Archetypes In The Pillars Of The Earth

765 Words4 Pages
In the novel The Pillars of the Earth, many characters exist with malicious, corrupt intentions. Whether it be in the pursuit of self-gain, or the desire to destroy others, these antagonists constantly cause havoc and destruction. The only thing that comes in between these antagonists and the rest of the population is a few unique individuals. Multiple characters in the novel are characterized as the hero archetype, and although each one operates in their own unique way, they all contribute to the betterment of society, while protecting the people around them. The common trait that defines these individuals as hero archetypes is that they all undergo a quest at some point in the story, which involves a separation, transformation, and return. Throughout the novel, we see characters like this always present; without them, prosperity and greatness would never be achievable due to pernicious forces like William Hamleigh or Bishop Waleran reigning down on the innocent. The theme that hero archetypes are always necessary in order for society to function properly, is constantly developed in The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, and can be demonstrated through the actions of both Jack and Richard. Throughout the novel, Jack Jackson continuously performs actions that improve society. The heroic actions performed by Jack commence at a very young age. When Tom abandons his baby due to the inability to provide for it, Jack is the character who finds clues necessary to locate the
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