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nmuntz's picture


I have to say, I was all for the idea that fairy tales really create a deeper meaning for children (of all ages...which includes adults!) and that they are incredibly helpful for expanding the boundaries of the imagination and creating a sense of hope, but after writing my analysis of my own personal fairy tale, I realized that there are other levels to a fairy tale (apart from "ick") that don't teach the best lesson. Take Aladdin for example: He steals food from all over the place and (for some time at least) doesn't face the consequences of stealing.  Many will say, "Oh he was starving, so it's okay."  Does the fact that he was starving justify his actions for stealing?  This is a deeper argument than what I wanted to get into, but its just an idea of what popped into my head.

Back to the Bettleheim article.  I have to say I agreed with a lot of things he said, though his approach was so Freudian that a lot of his ideas were based only on Freud's hypotheses (such as the Oedipal complex).  I don't really believe in Freud's fixations, or complexes so that evidence, although interesting, didn't make me believe that children like Fairy Tales because they help them overcome their Oedipal complex, etc.

I don't know... this is a really interesting topic, and I'm kind of sad that we're moving on.  I'd love to talk about the differences between Fantasy Stories and Fairy Tales, Myths and Fairy tales (some more) and read more of the original versions of some of the Disney Classics.


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