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

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The Psychology of "Tom Thumb"

The famous psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim made a study of childhood f*****iry tales and found that they serve a pr*****ound purpose for children, helping them make sense of a world ***** does not always ***** 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 is due to our very own natures -- the propensity of all men ***** acting aggressively, asocially, selfishly, out ***** anger and anxiety. Instead, we want our children ***** believe that, inherently, all men are good. But children know ***** ********** are not always good; and often, even when they are, they would prefer ***** to be. This contradicts what they are told by their parents, and therefore makes the child a monster in his own eyes." (*****, p. 7)

In his book The Uses of Enchantment, Bettelheim analyzes many common fairy tales, explaining how the stories meet the emotional ***** developmental needs of *****ren. He points out that through ***** fairy tale, otherwise life events children cannot understand become **********. And, since ***** take place in a fairly ***** with magical elements, fanciful characters and impossible events, the ***** are comfort*****g instead of frightening. The children ***** ***** while some adults can be mean, uncaring and neglectful, a pumpkin ********** really turn into a co*****ch. Mice cannot really turn into beautiful horses. So, even as the child read about mean adults ***** ***** badly toward *****, *****y ***** 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 the story of "***** Thumb" ***** his *****, he might have. He ***** ***** found a story of childhood empo*****rment ***** a family that discovers that all ***** money in the ***** cannot replace a loved one. However, if th*****t were ***** there were to the s*****ry, "Tom *****" would be nothing more than a fable with a moral lesson.

***** the character of Tom Thumb we have an intelligent boy who is perceived as not capable of accomplishing useful things *****cause of ***** small size. It is a story of self-actualization, where the ***** believes in himself and then h***** multiple chances to demonstrate to his parents ***** to the world that size does not always matter. In ***** story, the parents wish they had a child, and the mother even says ***** she would *****lcome 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 ***** f*****te, when ***** do have a child, the child is no bigger than ***** thumb. While he matures, he ***** *****t 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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