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 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 to 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 ***** believe that, inherently, all ***** are good. But children know ***** they 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." (*****, p. 7)

***** his book The Uses of Enchantment, Bettelheim analyzes many common fairy tales, explaining how the stories meet the emotional ***** developmental needs of children. He points ***** that through the fairy tale, otherwise life events children cannot understand become **********. And, since they take place in a fairly tale with magical elements, fanciful characters and impossible events, the stories are comforting 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 acting very badly toward children, 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 *****ts are presented in ***** believable a way as possible.

While Bettelheim did not analyze the story of "Tom Thumb" ***** his book, he might have. He ***** ***** found a story of childhood empo*****rment and a family ***** discovers that all t***** money in the world cannot replace a loved one. However, if th*****t were all *****re were to the *****, "Tom *****" would be nothing more than a fable ***** 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 his small size. It is a s*****ry of self-*****ctualization, where the boy believes in himself ********** then has multiple chances to demonstrate to his parents and to the world that size ***** not always matter. In the story, the parents wish they had a child, *****nd the mother even says that she would welcome 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 ***** fate, ***** ***** do have a *****, the child is no ***** than her thumb. While he matures, ***** does ********** grow. In time, the fa*****r wi*****s he had some***** who could help him by driving the cart while he cut

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