Whether openly stated or only hinted at, oedipal difficulties and how the individual solves them are central to the way his personality and human relations fold. By camouflaging the oedipal predicaments, or by only subtly intimating the entanglements, fairy stories permit us to draw our own conclusions when the time is propitious for out gaining a better understanding of these problems. Fairy stories teach by indirection. (201) This is an excerpt from Bruno Bettelheims Snow White essay fro the text Uses of Enchantment. The essay itself describes the sexual and oedipal undertones of the popular fairy tale and how the psychological aspect of the story is based on human emotions. Through this essay, I wish to establish my analytical view on Snow White and reasons why I do not agree with some of Growing up, fairy tales were a part of my everyday life. As a child, Id loved leaning against my fathers arm as he flipped through our familys dusty, blue copy of Grimms Fairy Tales. I couldve listened forever to the ageless stories of princesses and elves and all those other magical elements, which werent a part of the normal human beings life. Never did I think that someone out there in the world was dissecting these beloved stories and making a psychology project out of it. And that is exactly what Bruno Bettelheim has done.
Not only has he made a project out of harmless fairy tales, he has triggered a unnatural response from scholars and feminists all over the world who come to argue and dissect the stories even more. Bruno Bettelheim, asserts in The Uses of Enchantment (New York: Vintage, 1989) that fairy tales have a psychological function for children in that they gain an understanding of nature not through rational comprehension of it but by making it familiar in imaginative play. Bettelheim writes: “[The child] can achieve this understanding, and with it the ability to cope, not through rational comprehension of the nature and content of his unconscious, but by becoming familiar with it through spinning out daydreams–ruminating, rearranging and fantasizing about suitable story elements in response to unconscious pressures. Fairy tales offer new dimensions to a child’s imagination and suggest images.” While some of the text that Bettelheim writes may have some insight into the childs mind, after all the man was a child psychologist, it also ruins the simplicity of fairy tales. Is it so wrong to leave it as a simple story, originated to make children happy, scared, entertained etc? I believe that stories were originated to make children happy and occupied, not to be dissected and made a mockery of. Many people associate their childhood stories to memories of the past or as a guiding light for future plans. I, for one, have always associated Snow White as a lovely story, filled with enchantment and adventure with a wonderful ending. This story will always bring back the good old days when I used to dress up and pretend I was a princess under a spell who awaited her prince to awaken her with loves first kiss.
The Essay on The Story Teller Children Aunt Bachelor
Many parents with children know how hard it is to travel on long trips with them. In the short story "The Story Teller" by Saki, an aunt was traveling with 3 little children. When the tries to get the children's attention, the children don't respond to her and continue to disobey her. When a bachelor that was traveling in the same carriage as them starts to tell the offspring's a story, the ...
But alas, even this memory was marred when I read part of Bettelheims essay which states, Snow Whites story teaches that just because one has reached physical maturity, one is by no means intellectually and emotionally ready for adulthood, as represented by marriage. Cant a lovely princess just be awakened by a magical kiss instead of having to get into all the gory details of physical maturity, rites of adulthood, sex, and marriage?