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 profound purpose for children, helping them make sense of a world ***** does not always make 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 ***** our very own natures -- the propensity of all men ***** acting aggressively, asocially, self*****hly, out of anger ***** anxiety. Instead, we want our ***** to believe that, inherently, all ***** are good. But children know that they are not ***** 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." (Bettelheim, p. 7)

In ***** book The Uses of Enchantment, Bettelheim analyzes many common fairy tales, explaining how the stories meet the emotional and developmental needs of children. He points ***** that through the fairy tale, otherwise life events children can***** underst***** become *****andable. And, since they take place in a fairly ***** with magical elements, fanciful characters and impossible events, the ***** are comfort*****g instead of frightening. The ***** ***** that while some adults can be mean, uncaring and neglectful, a pumpkin *****not really turn into a coach. Mice cannot really ***** into beautiful horses. So, even as ***** child read about mean adults ***** ***** badly toward children, they are encouraged to recognize that the s*****ry is not true. That ***** the story safe to *****, unlike stories such as The Shining, where awful events ***** presented in as believable a way as possible.

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


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