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Jacob’s Physical Transformation from Boy to Wolf (Ant Level Transformation)

(For an explanation of “ant level” and “cloud level” perspectives, see the link for “Fate and Destiny” http://twilightsagaarchetypes.com/fate-and-destiny/.)

Jacob grows up with the legends of his tribe, but as most children and young people might do, he dismisses them as superstition and the rantings of crazy old people.   Not even when he begins observing his friends “picked off” by Sam’s cult, as Jake thinks of it, does he put much thought into the legends.  In fact, we learn through his conversations with Bella that Jake is actually terrified of what is happening to his friends.  Bella then becomes concerned about Jake’s own safety and fears he will suffer whatever fate his friends have suffered. 

Later in the series we learn what really happened, that Jake has been called into service for a sacred purpose to protect and save human life.  The fact that his primary objective is to save Bella’s life in particular is lost on Bella at first because she does not understand his conflict, but the fact that he must try to save Bella from immortality gives Jacob immediate purpose and appreciation for his physical transformation.  The identity of his target for protection (Bella) relieves the fear and trepidation Jake otherwise may have felt about becoming a wolf.  Because of Bella, he can view his new abilities immediately as an asset, not a burden, because he also perceives his new abilities as a way to compete more equally with Edward for Bella’s affection (since neither of them now is “just” a boy).

All that to say, Jacob was initially terrified of what turned out to be his destiny.    Many, if not most, of us can relate to that — we think we understand what we observe around us, and we categorize it and catalog it as good or bad, as safe or threatening; but in truth, destiny is never that easy to predict or prepare for.

Jacob’s Archetypal Transformation (Cloud Level Transformation)

Jake’s physical transformation is from boy to wolf-boy, but his transformation of dominant archetypes is from Nature Child to Warrior to Prince.  Like the other characters, Jacob has many more archetypes than just these three, including the Companion, the Slave and the Outlaw to name a few, but the three discussed in this section illustrate how his overall character transforms through archetypal evolution.

We meet Jake as a quiet boy, a child really, who enjoys spending time outdoors with his friends and working on his car.  There is nothing particularly extraordinary about his existence, but just as we all experience, his life seems pretty normal until destiny comes to call.  Destiny for Jake is Bella, but in what way?  In what relationship?   And what about those silly legends of wolves that his elders yammer about to the young ones?   His life is simple, modest, straightforward.   Then destiny knocks him on his tail and changes literally everything about his world, including his very existence.  He matures both physically and spiritually as we watch him grow up before our eyes.   Bella comments on more than one occasion during this growth phase that he seems older than she is, that he seems wiser, that he has seen more.  She recognizes on some level that he is no longer her little Jacob, and it is not just because of his height.  She senses this deeper maturation at hand, and we see Jake morph from eschewing the tribal legends and being fearful of his friend’s transformation, to embracing the changes within himself and rising to the call in front of him to embody (literally in his case) his highest potential as warrior and protector and then Chief.   He develops into a grown man with fierce loyal instincts and a stead-fast conviction to honor his tribal heritage and warrior responsibilities without regard for his personal safety.  His life becomes focused on sacrifice and service if that is what is required to protect human life from vampires.    Later in the story, Jake’s transformation goes from lone warrior to a softer, gentler soul who sees that Nessie is his entire existence and that to serve her is to serve himself.  His entire universe becomes centered around serving her, his sun and his moon, and he develops from the lone warrior to the regal prince worthy of the royal hand of his true love. 

Jake is perhaps the most sympathetic character in the series because even for people who want Bella to be with Edward, they still adore Jake and struggle with witnessing his profound pain and loss when Bella is (repeatedly) ripped from his heart.  Jake is so human, and to feel his suffering is difficult as the reader.  He outwardly and freely expresses his rage, his anguish, his confusion, his frustration, his every emotion because he wears them on his sleeve.  (Edward at one point acknowledges that Jake is not very good at keeping his emotions in check publicly.)   But that is one of the many differences between Jake and Edward – Edward is a master at disguises and illusion (himself a shapeshifter from an archetypal perspective), and Jake never hides (or even tries to hide) a single feeling – he lives with his entire heart.  Edward lives entirely with his intellectually superior mind (until his heart finally opens), and Jake lives entirely with his raw and vulnerable heart.  

Finally at the conclusion of the series they are both whole and more balanced between head and heart, but in the meantime, they represent two halves of an ideal mate for Bella (or anyone for that matter).  Edward, being intellectually brilliant, is also perceived as cold, mental, distant, aloof.   Jake, being hyper-heart-driven, is physically warm, prone to outbursts and tantrums, and not as capable of handling his emotional ups and downs.   Their character profiles are brilliant literal examples of what happens when we live too dependently on one or the other, too much heart, or too much mind.  There has to be balance in order for there to be harmony, and when the two characters find their individual and respective balance at the end of Breaking Dawn, they also find balance between themselves as men, brothers in arms, father and son, head and heart.  They stop competing with each other in the literal sense, but symbolically, they represent the harmony we experience when our own mind and our own heart stop competing with each other inside each of us.  Again, Edward and Jake represent what appear to be opposites and what appear to be mortal enemies, but in reality, they are two complementary halves of the one whole we should all aspire to be, both head and heart.

Hero versus Anti-Hero

See the last section under “Edward” for an introduction into the distinctions between the Hero (Jake) and the Anti-Hero (Edward) archetypes.  http://twilightsagaarchetypes.com/edward/

More will be added to this page later, but the discussion under Edward’s page will serve as a primer.

For more detail about Edward and Jake as two halves of one ideal “whole,” see http://twilightsagaarchetypes.com/edward-and-jake-as-the-whole-man/.

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