Princess

For the princess figure, the goal is happy, successful marriage. Thus she makes herself into the ultimate anima for all men. She is the perfect untouched virgin, lying in her coffin of glass. She displays few signs of self-awareness, concentrating only on how to best reflect her animus like a many-sided crystal, with no volition, no identity, only surrender: The young lady spends hours daydreaming about the perfect man, then meets him and falls instantly in love. She is Helen of Troy, carried of by one prince after another as the ultimate prize and status symbol, for she, like Snow White, is "fairest of them all." She is Juliet, a pawn in her father's marriage games. Or Hera, the spiteful, shrewish wife, wed to Zeus through force and trickery. Draupadi, the heroine of the Indian Mahabharata, is won in an archery contest and wed to five different men, as the hero must share his winnings with his brother. When she's dragged into the gaming hall and humiliated before the court, Draupadi's family declares war on a scale with the Iliad.

Likewise, the princess is devoted to keeping her marriage  alive, even through obstacles. The king of “The Wild Swans" believes Eliza guilty of witchcraft and orders her burned at the stake. Eliza dotingly forgives him at the end, and they resume their happy ending. Psyche and Persephone are abducted, yet they both find love and embrace the concept of marriage. When kings exile their queens, those loyal wives quest unceasingly to be reinstated.

In the Swahili “A Woman for a Hundred Cattle,” a married woman is so poor that she must promise her favors to a would-be suitor for a side of beef, which she wishes to serve her visiting father. Her family’s poverty comes from the immense bride-price of one hundred cattle that the husband once paid the father, thus beggaring himself. During the meal, the seducer bursts in, impatient for his reward. The heroine sits them all down to prove their unreasonableness: the husband has paid far too much for a bride beyond his means, while her father demanded one hundred cows when he already possessed thousands, thus beggaring his daughter. Far more foolish, however, is the suitor for presuming he could have a woman once purchased for a hundred cattle with just a side of beef. Humbled, the seducer leaves and the father sends her three hundred cows.[i]


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[i] Susan Feldman, ed. “A Woman for a Hundred Cattle,” The Story-Telling Stone (New York: Dell, 1965), 304-311.