Bruno Bettelheim's Fairy Tale Insight Essay

1646 Words 7 Pages
The birth of fairy tales is many times unknown, but their reputations have always remained the same. These tales not only attract children with their wondrous lands and magical charm, but they captivate the child by involving relatable characters with recognizable problems. While these stories provide mind-churning imagination, the lesson they provide does not cease to exist when the book is closed.
Bruno Bettelheim, the author of Uses of Enchantment, has constructed an evaluation that fairy tale’s offer insight to the child’s psychological life. He believes such literature depicts underline meaning to ways in which the child develops and deals with real life conflicts. Undertaking such a strong controversial topic for the first time,
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Despite this statement’s broadness, it remains true for the sole fact that children do not have much comprehensible knowledge of most subjects at an adolescent age. Bettelheim implies his words though, as if children have understanding of many things, but fairy tales being the most intelligible to them. Bettelheim also makes unexplainable assumptions about the psyche of a child. He compares their mind more to the developed adult who knows how to cope with struggles of society rather than viewing the child as the undeveloped innocent mind that it is. Fairy tales are harmless to a child while it may regress an adult. Bettelheim fails to recognize the gap of minds (95). He also falls short of realizing that even though he is trying to defend the child and the way their mind works, Bettelheim still thinks and reacts like an adult and cannot place himself in the child’s thinking position but only observe them.
Another aid in the justification that children may not always find an emphasized meaning to a fairy tale is the idea that “children begin in a largely animistic world and only slowly learn the art of abstract thinking” (95). The fact that the books offer more than just a beginning, middle, and end solution to a story for children has been disregarded. Rarely are children attentive to the story itself, but more intrigued with the illustrations and voice of the story teller. Books are generally read to children before bedtime to calm them and offer a time to
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