My essay concerns the literary and visual expression of the archetype dual descent in North American children’s remakes of the Brothers Grimms’ tale, Iron Hans. The remakes were published within a fourteen-year span following Robert Bly’s bestseller, Iron John: A Book About Men (1990). Bly’s study of the Grimms’ wild man material examines the importance of the character’s function as a superhuman second father to the prince, who thus becomes of dual descent. My intent in writing this article is to examine the contemporary expression of Jung’s archetypes dual descent and the wild man. Relatedly, I demonstrate Bly’s contribution is valued alongside the Grimms’ tale within the contemporary children’s literary scene. The children’s authors I examine do not give any indication Bly’s interpretation is contradictory to the Grimms’ tales, as alleged in fairy tale scholarship. All four prominently reference the Brothers Grimm on the cover or within the inside jacket.
Examining the Jewish-American novel written in the postwar era, the present paper attempts to understand the relationship between the writers’ recurrent use of the theme of the double and the psychological problematics to which the protagonists are always prone. It contextualizes the over-repeated tension between primary ego and alter ego within the postwar anxiety of Jews trying to prefigure the possibilities of history on the one hand, and to construct identity in the midst of lurking anti-Semitic perils on the other. For the Jewish-American novelist’s part, representing such a psychological aspect of the Jewish dilemma can never be read out of his/her hyphenated standpoint and, thus, strategies of survival where delusions of persecution keep the identity’s guard on by projecting the protagonist’s fears in the form of a doppelganger.