The Great Mother

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The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype
The Great Mother (German edition).jpg
The German edition
Author Erich Neumann
Original title Die große Mutter
Translator Ralph Manheim
Country Germany
Language German
Subject Psychology
Published 1955 (Princeton University Press)
Media type Print
Pages 379
ISBN 0-691-01780-8 (paperback); 0-691-09742-9 (hardcover)
LC Class 55-10026

The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype (German: Die große Mutter) is a book by Erich Neumann, first published in English in 1955.[1] The work has been seen as an enduring contribution to Jungian thought.

Scholarly reception[edit]

Psychologist James Hillman writes that Neumann interprets every kind of female figure and image as symbols of the Great Mother. Hillman believes that, "If one's research shows results of this kind, i.e., where all data indicate one dominant hypothesis, then it is time to ask a psychological question about the hypothesis."[2]

The Great Mother has been described as "monumental in its breadth" by Jungian analyst Robert H. Hopcke, who considers it "Neumann's most enduring contribution to Jungian thought" alongside The Origins and History of Consciousness (1949).[3]

Scholar Camille Paglia has listed The Great Mother as one influence on her work of literary criticism Sexual Personae (1990).[4]



  1. ^ Neumann 1991. p. iv.
  2. ^ Hillman 1979. p. 216.
  3. ^ Hopcke 1989. p. 70.
  4. ^ Paglia 1993. p. 114.


  • Hillman, James (1979). The Dream and the Underworld. New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 0-06-090682-0. 
  • Hopcke, Robert H. (1989). Jung, Jungians and Homosexuality. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-87773-585-9. 
  • Neumann, Erich (1991). The Great Mother. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01780-8. 
  • Paglia, Camille (1993). Sex, Art, and American Culture: Essays. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-017209-2.