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 that does not always ***** sense to a child. As he s*****id,

There is a widespread refusal to let children know that she source ***** much that goes wrong in life ***** due to our very own natures -- the propensity of all men for acting aggressively, asocially, selfishly, out ***** anger ***** anxiety. Instead, we want our children ***** believe that, inherently, all men are good. But children know that *****y ***** not always 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 out that through ***** fairy tale, otherwise life events children cannot underst***** become **********. And, since they take place in a fairly ***** with magical elements, fanciful characters and impossible events, the ***** are comfort*****g instead of frightening. The children ***** that 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 ***** adults acting very badly toward children, *****y ***** encouraged to recognize ***** the story is not true. That makes the ***** 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 the story of "Tom Thumb" ***** his *****, he might have. He would have found a story of childhood empo*****rment and a family that discovers that all ***** money in the ***** cannot replace a loved one. However, if that were all *****re were to the *****, "Tom Thumb" would be nothing more than a fable with a moral lesson.

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


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