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 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 to believe that, inherently, all men are good. But children know ***** ********** ***** 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)

In his 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 ***** fairy tale, otherwise life events children cannot understand become **********. And, since ***** take place in a fairly tale with magical elements, fanciful characters and impossible events, the stories are comforting instead of frightening. The ***** know ***** while some adults can be mean, uncaring and neglectful, a pumpkin cannot re*****y turn into a co*****ch. Mice cannot really turn into beautiful horses. So, even as ***** child read about ***** adults acting very badly toward children, they ***** encouraged to recognize that the s*****ry is not true. That ***** 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 the story of "Tom Thumb" ***** his *****, he might have. He would ***** found a story ***** childhood empowerment and a family that discovers that all ***** money in the world cannot replace a loved one. However, if that were all there ***** to the *****, "Tom Thumb" ***** 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 accompl*****hing useful things because of his small size. It is a s*****ry ***** self-actualization, where the ***** believes in himself ***** then h***** multiple chances to demonstrate to his parents and to the world that size ***** not al*****s matter. In ***** 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, ***** would love that child and raise him well. ***** a perverse twist of f*****te, when ***** do have a *****, the child is no bigger than her thumb. While he matures, ***** does ********** grow. In time, the fa*****r wishes he had *****one who could help him by driving the cart while he cut

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