Sunday, December 25, 2011

Review: Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés 

Summary: Within every woman there is an inner force filled with passion and creativity. Estes teaches women how to access this vital part and free their wild natures.

Review: Sometimes a story is just a story. That is what keeping running through my head as I was reading this book. I chose to read this book for a book challenge on Goodreads. It fit my criteria for a book shelved as feminism, history, and mythology. I suppose I should have paid better attention to the summary.

I honestly thought the book would be about mythological stories and a literary analysis of the women involved within those stories. Women Who Run with the Wolves did deal with mythological stories, but the author used the stories to demonstrate Jungian archetypes and their role in the development of women. I did not realize this book would be dealing with Jungian psychology or else I might not have read it. I'm not a fan of Jungian psychology nor do I believe in archetypes. I also don't believe in women being inherently feminine or men being inherently masculine. I see gender as a social construct and I believe that human beings have a wide range of supposedly masculine and feminine behaviors. So it was a little off putting to be told that I should be looking for my feminine self hidden deep within.

There also was a big focus on being a mother in this book. The author didn't come out and say it directly, but I felt that she believed that a woman wouldn't be complete until she had children and I for one do not want children. Some of my other gripes were the large number of archetypes, men were added almost an afterthought, and generalizes way too much about every woman. The author took a lot of her metaphors too far. I did enjoy the stories that were told, but the analysis was downright boring. There were a few useful pieces of advice in the book such as not bothering with people who don't appreciate you for who you are.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to someone who is very interested in Jungian psychology and archetypes and filled with a desire to find one's creative/inner/wild self.

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