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The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Talesby Bruno Bettelheim
Synopses & Reviews
Bruno Bettelheim was one of the great child psychologists of the twentieth century and perhaps none of his books has been more influential than this revelatory study of fairy tales and their universal importance in understanding childhood development.
Analyzing a wide range of traditional stories, from the tales of Sindbad to “The Three Little Pigs,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “The Sleeping Beauty,” Bettelheim shows how the fantastical, sometimes cruel, but always deeply significant narrative strands of the classic fairy tales can aid in our greatest human task, that of finding meaning for one’s life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The great child psychologist gives us a moving revelation of the enormous and irreplaceable value of fairy tales - how they educate, support and liberate the emotions of children.
About the Author
Bruno Bettelheim was born in Vienna in 1903. He received his doctorate at the University of Vienna and came to America in 1939, after a year in the concentration camps of Dachau and Buchenwald. He was a Distinguished Professor of Education and Professor of both psychology and psychiatry at the University of Chicago. He died in 1990.
Table of Contents
Part I: A pocketful of magic — Life Divined from the inside — "The Fisherman and the Jinny": Fairy Tale compared to fable — Fairy Tale versus myth: Optimism versus pessimism — "The Three Little Pigs": Pleasure principle versus reality principle — The Child's need for magic — Vicarious Satisfaction versus Conscious Recognition — The importance of externalization: Fantasy figures and events — Transformations: The fantasy of the wicked stepmother — Bringing order into Chaos — "The Queen Bee" : Achieving integration — "Brother and Sister" : Unifying our Dual nature — "Sinbad and the Seaman and Sindbad the Porter" : Fancy versus reality — The frame story of Thousand and one Nights — Tales of Two Brothers — "The three Languages: : — Building integration — "The Three Feathers" The youngest child as Simpleton — Oedipal Conflicts and Resolutions — The Knight in Shining Armor and the Damsel in Distress — Fear of Fantasy: Why were fairy tales outlawed? — Transcending infancy with the help of Fantasy — "The Goose Girl" : Achieving Autonomy — Fantasy, Recovery, Escape and Consolation — On the telling of Fairy Stories — Part Two: In Fairy Land — "Hansel and Gretel" — "Little Red Riding Hood " — "Jack and the Beanstalk: — The jealous Queen in "Snow White" and the Myth of Oedipus — "Snow White" — Goldilocks and the Three bears" "the Sleeping Beauty" — "Cinderella" — The Animal-Groom Cycle of Fairy Tales.
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