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hannahpayne's picture

I don't think that fairy

I don't think that fairy tales teach us more than all of our experiences teach us, or at least I hope they don't. I'd be worried if someone simply learned everything from a fairy tale. I thought that Bettelheim made a vaild point at the necessity of fairy tales in children's lives but I don't think they should be the only mode to discover the truth. I think life experiences are our main basis for learning, especially for kids. We try something, fail, try again and get it right. Nobody learns to walk at their first attempt, experience is vital. Aside from this line though, I thought that Bettelheim made some very intersting points. I think that many of his ideas were targeted towards kids who had difficult childhoods and who needed something that gave them hope for a better future. Fairy tales offer this hope but I think that as a child grows older they realize that not everything in the world ends happily ever after. Despite this, fairy tales still serve their purpose because they get children to reach this stage in their life with optimism. If this is achieved they will most likely be old enough to begin to take matters, even if it is only a few, into their own hands. 

I also really liked his take on the gender roles in the fairy tale and their relationship with the oedipal stage of development. He separated the 'good mother' from the 'bad mother' who got angry at the child and this explains the reason for the evil female characters as well as the loving female characters of the past. I believe that kids can distinguish between the two and that this probably does help kids to deal with two contrasting emotions from their parents.


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