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Student 23's picture

Much of the "deeper

Much of the "deeper meaning" in fairy tales is symbolic. Were a child able to grasp some of the symbolism in Grimm's stories, especially, I would worry about his or her mental health.

Take, for instance, Briar Rose. Reflecting on Bettelheim's emphasis on Freudian psychoanalysis and particularly his mention of the Oedipus complex, I can pick out a very Freudian pattern of symbols in the story. Briar Rose's fate is to prick herself on a spindle, which I do say is a very phallic symbol indeed. Once she has pricked herself, the only thing that can save her is the kiss of a man. See, already the symbolism has gone way over the heads of most young children! What's more, the father in the story goes to great lengths to prevent this from occuring, only to fail, losing his daughter anyway in a perfect example of irony of fate (which is most often demonstrated with the story of Oedipus!) Sexton recognized the implications of this irony in "Transformations", putting a very Oedipal twist on this fairy tale.

On another note entirely... The post above me mentions how hard it is asking for help. I agree! I think it's our own desire for independence that stops us from relying on others.



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