Original Research

Die aantrekkingskrag van die see

I. Gertenbach
Literator | Vol 29, No 3 | a131 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v29i3.131 | © 2008 I. Gertenbach | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 July 2008 | Published: 25 July 2008

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I. Gertenbach, Departement Afrikaans-Nederlands, Universiteit van Kaapstad, South Africa

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The magnetism of the ocean
This article compares the use of oceanic symbolism in the poetry of Karin Boye, Ingrid Jonker and Sylvia Plath. Freud’s “oceanic feeling” is described and contrasted with Jung’s theory of the “great mother”. According to Jung, the “great mother” is the unconscious which is represented by water. All these elements are discussed in the poems and compared to each other in order to gain a better understanding of the poetry. Although “death” (drowning) in the ocean appears to point to new life, it ends in unification with the archetypal mother. This liberates the poets symbolically, but not physically.


Archetypes; Mother Archetype; Karin Boye; Freud; Ingrid Jonker; Jung; Oceanic Feeling; Oceanic Symbolism; Sylvia Plath


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