Keywords: narrative analysis, archetype, psycholinguistic image, top box office films, qualitative analysis, gender linguistics, social linguistics.


The paper focuses on the language of female characters in the top thirty box office films with a leading female character (1999–2023). The research applies the narrative analysis to the turns of heroines to account for their archetypal representation. The paper proposes a view on female archetypal characters popular with large audiences around the globe and presents a typology of widely recognizable female narratives. The received framework reflects the contemporary vision of the female image and role in society. The study employs Jung’s idea of the archetype as a repetitive image of the collective unconscious. Each archetype is governed by several constant motivations and needs, defining the characters’ (verbal) behavior. Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs serves as the basis for the delineation of archetypes. The moral valence of each character depends upon the satisfaction of her aspirations. Recognized and met wants predetermine the protagonist/heroic archetypes, while thwarted needs bring about antagonist/villainous archetypes. The research is based on Schmidt’s typology of forty-five master characters. Among the overwhelming majority of traditional images of the Nurturer and Matriarch archetypes, there appear the representatives of the Female Messiah, Father’s Daughter, and Amazon, respectively, pursuing the goals of improving society and finding self-identity and independence.


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How to Cite
Berezhna, M. (2023). WHAT DO WOMEN SPEAK ABOUT: NARRATIVES OF FEMALE CHARACTERS IN MAINSTREAM CINEMA. Scientific Journal of Polonia University, 58(3), 28-36. https://doi.org/10.23856/5804