The metamorphosis archetype is widely seen in almost all novels and literature; it is the archetype that hopes to teach people how to change for the better and expand their point of view. There are many different archetypes, but metamorphosis is the one archetype that can be found in all the other archetypes. Change sets the plot for literature and can be embodied within all other archetypes. To fully understand the metamorphosis archetype one must know what it is; metamorphosis archetype is a similarity seen throughout literature about change. One example is in the novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The metamorphosis there is very literate change since Dr. Jekyll physically turns into Mr. Hyde. The archetypes this essay will cover are the end of childhood, the cataracts of heavens, and a human year.
The archetype of the end of childhood also includes change. When a person is young, they think that the world is a happy place, they do not know harm or intense emotional pain; to them ignorance is bliss. As the person ages, they become curious and try to experiment with things only sometimes to have it "blow up in their faces." This is a specific kind of change, but it is change nonetheless. Man the Myth-Maker provides many examples and proofs for this like the story of "Atlanta's Race." One change in this story is the mind of a young boy called Hippomenes. At the start of the story he says to himself "What man in his senses would run such a risk to get a wife?" (p.100, Man the Myth-Maker). He says this because he is a child. After he sees Atlanta and falls in love with her, he has crossed over into manhood and looses his childhood; thus changing. This is a good emotional metamorphosis change as well, but in the same story there is yet another metamorphosis. At the end of "Atlanta's Race" Hippomenes forgot to thank the goddess Venus, who had helped them. Venus was mad and made them spend the night at Holy Temple of Cybele where no mortal was ever allowed to spend the night. When Cybele appeared she turned them into a lion and a lioness. This physical metamorphosis change happened in the story as the two lost their innocence and had to live with their punishment.
Another archetype that displays the metamorphosis archetype within it is the cataracts of heaven archetype. The cataracts of heaven are the ultimate force that brings change, and at the end the change can be either good or bad. This force of change usually occurs as an extreme or last resort. These changes do happen in our world today. A title wave caused by an extreme volcano can refresh the soil on a farmless island or wipe out the entire population. If a terrorist takes hostages captive and no other results are left, the SWAT team will swarm in and saves all the hostages and disarms the terrorist or the hostages and terrorist can be killed. Cataracts bring massive change; good or bad or somewhere in-between; it's never easy to predict.
Man the Myth-Maker also illustrates this huge change in the story called "The Flood." In this story Zeus is the one who calls the counsel to decide if man should be destroyed. He did this after he visited King of Arcadia, who killed his hostage in front of Zeus. Before the flood, Earth was filled with savages and people who killed others for sport. After this flood rose and settled again, a great metamorphosis was brought. After this great cataract the only mortals who survived were Deucalion and Pyrrha. They were humble to the gods and kind to the earth around them. As they made more people out of stone, a new change was coming.
The archetype a human year shows a lot of change occurs on a yearly basis. There is change all of us notice in the seasons of the year. Summer and spring; the time when everything sprouts and we connect with all the life force to which we belong. Fall and winter remind us of mortality; watching things die knowing we will see their offspring later. On a year's basis you remember the day you arrived here and look ahead until too much time passes, when you start to look back. As one also changes from year to year things change in a year itself. Man the Myth-Maker looks at nature in the story of "Demeter and Persephone." Young Persephone is kidnapped by Hades who takes her into the underworld to be his bride. When Demeter (goddess of harvest) cannot find her daughter, she grieves and no harvest was growing. Zeus worries and talks to Demeter, but she does not change her mind. He sent Hermes to tell Hades to return her. However, when he got there Persephone had eaten half of a pomegranate (forbidden-to-leave fruit), so it was decided that she spends half the year down with Hades and half with Demeter. At fall she leaves to Hades and in spring she comes back to her mother symbolizing the seasons. This human year archetype shows a great deal of change every year.
All people and things experience metamorphosis; it may be in our loss of childhood, a massive change, or changes that occur in the year. This is why it is crucial that literature teaches us about change, how to explain it, and how to deal with it. Clearly metamorphosis archetype is in the end of childhood, cataracts of heaven, and a human year archetype.