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By Silver (originally posted to tumblr)
So we were some of the folks who helped coin Archetrope over on NNP.
Lets talk about that
To define Archetrope;
Archetrope- A person who heavily identifies ‘with’ or ‘as’ an archetype, trope, or otherwise preestablished character model or ‘trope’ on an integral level to ones identity. It can fall anywhere on the voluntary-involuntary and with-as identification spectrum. Entities that fall under the archetype may feel like they are kintypes/hearttypes/theriotypes/etc, but are not quite as such. It is an innately flexible label.
The word can be used in both ‘having an x’ and ‘being an x’ forms.
For examples of what this can look like, ‘Jane’s archetrope is magical girl mascot characters’ or ‘John’s archetrope is druids’
My experience of having an Archetype begins in the same root as the systems shared feline alterhumantity. For a long time, most of our positive social interactions were with animals, our cat was who put us to bed and made sure we ate and comforted us.
For the shared feline alterhumanity, this imprints on some level of identifying with or as for each of us in the system. I Am a cat psychologically and for lack of a better term, culturally. I personally don’t really identify as a therian regarding this anymore, just nonhuman.
Our childhood cat, long may he rest in peace, raised us better than any other adult in our lives and taught us everything important.
We were not a feral child, but its closer than many people get.
In relation to this, ‘raised by beasts’ characters (think San from Princess Mononoke, classic Tarzan, or Inosuke Hashibira from Demon Slayer), strike a very strong chord with me to the point in many cases of feeling like heartedness/sympaths, sometimes even like being fictionkind. The feeling evaporates when examined with any level of proper scrutiny- its not a load-bearing identification with that character specifically,just with that specific narrative function. This feeling seems to possibly be mine because I inherited the most of The Original’s memories, and was fronting for a large part of the time when we were largely raised by our cat.
‘Raised by beasts’ isn't the exact stretch of the archetrope either, though, there is more to it, any character who is protected by a obvious nonhuman/has a nonhuman companion they rely on also does it, such as Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura, or Natsume from Natsume’s Book of Friends. So it would be fair to say the proper expanse of the trope is the ‘human’ half of a nonhuman-human duo in which the nonhuman is the guardian (familial or otherwise). A bit of a mouthful to state commonly, to say the least.
For me its not a heavy identification, it is ‘with’, less than ‘as’. Its a load-bearing aspect of my identity, but not the way being a dragon is, or even being a cat, and not quite as intensely as either. Being a (again for lack of any specific word for it we can find) partial feral child makes that trope highly relatable and characters under it I have a strong affinity for. An affinity that is to the point I get fictionflickers about it on occasion. I catch myself questioning if my identification with or as that character is a kintype, but when examined for any proper length of time the feeling for that character evaporates like smoke.
The trope of the beast’s child(to try to sum it up as something snappy) is a large part of who I am in this life- it shaped the neurology of this body deeply, and I was one of the ones in the system directly effected by being in that sort of situation. I am factually a beast’s child. That is my genuine experience in this life. When I see I character in fiction that fulfills this trope it feels deeply, painfully relatable. I can catch myself getting noemata on occasion for these flickers of identity. I can get phantom limbs even. But its still something that when examined or left be for a month or two still dissipates- its not the characters themselves. Its the trope that remains.
If I just relate to or really like a particular character, I don’t get fictionflickers and I don't get ‘hearted feels- this is more than that. For just relating, there is no load-bearing bit of identity, they may be deeply meaningful to me, but it is not a ‘hearted or sympath identify with. There is no longing to be that character manifest, there is no feeling of ‘this is home’, the feelings are not integral to my being, and this is key- the feelings are not impermanent intense bursts.
But in the end though- the most important part is that I choose to label my experiences this way specifically because I feel its worthwhile to acknowledge them in this manner.
This trope slash archetype fills a very unique place in my heart and took a terribly long time to untangle, especially because there was no words for it until very recently.
I embody this very niche character type in a load-bearing identity sort of way, and its for this reason I choose to label it.
It may not be an all day every day all-encompassing feeling like being a dragon is, or the wax and wane but still always clearly there cat identity, but it flickers in and out of the background of my selfhood with consistency all the same.
I don’t often state myself as such, its a complicated thing to explain and its not something I have a burning need to tell people about, but its still a load bearing part of my identity in this life all the same and is worth speaking about.