Bruno Bettelheim Fairy Tales Analysis

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Critique of “Fairy Tales and Modern Stories” by Bruno Bettelheim Comparing and contrasting fairy tales with realistic stories in “Fairy Tales and Modern Stories,” Bruno Bettelheim concludes that realistic stories are not meeting the needs of children. He argues that children need reassurance that there is a better ending for their future and modern, realistic stories are not giving them that guarantee. Bettelheim argues that reading fairy tales to our children will provide them with encouragement for a better future and will provide outlets for their feelings. Published in The Uses of Enchantment, Bruno Bettelheim’s essay, “Fairy Tales and Modern Stories,” claims that realistic stories do not provide a hope for the future like fairy tales do. He argues that realistic stories can offer an escape, but they do not provide fantastical dreams that can be applied to life. Bettelheim used a few examples to compare, but also contrast, how realistic stories and fairy tales both affected children’s thinking.…show more content…
He considers “The Little Engine That Could” a realistic story. He shares the story of a young adult who reminisced about her childhood and remembered the disappointment she experienced from this story. Bettelheim claims that she experienced this negative effect because the story was set in the present and the main character was a common, well-known prop. These associations caused the girl to apply the story directly to her life, and when she failed (unlike the tank engine in the story) she assumed that she failed at a task that anyone else could have accomplished. Bettelheim argued that “without any fantasy elaboration (Bettelheim 470),” this girl was doomed from the start. He reflected that this lack of imagination made the story all too real, causing disappointment and
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