Monday, May 18, 2009

Heroine Archetype - The Nurturer

I chose to blog about the Nurturer because she’s the opposite of my first heroine archetype The Seductress. And I love doing opposites.

The Nurturer loves to be needed. Actually needs to be needed. That’s what fulfills her. Like Michelle Pfeiffer in The Witches of Eastwick, she has five children, makes her own soap, and cooks for everyone.

The Nurturer is forever an optimist. Everything is going to be all right, no matter how bad the crisis. She believes that if you focus long enough, anything can be accomplished. Like Renee Zelwegger in Jerry Maquire. She gives up her job to follow a man she hardly knows but insists that things will be just fine. She believes in Jerry. Supports him and he finally becomes the man she thought he would be by the end of the movie. That’s some serious optimism.

The Nurturer keeps her head in an emergency. Altruistic by nature, she puts others’ needs ahead of her own. And doesn’t know how to say no. She is long suffering and will never give up trying to fix a situation she feels is harmful to others. Like Glenn Close in The Safety of Objects. She nurses her comatose son and attempts to win a car for her daughter by doing a marathon touch fest with the vehicle at the mall.

The Nurturer is a wonderful listener. If you just broke up with your boyfriend or lost your job, call her and she’ll listen to you for hours. She knows what’s important and focuses more on the emotional well-being, rather than the inconsequential. Like Gloria Johnson, aka. Loretta Devine, in Waiting to Exhale. She cares for her son, runs a beauty shop and still has time to give Angela Bassett advice when her husband dumps her. And feeds her, too.

I’ve saved the best Nurturer for last. She’s focused, caring, a born mother and caregiver. Can cook and sew, and is fun with the kids. She’s Maria Von Trap in the sound of music. She faces a grouchy widower with ten kids, a femme fatale who wants to take the man she loves, and the Nazis, and still manages to smile. Who wouldn’t love this paragon of style, talent, virtue, and optimism? People just naturally gravitate to her and want to be around her. Because she’s so generous giving her love. Others just naturally want to love her back. And the best thing is—her story is based on a true person.

Share your views about the nurturer. If you know of any books or movies you recognize this character from, please share them with us.

Write on,
Teresa Reasor


Minx Malone said...

Another nurturer is Izzie on Grey's Anatomy. Even when she was overcome with grief about losing Denny, her instinct was to bake muffins for everyone!

Then she made dinner for Meredith's family because she knew Mer couldn't cook.

Tracy Preston - Romance Writer said...

I love this archetype. I believe the heroine in my current WIP is a nurturer, and I'm really enjoying her.

A few other nurturers -- Kate Winslet in Finding Neverland, Aunt Bea from Andy Griffith, Cameron Diaz in Something About Mary (even though it's technically a comedy, you can totally see the nurturer in her), Roseanne Barr on Roseanne (again, though it's a comedy series, in her own sarcastic way she has nurturer written all over her) and of course there's Carol Brady from The Brady

I think if I HAD to classify myself as one of these archetypes, it would probably be the nurturer. Hey -- I can live with that! ;)

Good blog, Teresa!

Teresa Reasor said...

I used to watch Gray's Anatomy and saw that particular episode. You are so right about Izzy.
Thanks for blogging with me.

Teresa R.

Teresa Reasor said...

You have this archetype dead to rights. And that you recognize those characteristics in yourself is really good. I don't know what archetype I fall into. I'll have to give it some thought.

Thanks for adding to the conversation.

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