Essay - The Psychology of 'Tom Thumb' the Famous Psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim...

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The Psychology of "Tom Thumb"

***** famous psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim made a study of childhood f*****iry tales and found that they serve a profound purpose for children, helping them make sense of a world ***** does not always make sense to a child. As he said,

There is a widespread refusal to let children know that she source of much ***** goes wrong in life is due to our very own natures -- the propensity of all men for act*****g aggressively, asocially, selfishly, out of anger ***** anxiety. Instead, we want our children ***** believe that, inherently, all ***** are good. But children know ***** *****y ***** not ***** good; and often, even when they are, they would prefer not to be. This contradicts what they ***** told by their parents, and therefore makes the child a monster in his own eyes." (Bettelheim, p. 7)

***** his book The Uses of Enchantment, Bettelheim analyzes many common fairy tales, explaining how the stories meet the emotional and developmental needs of **********. He points ***** that through ***** fairy tale, otherwise life events children can***** understand *****come *****able. And, since they take place in a fairly tale with magical elements, fanciful characters and impossible events, the stories are comfort*****g instead of frightening. The ***** know ***** while some adults can be mean, uncaring and neglectful, a pumpkin *****not re*****y turn into ***** coach. Mice cannot really turn into beautiful horses. So, even as the child read about mean adults acting ***** badly toward children, they ***** enc*****aged to recognize that the s*****ry is not true. That ***** the story safe to read, unlike stories such as The Shining, where awful events are presented in as believable a way as possible.

While Bettelheim did ***** analyze ***** story of "***** Thumb" in his *****, he might have. He would ***** found a story ***** childhood empo*****rment ***** a family ***** discovers that all the money in the ***** cannot replace a loved one. However, if th*****t were ***** *****re ***** to the *****, "Tom Thumb" ***** be nothing more than a fable with a moral lesson.

In the character of Tom Thumb we have an intelligent boy who is perceived as not capable of accompl*****hing useful things *****cause of his small size. It is a story ***** self-actualization, where the boy believes in himself ********** then has multiple chances to demonstrate to his p*****nts and to the world that size ***** not always matter. In ***** story, the parents wish they had a child, ***** the mother even s*****ys that she would welcome a child no matter what - even ***** he were no bigger than her thumb, she would love that ***** and raise him well. In a perverse twist of fate, ***** they do have a child, the ***** is no bigger than ***** thumb. While he matures, ***** does not grow. In time, the father wishes he had *****one who could help him by driving the cart while he cut


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