An Unlikely Hero: Reconsidering Michael Endeʼs Momo as a Divine Child

Authors

  • Iva M. Simurdic University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Philosophy

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21618/fil2022262s

Keywords:

divine child, alien child, Momo, archetype, children’s literature.

Abstract

The Divine Child was introduced by Carl Gustav Jung as an archetype closely linked to the process of individuation. Beyond the realm of analytical psychology, this peculiar child figure has been observed in myths and folklore and eventually evolved into a literary archetype known alternatively as das fremde Kind (the strange/alien child). Numerous child figures have since been regarded as representations of this archetype, with the titular character of Michael Ende’s novel Momo (1973) being one of them. While her initial appearance is evocative of the Divine Child, over the course of the story Momo has to accept her fate as the chosen one in a battle against a mysterious foe, ultimately finding herself in the role of the hero of the story. This paper examines the traits of both the archetype of the Divine Child, as well as that of the Hero – including a variation specific to child characters – with the goal of reconsidering if Momo is truly exemplary of the archetype of the Divine Child. This is done with particular regard to Christopher Vogler’s observation that literary archetypes are character functions, rather than fixed types, and as such this paper will discuss how Ende’s protagonist is ultimately an example of this fluidity of functions.

Author Biography

Iva M. Simurdic, University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Philosophy

ИВА СИМУРДИЋ (Будимпешта, 1990), докторанд на Филозофском факултету Универзитета у Новом Саду. Основне студије германистике завршила је 2013. године на Филозофском факултету у Новом Саду. На истом факултету је 2015. године завршила мастер академске студије. Од 2017. ангажована као асистент на одсеку за Германистику на Филозофском факултету у Новом Саду. Поље интересовања обухвата првенствено немачку дечју књижевност.

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Published

2020-12-30

How to Cite

Simurdic, I. M. (2020). An Unlikely Hero: Reconsidering Michael Endeʼs Momo as a Divine Child. Philologist – Journal of Language, Literary and Cultural Studies, (22), 262–282. https://doi.org/10.21618/fil2022262s

Issue

Section

Literature