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Home arrow Psychology arrow The Life and Creative Works of Paulo Coelho : A Psychobiography from a Positive Psychology Perspective
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Schultz’s Prototypical Scenes in “The Pilgrimage"

The prototypical scenes are “unique, emphasised by their subjects, marked by isolation or incompleteness, and so on” (Schultz, 2005b, p. 49). The prototypical scenes identified in the creative work are used for the analysis of these creative works throughout this chapter. Table 8.2 provides examples of prototypical scenes identified.

The exploration of the prototypical scenes (Schultz, 2005b, p. 49; Table 8.2) builds the base for the HWM and the FDT presented in the following section.

Table 8.2 Examples of Schultz’s prototypical scenes in “The Pilgrimage’

William Todd Schultz: Keys to identifying “prototypical scenes”

Description of key of prototypical scenes

Vividness, specificity, emotional intensity

One vividly described scene is Coelho’s first meeting with the messenger (Coelho, 2003b, pp. 69-71). It is a specific situation that is described with emotional intensity.

Another vividly and lengthily described scene with emotional impact is Coelho’s night alone on the Road to Santiago, visionalising his own death while practising the “buried alive exercise” (Coelho, 2003b, pp. 125-131). The description of the scene leads to Coelho’s decision to live life to the full (Coelho, 2003b, p. 131).

Interpenetration

Through the encounter with the boy in Chapter 5 - The messenger- Coelho experiences a vision that is interpenetratedly described within the description of the interaction between one of the boys and Coelho. Coelho (2003b, pp. 60-61) describes the changing of the landscape and the boy’s appearance before returning to the core situation of the interaction with the boys.

Developmental crisis

The book contains several descriptions of developmental crises in terms of identity. One such scene is the scene in which Petrus and Coelho meet boys playing ball in Chapter 5 - The messenger - (Coelho, 2003b, p. 59). Coelho and Petrus create a conflict with one of the boys, keeping his ball, getting into a power struggle. Petrus concludes for Coelho at the end of the situation (Coelho, 2003b, p. 61): “It allowed you to win over the personal devil.” The boys externalise Coelho’s personal devil and give him the chance to learn about his personal devil, bringing him to consciousness. Coelho, who was quite unaware of his personal devil, lives through a personal crisis, realising his narrowness of perspective and view. The identity crisis is indicated by the description of his dizziness (Coelho, 2003b, p. 62), which stands for his disorientation through the new and unfamiliar learning process and is followed by conscious learning about spiritual forces to reintegrate the new experiences on a conscious level with Petrus’s help (Coelho, 2003b, p. 63). Coelho experiences a “decisive encounter” (Schultz, 2005b, p. 50) and decides to develop his identity further on a spiritual basis.

Family conflict

Chapter 1 - Arrival - describes Coelho and Cristina arriving in Spain. Out of fear and anxiety, Coelho starts creating conflict with Cristina, who accompanies Coelho to take his sword to a certain place where he needs to find it after he has walked the Road to Santiago. However, Cristina recognises his intention to create conflict out of fear and anxiety of the unknown and the possibility of failing again. She moves ahead and dissolves the conflictual situation with a gesture and a kiss (Coelho, 2003b, pp. 10-11).

(continued)

Table 8.2 (continued)

William Todd Schultz: Keys to identifying “prototypical scenes”

Description of key of prototypical scenes

Thrownness

In the chapter Love, Coelho is put into a situation that violates his status quo. The reader knows that - as a member of RAM - has already walked a long spiritual way. However, in this chapter he meets with the dog at the woman’s house for the first time and loses control over himself completely. He does not react in the previously described common ways for him to react to situations, such as questioning, conscious reflection and mindfulness, but rather through a hypnotic trance state in which he starts speaking with the “gift of tongues” (Coelho, 2003b, p. 83). After the exorcism, Coelho cries hysterically before being overwhelmed by a deep feeling of love and happiness, which is combined with an in-depth understanding of the situation and the dog (Coelho, 2003b, p. 79). This situation in which Coelho loses control over himself, his speaking and his emotions is an outstanding situation, which produces a feeling of disequilibrium; old ways of understanding do not apply anymore (as described by Alexander, 1988).

Source: Adapted from Schultz (2005b, p. 50)

 
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