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

There is a widespread refusal to let children know that she source ***** much ***** goes wrong in life is due to our very own natures -- the propensity of all men for acting aggressively, asocially, selfishly, out of anger and anxiety. Instead, we want our ***** to believe that, inherently, all ***** are good. But children know that ********** ***** 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." (*****, p. 7)

***** ***** 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, 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 stories are comforting 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 ***** adults ***** very badly toward children, they ***** encouraged to recognize that the story is not true. That makes the story safe to *****, 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 "***** Thumb" in his book, he might have. He ***** have found a story ***** childhood empo*****rment and a family ***** discovers that all the money in the ***** cannot replace a loved one. However, if that were all ********** ***** to the *****, "Tom Thumb" would be nothing more than a f*****ble with a moral lesson.

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


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