The Doll – An Archetypal Image of the Human

Since time immemorial children are playing with dolls, simple dolls an adult would make from cloth, or scraps of cloth. Nowadays we have mass production of plastic dolls and no one needs to go to the trouble anymore to make a doll by oneself. One goes and simply buys it. Only, a bought doll has been produced by strangers and machines, somewhere far away  from the child’s home. No one, while making the doll  was thinking of the child that would eventually receive it.

When we compare both, cloth doll and plastic doll we notice two advantages with regards to plastic: One can give it a bath in real water and it dries fast. The cloth doll can be bathed also, but it takes a few days for it to dry. It is also easier to wipe off baby cream and powder from the plastic than from the cloth doll.

And that’s the end of  advantages!

How easy it is to repair a damaged cloth doll!   The plastic doll however,that shockingly  lost head or arms can rarely be repaired. With time a cloth doll will change and the personality of its mother, i.e. the child will impress her character upon the doll. A handmade doll is unique, as is the child. A plastic doll is one among thousands of identical ones.

The doll holds a unique place among our children’s toys, for it is the archetypal image of the human. It helps the child in the search for it’s identity. To the doll it may  intrust its most secret thoughts, its joy and sorrow. Together with the doll the child may escape from a frightening situation. Or the arrival of a newborn baby can be prepared. There are two meanings in the German word for “doll”(=Puppe); one means “doll” or “puppet”. The other means “butterfly”. Every  doll can release a butterfly , once a child is able to en-soul  it, and give it life!

It is of utmost importance that parents treat the doll with the same respect they would give to real people.  For the same reason it would be very unfortunate to allow the child to work out its anger on the doll. Because the doll is an image of the human, one has to care for it as one would for the child. Otherwise the child may  catch on to the idea that beating humans is acceptable.