Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of Communications and Media Studies


Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Supervisor

Dennis Wood

Second Supervisor

George Trippe


Carl Jung's notion of contrasexuality allows women to embrace the masculine as well as feminine aspects of their personality. This creates a sense of complementarity or balance that is often lacking in the established psychoanalytic interpretation of female representations within mm texts. The 'animus,' or masculine complex, is an empowering theory in understanding representations of women within the filmic text as embarking on a process of self-realisation, self-acceptance, and the discovery of their own authority in the context of their relationships with men. Furthermore, the animus has been credited as Jung's greatest contribution to the study of the female psyche. As such, this thesis will examine the theories of Jungian analysts Emma Jung (1931), M. Esther Harding (1933 & 1965), and Polly Young-Eisendrath and Florence Wiedemann (1987), to demonstrate how this concept has been developed and can be employed to empower and transform women by understanding the masculine principle within. An analysis of the dynamics of both the negative and positive influences of the animus on women will be conducted using the films Sweetie (1989), The Piano (1993) and Holy Smoke (1999), written and directed by Jane Campion. By employing the concept as a theoretical tool to Jane Campion's films, she can be understood as an auteur who significantly contributes to the liberation of the female psyche, progressing an understanding of women through the film text.