According to the theory, archetypes have existed in our collective unconscious since the beginning of time, waiting to emmerge through creative acts. They are the human instinct for transformation. This means there are really old Virgin stories in addition to the recent movies I have been mentioning lately.
I think one of the most famous Virgin’s in literature is Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Ophelia is a sweet, dutiful daughter who is used to increase the family fortune. When Ophelia’s father notices she has caught the eye of Hamlet he sends her to seduce him. Hamlet first is infatuated by Ophelia and later scorns her, labelling her a whore, when he discovers Ophelia’s father’s plan. What nobody, including Ophelia, seems to take much notice of is Ophelia’s true feelings and intrinsic value. Instead she becomes the scapegoat, as the whore so often does. This is a Virgin tragedy!
Looking at movies, Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt is a great Virgin story. Charlie is feeling a malaise because her life lacks excitement and strong male figures. She bemoans her hard working mother’s lack of joy and dreads it as her own future. She decides to invite her Uncle Charlie to come and spark up their life. Through the movie she recognizes Uncle Charlie as a dangerous wolf and her blindness to the good qualities in the men around her. Her journey is towards a genuine sensual awakening that replaces the schoolgirl fantasy of excitement. And along the way a murderer is brough to justice and her mother is saved from a broken heart. The Children’s Hour is the Brokeback Mountain of 1961. It is a story of bringing your true sexual nature to life despite severe cultural disapproval and danger to their livlihood. Audrye Hepburn, Shirley McLean and James garner are fantastic in this one.
Two really fun Virgin movies are Roman Holiday and Houseboat. It’s all about the Secret World and finding the joy.In Houseboat , Cinzia is a dutiful daughter who longs to break free and experience some real American life. She finds a Secret world with Cary Grant (lucky dog) and grows in her sense of self and ability to generate love.
In Roman Holiday, Princess Ann breaks free from her duties as a princess to experience life just as herself. She uses this experience to strengthen her ability to be a good monarch. She has to have fun to replenish her resources to do her duty. I’ve already talked about the old fairytales that are Virgin stories. You could even say that Adam and Eve are the Hero and the Virgin. Eve ate from the tree of knowledge (know thyself) and it brought sexual awakening and before Adam could challenge the immortality of the gods thay were banished to a foreign land. Can’t get much more timeless than that.