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 profound purpose for children, helping them make sense of a world that does not always ***** 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 ***** our very own natures -- the propensity of all men for acting aggressively, asocially, selfishly, out ***** anger and anxiety. Instead, we want our children to believe that, inherently, all ***** are good. But children know ***** they ***** not ***** good; and often, even when they are, they would prefer not to be. This contradicts what they ***** 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 and developmental needs of **********. He points ***** that through ***** fairy tale, otherwise life events children can***** underst***** *****come *****andable. And, since ***** take place in a fairly tale 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 ********** re*****y turn into ***** coach. Mice cannot really turn into beautiful horses. So, even as ***** child read about mean adults acting very badly toward *****, they ***** encouraged to recognize that the s*****ry is not true. That makes 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 not analyze ***** story of "Tom Thumb" in his book, he might have. He ***** have found a story ***** childhood empowerment ***** a family that discovers that all t***** money in the world can***** replace a loved one. However, if that were ***** ********** ***** to the story, "Tom Thumb" 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 accompl*****hing useful things *****cause of his small size. It is a ***** of self-actualization, where the ***** believes in himself and then has 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 ***** she would welcome a child no matter what - even if he were no bigger than her thumb, ***** would love that child and raise him well. ***** a perverse twist of fate, when they do have a *****, the child is no bigger than her thumb. While he matures, he does *****t grow. In time, t***** father wishes he had some***** who could help him by driv*****g the cart while he cut


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