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 fairy tales and found that they serve a pr*****ound purpose for children, helping them make sense of a world that does not always ***** sense to a child. As he said,

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

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

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

***** 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-*****ctualization, where the boy believes in himself *****d then has multiple chances to demonstrate to his parents and to the world that size ***** not al*****s matter. In the story, the parents wish they had a child, ***** the mother even s*****ys ***** she would ********** a child no matter what - even ***** he were no bigger than her thumb, she would love that child and raise him well. In a perverse twist of f*****te, when ***** do have a child, the ***** is no bigger than ***** thumb. While he matures, he does ********** grow. In time, the father wishes he had *****one who could help him by driv*****g the cart while he cut


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