Tori Amos And Her Archetypes Essay Research

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Tori Amos And Her Archetypes Essay, Research Paper Tori Amos body: Tori Amos And Her Archetypes The lyrics of Tori Amos are some of the most complicated in music today. They remain the primary focus of her dedicated fans, as well as her detractors, despite the media’s fixation on her past history of rape and abuse. They are complicated on many levels, and Tori Amos’ lyrics demand a mythological approach to scratch the surface of her artistic vision. In several interviews, she has admitted to being much influenced by numerous books of symbology and others of Jungian psychology and their archetypal insights. “I don’t fall in love much. I mean, I fall in love every five seconds with something but I don’t go from boy to boy. I go from archetype to archetype” (Rogers

33). Most dominantly, her lyrics rely on concept of the archetypal woman in all of her aspects. Motifs of creation and destruction are also represented in her work. Her ideals of balance for herself and femininity in general have propelled her into stardom; her uses of archetypes have led the way. The allusions to Christian mythology and obscure references in “Father Lucifer” delve deeper than the casual listener may recognize. Even Toriphiles, her avid fans like to affectionately refer to themselves in this way, are pushed to the edge of their comprehension in attempting to come up with a meaning for every image. Applying a critical mythological approach works best with “Father Lucifer’s” imagery because the archetypes lurk just below the surface. The title of this

song aids the audience in being able to place the situation -as does the song’s tranquil melody; the speaker treats the Lucifer character with compassion and appreciation. Lucifer represents more than just the idea of the Christian Devil; he is the Jungian shadow. “The shadow is the invisible saurian tail that man still drags behind him” (Guerin 180). He is not unlike other symbolic representations of this archetype in literature, namely Milton’s Satan. “Father Lucifer” begins with questions and infe! rences from the speaker that seem encouraging: “Tell me that you’re still in love with that Milkmaid/ how’s the Lizzies/ how’s your Jesus Christ been hanging” (Amos, Boys for Pele). Toriphiles and new listeners alike might concede that picking out who or what

“the Lizzies” are is a daunting task. It is clear that they represent something and that their connection is more than likely appropriate, however, the reference is just not available. Who “the Milkmaid” may be remains another reference on the same cryptic plane. We might just be able to expect that the Milkmaid was simply a milkmaid that Father Lucifer was in love with, despite his place in the shadow, and that a fleeting relationship might have ensued. It is interesting to point out that a book that Tori Amos has recommended to her fans entitled Owning Your Own Shadow by Johnson relates an anecdote about a milkmaid of sorts, Marie Antoinette. The queen was bored with life in the most ostentatious palace in the world. One day she decided she wanted to touch something of

the earth and ordered barns built on the palace grounds where she would keep some cows. She would be a milkmaid! The best architects of France were employed, the stables were built, and fine milk cows were imported from Switzerland. On the day when everything was ready, the queen prepared to sit on a three-legged stool and begin her career as a milkmaid. Yet at the last moment she found this distasteful and ordered her servants to do the milking. (54) Marie Antoinette, within this context, makes a fine milkmaid to match the character of Father Lucifer. Immediately preceding the Milkmaid reference is a line about Father Lucifer’s demeanor: “you never looked so sane” (Amos, Boys for Pele). The statement implies that Father Lucifer should not look sane or even be sane but that