The giant is often considered somewhat of a "noble savage, as symbols of nature
in the wild, in its primeval state before it was annexed by civilization. The
connection presumably lies in the idea that before the coming of civilization
only human-like creatures with extraordinary physical powers could cope with
the rigors of the environment" (Biederman, 151). In ancient mythology, giants
represent the dest ructive forces of nature; they are often clumsy and malicious.
According to Julien, "Giants are the incarnation of fears that tormented ancient tribes: 'faceless, anonymous fears, fears of evil-doing spirits, of storms, of fire from the sky, of high tides, insecurity, bad luck, hunger, and above all, death" (178).
As a gigantic quantity of a person, a giant can be a number of things, such
as a chthonic force, a man before the Fall, protector of the common person,
enormous wisdom capacity. However, he is capable of being a bad quantitative
amplification as well. In Jung he can arise terrible father images in a child.
Interestingly, he almost always has some sort of inferiorty to him, often speed,
Goliath losing to David.
Up one level
Back to document index