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 make sense to a child. As he said,

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

In ***** book The Uses of Enchantment, Bettelheim analyzes many common ***** tales, explaining how the stories meet the emotional and developmental needs of children. He points ***** that through ***** fairy tale, otherwise life events ***** cannot understand *****come **********. And, since ***** take place in a fairly tale with magical elements, fanciful characters and impossible events, the stories are comfort*****g instead of frightening. The children ***** ***** while some adults can be mean, uncaring and neglectful, a pumpkin cannot really turn into a coach. Mice ***** really ***** into beautiful horses. So, even as ***** child read about ***** adults acting ***** badly toward *****, they ***** encouraged to recognize that the story is not true. That makes 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 not analyze ***** story of "Tom Thumb" ***** his book, he might have. He ***** ***** found a story ***** childhood empowerment ***** a family that discovers that all the money in the world can***** replace a loved one. However, if th*****t were ***** ********** ***** to the *****, "Tom *****" would 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 accomplishing useful things because of his small size. It is a story ***** self-*****ctualization, where the ***** believes in himself and then h***** multiple c*****ances to demonstrate to his p*****nts ***** to the world that size does not always matter. In the story, the parents wish they had a child, and the mother even says ***** she would *****lcome a child no matter what - even if he were no bigger than her thumb, ***** would love that ***** ***** raise him well. In a perverse twist of fate, when they do have a child, the child is no bigger than her thumb. While he matures, ***** does not 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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