Essay 1

Essay 1

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“For a story to hold the child’s attention, it must entertain him and arouse his curiosity. But to enrich his life, it must stimulate his imagination; help him to develop his intellect and to clarify his emotions; be attuned to his anxieties and aspirations; give full recognition to his difficulties, while at the same time suggesting solutions to the problems which perturb him. In short, it must at one and the same time relate to all aspects of his personality – and this without ever belittling, but, on the contrary, giving full credence to the seriousness of the child’s predicaments, while simultaneously promoting confidence in himself.”

??– Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment

Can fairy tales do all that?

A leading child psychologist and defender of fairy tales, Bettelheim believes that these archaic and often arcane archetypal stories are uniquely able to connect to children and inspire them to be heroes in their own stories.

“Today children no longer grow up within the security of an extended family, or of a well-integrated community. Therefore, even more than at the times fairy tales were invented, it is important to provide the modern child with images of heroes who have to go out into the world all by themselves and who, although originally ignorant of the ultimate things, find secure places in the world by following their right way with deep inner confidence.”

??– Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment

Do you agree or disagree? Support your position with an example of one fairy tal