The Forces of Convention
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Initially the third essay in the Anatomy (131-239) resembles other streamlined products of its time. Like a 1957 Cadillac with rising tailfins, dual exhausts, and so on, the essay, the longest of the book, has an elegant structure. Almost everything about it seems dual. It has a pair of introductions (131-40; 158-62), matching Aristotelian terms (dianoia, or thought; mythos, or narrative), a bifurcated title (" Archetypal Criticism: Theory of Myths"), alternating perspectives (archetypal, which looks for recurrence; anagogic, or universal), two parts (a survey of imagery; a study of story types), with each part neatly hinging upon a polarity (apocalyptic and demonic imagery; Christian myth and a demonic counterpart), two comparative frameworks (classification table for imagery; circular diagram for story types), and two means of proceeding (the developmental and synchronic species of comparativism inherited from the myth theorists). Despite these dualistic features, Frye's third essay has the same simplicity of structure as those before it. I It is helpful to perceive his organization of the entire essay before entering into a discussion of its several parts.