside of her life as a little girl, often speaking and conducting herself in ways that are more mature than even the adults in her household.
An obvious inclusion, the figurines of the LEGO universe (and the company as well) are all about Creators as a brand. Build anything. Everyone is the Special.
Cisco, from the TV series The Flash, is a geeky Creator. If it sounds cool, he’ll build it, sometimes with disastrous outcomes. However, his pure heart is never tampered with, and since he never believes himself superior to others, he is able to maintain his relationships, redirecting his genius to solve the various problems the team faces.
Brilliant, confused, angry. The history of Dr. Wells is complex and fascinating, but his use of the particle excelerator for his own ends is a classic example of “playing god” and allowing the end to justify the means.
Known as some of the most creative artisans of Middle Earth, the dwarves of Tolkein’s world are also greedy, erring on the side of arrogance and superiority.
Tinker Bell, in her movie incarnations, has a much richer personality than in her Peter Pan days, as Hannah Givens (check the recommended readings) points out. In these movies she is a tinker, and inventor, and she must come to terms with the goodness of that designation before she can begin to grow as a person (or fairy!)
Bulma, inventor extraordinaire, is one of the few females to make this list. As a scientist in Capsule Corp, Bulma’s ingenuity nearly functions as a plot device to get the heroes out of tight situations, but his arrogance as the “brains” behind the operation often put her at odds with the rest of the group.
No list about the Creator could be complete without Dr. Frankenstein, the original pop-culture inventor. While Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde could also make the list, here we have a man playing god, with horrific consequence.
Forge is an interesting paradox for this list in that he is a Creator – able to create anything in all the world he wishes to create – but he lacks the imagination to do it by himself. The complex nature of his gift forces him to rely on the ingenuity and imagination of others, while his fingers make what would only be dreams, otherwise, reality.
Mythology’s original creator. Not much needs to be said here; the stories of Zeus and his creations, and his anger when those creations fail to venerate him properly, are world famous, and with good reason.
Other Posts in this Series: