|[aras-image:5Fb.018,,10,,,Figure 5 Apollo and Daphne.]|
She observes that interpretations of the myth of Apollo and Daphne could vary. "A medieval Christian would make Apollo an embodiment of sin and canonize Daphne for purity or, conversely, blame her for tempting him to his downfall. Norman Mailer would be more likely to color the scene... cheering Apollo on and hinting that Daphne should relax and enjoy his assault. Doris Lessing, on the other hand, would be more interested in Daphne's state of mind and more likely to savage Apollo for his crassness. this tendency of archetypes to vary in interpretation from culture to culture and author to author makes the archetypal critic's task complex. She must also be very careful to avoid letting her own situation and biases distort her interpretations."13
As a base for her study of women's literature, Pratt again quotes Jung. "'It is a foregone conclusion among the initiated,' wrote Jung of himself and of his followers, 'that men understand nothing of women's psychology as it actually is, but it is astonishing to find that women do not know themselves.'"
Pratt then quotes from Jung's introduction to Esther Harding's book, Women's Mysteries, where he says that "in this book it becomes clear that woman also possesses a peculiar spirituality very strange to man. Without knowledge of the unconscious this new point of view, so essential to the psychology of woman, could never have been brought out in such completeness." Looking back to the cultures in which goddesses were revered as the sole powers of fertility and agriculture, Pratt unearths a set of characteristics that deviate significantly from Western gender norms and, in the process, describes archetypes that crop up as subversive elements in a wide sample of women's novels.14 Part of that sample includes novels written from an explicit lesbian point of view.