Archetypes: The Explorer

The Explorer

The Explorer archetype seeks the answers to the questions: Who am I? Why am I here? The Explorer is driven by curiosity to discover new places and new things about themself. The archetype craves novelty and adventure, and is motivated by self-improvement, but has a tendency toward restlessness.

The Explorer’s purpose in literature is to push the boundaries of the status quo and explore the unknown. The archetype is at the heart of every coming of age story.

Examples in Literature

Dorothy in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum 

Edna Pontellier in The Awakening, Kate Chopin

Sherlock Holmes in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Richard in The Beach, Alex Garland

Alma Whittaker in The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert

Leo Vincey in She, H Rider Haggard

Odysseus in The Odyssey, Homer

Leopold Bloom in Ulysses, James Joyce

Sal Paradise in On the Road, Jack Kerouak

Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger

Tom in Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

Huckleberry Finn in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

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