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

There is a widespread refusal to let children know that she source of much that goes wrong in life ***** due ***** our very own natures -- the propensity of all men ***** acting aggressively, asocially, selfishly, out ***** anger ***** anxiety. Instead, we want our children to believe that, inherently, all men are good. But children know that they ***** not always good; and often, even when ***** 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)

***** ***** book The Uses of Enchantment, Bettelheim analyzes many common fairy tales, explaining how the stories meet the emotional and developmental needs of *****ren. He points ***** that through the fairy tale, otherwise life events children can***** understand *****come *****able. 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 know that while some adults can be mean, uncaring and neglectful, a pumpkin c*****nnot really turn into a coach. Mice cannot really ***** into beautiful horses. So, even as ***** child read about mean adults ***** ***** badly toward children, they ***** enc*****aged to recognize ***** the s*****ry is not true. That ***** the story safe to read, unlike stories such as The Shining, where awful *****ts are presented in ***** believable a way as possible.

While Bettelheim did not analyze ***** story of "Tom Thumb" in his book, he might have. He ***** ***** found a story of childhood empowerment ***** a family that discovers that all t***** money in the ***** can***** replace a loved one. However, if th*****t were ***** there were 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 ***** small size. It is a story of self-actualization, where the boy believes in himself ********** then h***** multiple chances to demonstrate to his parents and to the world that size does not always matter. In the story, the parents wish they had a child, and 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. ***** a perverse twist of f*****te, ***** they do have a *****, the child is no bigger than her thumb. While he matures, ***** does not grow. In time, the father wishes he had some***** who could help him by driv*****g the cart while he cut


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