Women Who Run with the Wolves Summary & Study Guide

Clarissa Pinkola Estés
This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Women Who Run with the Wolves.
This section contains 489 words
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Women Who Run with the Wolves Summary & Study Guide Description

Women Who Run with the Wolves Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

This book is written for women by an expert woman in her field. She employs the full spectrum of herself, including her personal life and higher education, followed by experience, to offer women a book about the "Wild Woman" archetype. This is for the sensible task of helping women to have a stronger and clearer sense of identity. Of course, this book can be read by men and boys as well as girls and women. Men might read this book to better understand their Grandma or sister, the mother of their new child, or their lover.

The work contains many stories. The tales contain an assortment of images of the Wild Woman in different age groups and cultures. Rites of passage and initiation are the themes of the stories. Sometimes a rite of passage can take many years, and in other cases it is simply one significant rite.

The author introduces the readers to the "Wild Woman" Archetype. The source material comes from a global range of story traditions; the stories are from both the oral and written tradition. There is a story for every stage of a female's life. Many of the tales show the relationship between one life phase and another, for example, where the elder one initiates the younger. The younger one performs a task or series of tasks to complete the rite of passage.

For those not already aware of the Wild Woman archetype, this book demonstrates numerous ways of understanding this archetype. For those who have felt some stirring, or have had some experience with their own "wildish self," this book will provide their rational and creative minds with more food for thought to further their understanding of self.

Part of the purpose of the book seems to be to provide readers with additional knowledge. However, there is much more to the book's purpose than that, in as much as it constitutes a project to improve the lives of women as a whole by protecting, preserving, and proliferating archetypal knowledge of the Wild Woman. The purposes of the book are all of the above. The book is structured so that those unaccustomed to this type of material will learn not only stories but also be given guidance toward interpreting the stories.

Additionally, the author is preserving her own Latina heritage through this work. She takes steps that other writers have already taken to preserve stories for and about men, when she endeavors to help convert an oral tradition into the written one for its protection and preservation. She is also providing groundwork for women to work with Jungian ideas of the subconscious. While Carl Jung did do a tremendous amount of work with archetypes and with women, he was not able to work on women's archetypes from a female perspective because of the limitation of his time and his gender. As such, Clarissa gifts women with something needed or at the very least, useful.

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This section contains 489 words
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