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akeefe's picture

The Guide

I’ll be honest. Reading this article made me want to tell Fairy Tales to my children someday. There were moments, in the reading, when I realized that many of my childhood thoughts and experiences were mimicked directly in Bettelhiem’s argument. It is with this is in mind, that I support the statement in question. It seems to me that the function of Fairy Tales in not to create experience, but make the process of experience understanding and enriching. Without knowledge that we might someday overcome our pitfalls, we might not recognize and cherish them for their full value.

At one point, Bettelhiem speak to the child’s quest for meaning in life. I was instantly suck back to the day, I asked my mother, at five years old, why we are here? I remember taking no comfort in religious talk, but coming to the realization that adults do not know everything. Instead of having my world shaken, I was struck by a sense of adventure. It was my job to find out. It was not until reading the article that I realized my avid devouring of Fairy Tales may have eased this transition, by teaching me that uncertainty can be over come by experiences and adventure.

Keeping this in mind, I return to my argument that it is not that Fairy Tales hold more meaning, but are the key to actively searching out meaning through experience, by guiding us through that first, often nerve racking step.

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