Jung on White Knight, Damsel in Distress, Broken Wing Motif

Jung is talking about a specific subset of women and their mother-complex which I think he might be equating with borderline women? (those who feel they cannot express themselves, i.e. not able to individuate).

Hypertrophy of Maternal Element

“The mind is not cultivated for its own sake but usually remains in its original condition, altogether primitive, unrelated, and ruthless, but also as true and sometimes as profound, as Nature herself. She herself does not know this and is therefore unable to appreciate the wittiness of her mind or to marvel philosophically at is profundity; like as not she will immediately forget what she has said.”

Identity with the mother

On the contrary, despite their shadowiness and passivity, they command a high price on the marriage market. First, they are so empty that a man is free to impute to them anything he fancies. In addition, they are so unconscious that the unconscious puts out countless invisible feelers, veritable octopus-tentacles, that suck up all masculine projections; and this pleases men enormously. All that feminine indefiniteness is the longed-for counterpart of male decisiveness and single-mindedness, which can be satisfactorily achieved only if a man can get rid of everything doubtful, ambiguous, vague, and muddled by projecting it upon some charming example of feminine innocence. Because of the woman’s characteristic passivity, and the feelings of inferiority which makes her continually play the injured innocent, the man finds himself cast in an attractive role: he has the privilege of putting up with the familiar feminine foibles with real superiority, and yet with forbearance, like a true knight. (Fortunately, he remains ignorant of the fact that these deficiencies consist largely of his own projections.) The girl’s notorious helplessness is a special attraction. She is so much an appendage of her mother that she can only flutter confusedly when a man approaches. She just doesn’t know a thing. She is so inexperienced, so terribly in need of help, that even the gentlest swain becomes a daring abductor who brutally robs a loving mother of her daughter. Such a marvelous opportunity to pass himself off as a gay Lothario does not occur every day and therefore acts as a strong incentive. This is how Pluto abducted Persephone (charm [sic.]) from the inconsolable Demeter. But, by a decree of the gods, he had to surrender his wife every year to his mother-in-law for the summer season. (The attentive reader will note that such legends do not come about by chance!)

…This kind of daughter knows what she does not want, but is usually completely at sea as to what she would choose as her own fate. All her instincts are concentrated on the mother in the negative form of resistance and are therefore ot no use to her in building her own life.

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