Learn all about the loner archetype, including definition, characteristics, examples and how it relates to the Rebel archetype.
What is the Loner Archetype?
The Loner Archetype is one of a person who purposefully avoids or does not seek human interaction or relationships, preferring instead to live a solitary life in which they are more comfortable in their own company.
There can be a whole host of reasons behind their preference for solitude, such as a natural tendency towards being introverted, spiritual reasons, high levels of sensitivity, shyness, past trauma and/or mental disorders.
Loner Archetype Characteristics & Traits
- Some archetypal loners secretly wish for the society of others, finding themselves longing for others to make contact and help draw them out of themselves.
- They need others to provide them with a bridge into society, unable to make that connection themselves.
- Other loners thrive on the loneliness and solitude which they have created for themselves, secretly wishing that they could always be so alone and wishing for other people to go away and leave them to their own company.
- Despite the loner’s enjoyment of their own company they often have a small, close circle of friends or confidants on whom they rely and trust.
- These tend to be people with whom they share common interests, the Loner finding that these interests allow them to build bridges with others where they would otherwise find difficulty in doing so.
- The Loner finds personal satisfaction and peace in developing a deep passion for the things that interest them, be that art, music, literature and so on.
- They can devote great time and energy to such interests, finding in them the same fulfillment that others would find in the company of friends.
- As a result of their need for solitude the loner tends not to form strong, loving partnerships in life, though where they do find space in their life for this the love can be intense and all-consuming.
Loner Archetype Examples
A famous example of a literary loner is Boo Radley from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel ‘Too Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee. Arthur “Boo” Radley is an example of the heroic literary loner.
As the novel develops we come to learn through the eyes of the Finch children that stories have grown up around Boo because he is never seen. The children learn of the sense of mystery in the town around the loner, believing fantastical rumours such as that he eats raw squirrels and cats.
Boo is only finally forced to leave his house to save the Scout and Jem Finch from being attacked.
After the unjust trial of Tom Robinson and his conviction for the rape of which he is in fact innocent, Scout and Jem begin to understand why someone might like Boo may in fact want to be a loner and hide away from the world.
Further reading on the loner archetype includes: