The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales

The Uses of Enchantment The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales The famous child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim explains how fairy tales educate support and liberate the emotions of children

  • Title: The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
  • Author: Bruno Bettelheim
  • ISBN: 9780679723936
  • Page: 122
  • Format: Paperback
  • The famous child psychologist, Bruno Bettelheim, explains how fairy tales educate, support, and liberate the emotions of children.

    One thought on “The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales”

    1. I’ve been meaning to read this for years. This isn’t quite what I was expecting, though. And given this was published in 1976 it seems much too Freudian than it ought to have been too. There were times when I would have been sure it was written in the 1950s. Now, saying this is a Freudian analysis of fairy tales might be enough to put some people off. And that would be a real pity. There are few things more suited to a Freudian interpretation than literature – as a teacher of mine once sai [...]

    2. This was the first book which assured me that my enduring interest in fairy tales was scholarly and not something to be scoffed at as juvenile. Until then, I have been blissfully unaware of the psychological depth of fairy tales and how a lot of major literary works are inspired by them. Now there are fairy tale studies by the dozen, and many are fascinating: but Bettelheim is the first person who opened the door for me, therefore this book holds a special place in my heart.I have read that, in [...]

    3. علاقه من به موضوعات رازآمیز و جادویی به‌خاطر ارتباط‌شان با استعاره و نماد است. برای کلام پنهان‌شان که امری ساده را عمیق و معنادار می‌کند و این خاصیت ذهن و روان انسان است که شاید حتی بی‌اختیار معنایی بگذارد در دل یک قصه‌ی عامیانه و یا شاید آدم‌هایی پیدا شوند که معنایی از دل [...]

    4. I had to read Bruno Bettelheim's The Uses of Enchantment many years ago for a university-level course I was taking in the summer (on specifically Charles Perrault's and the Grimms' fairy tale collections as pscho-drama therapy for children), and while the author does indeed have some interesting takes on what fairy tales as a literary/oral genre can mean, and that they are important for children and their psychologic development, the massive Freudianism of Bettelheim's analysis and that he basic [...]

    5. Bettelheim has totally schooled me on the phallic symbol. I have learned, in reading about how to read fairy tales, that I am woefully under-educated about penises and their manifold symbols, which there are exponentially more of than I ever could have dreamed about or hoped for. This is an amazing and amazingly flawed book. His points about the function of fairy tales, how children and adults read them and what children get out of reading them on pre-, sub-, and conscious levels, is convincing. [...]

    6. I don't think I could have taken much more of this. It has a definite entertainment value, absolutely, but come on - how can anyone take any of this stuff seriously? Part of me thinks Bettelheim is pulling our leg, he just has to be, but no - he's a straight-faced Freudian scholar of the reductive and ridiculous sort, and he's deadly serious about all of this. Here, check this out: the beanstalk in Jack and the Beanstalk represents a penis. Jack's climbing up the beanstalk represents Jack's disc [...]

    7. Ugh. This book was a nightmare to read. It was assigned for my Storytelling class, otherwise I would've dropped it after the introduction. Bettelheim is a famous psychologist who worked a lot with children. This book details (and I mean DEATAILS) his view of the importance of fairy tales to children's subconscious. Think Freudian fairy tales. I'm serious. And so is Bettelheim. He's completely serious about his ideas, which come off as far fetched and laughable some times. Much of what he writes [...]

    8. Anyone who needs to be convinced that the protagonist of a children's story should always solve his or her own problems without adult help should read this book. If you can get past the outdated Freudian theory, this book is a fascinating examination of fairy tale motifs and how they help children come to terms with sibling rivalry, fear of abandonment, and other anxieties children face on the road to maturity. Bettelheim compares various versions of familiar tales and discusses theme at length. [...]

    9. I can't believe I'm going to start this review with a Neil Gaiman quote, which is both incredibly pretentious and apt to make you think I think far better of Gaiman than I actually do, but here goes:“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”eta: It turns out Gaiman lifted that particular line from an author I respect far more, so let's start this over again with a G.K. Chesterton quote: Fairy tales do no [...]

    10. I really liked the book since it was so informative on the subject of fairy tales and how they can be beneficial to children. I also did not know how to start reading about fairy tales' criticism, so as a beginning it helped my initiation to the subject.I'd recommend it to people who want to write something on fairy tales and how they can help children get over their psychological and also oedipal problem, if there are any.

    11. Labiausiai patiko todėl, kad patvirtino mano požiūrį, jog viskas gerai su toms stebuklinėm pasakom, per daug lyčių vaidmenų jos neformuoja, nebent tėvai patys tendencingai parenka, kad mergaitėms skaitysim tik apie princeses, o berniukams - tik ne apie princeses :) Įdomiai parašyta knyga, skaityti buvo gana lengva.

    12. Recommended for anyone who deals with children Bettelheim was an old-fashioned Freudian psychiatrist -- the kind who talked to patients instead of drugging them -- and a Holocaust survivor. After the war, he emigrated to Chicago, where he did terrific work with children suffering from serious psychological problems. The book uses a Freudian framework, but you don't have to believe in a literal id, ego, and superego to appreciate the insight Bettelheim brings to stories and how they are absorbed [...]

    13. I suppose this book was ground-breaking when it was first published, but honestly, I thought it focused way too much on the idea of all children having an oedipal complex and maybe not enough on how the violence and darkness in original fairy tales address something in a child's imagination (which the sugarcoated Disney tales leaving wanting). I also disliked Bettelheim's analysis of Charles Perrault and his tales in general---to say that they're flippant and mocking is not really fair and it al [...]

    14. In terms of the psychoanalysis here, which is heavily based on Freud’s work, it sounds like a lot of rubbish to me. And if you know Bettelheim’s work from his work on autism, you’re not entirely safe from that here — he only mentions it once or twice, but it’s still jarringly wrong. Still, some of his analyses of the texts on a literary level do make sense, and his suggestions of how some people might apply their own lives in understanding and interpreting them are fascinating. As a li [...]

    15. While I did enjoy some of the historical information regarding the origin of various fairy tales, this is not a book that I enjoyed or would recommend. Bettelheim is clearly knowledgeable and has studied fairy tales for quite some time. However, I found his dependence on the psychological beliefs of Freud too heavy. He claims that what is special about fairy tales is that they meet a child where he/she is and gives them whatever it is that they need at the time. This, I do agree with. He then, t [...]

    16. O livro de Bettelheim, é verdadeiramente um livro surpreendente, ele mostra que os contos de fadas têm tanto sucesso entre as crianças por que representam elas mesmas, em seus incoscientes principalmente.Mostra que as madrastas más são na verdade suas mães, a parte ruim delas, e que os conflitos edipianos são centro de várias histórias, mostra versões que eu não conhecia, mostra o contexto histórico em que os contos foram criados e em que ajudam as crianças. Por ex. em João e o Pé [...]

    17. I'm about halfway through and have given up on this. It's as dry as a piece of old toast. I'm sure it was all very revolutionary when it came out, and probably influenced the likes of Marina Warner or Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood with their modern takes on fairy stories, but it all feels very dated and 60's Freudian. There are a lot more recent interesting books on both fairytale analysis and child development out there. 'The Child in the Mirror' and 'They f##k you up' on child development [...]

    18. Pasakos mus lydi nuo pat mažų dienų, kai tėvai, norėdami užmigdyti, jas sekdavo prieš miegą. Tačiau retai kada susimąstome, kad jos slepia gilesnę prasmę. Šioje knygoje yra analizuojama ta pasakos pusė, kuri paslėpta po įvairiais simboliais. Daugeliu atveju autorius pasakas sieja su paauglių lytine branda, santykiais su tėvais ir kitais brandos aspektais. Tekstai įdomūs, daugelis įžvalgų stebina, kaip kad "Raudonkepuraitėje" kalbama apie žmogaus aistras, oralinį godumą [...]

    19. Letto con grande entusiasmo iniziale, sono arrivata alla fine che ero da un lato affascinata, da un lato fermamente convinta che non tutte le teorie espresse dall’autore siano vere e assolutamente applicabili nella maggior parte dei casi.Ci sono tantissime variabili da considerare nella formazione psicologica di un bambino e non tutti i bambini reagiscono alla stessa maniera, la realtà è questa. Il saggio comunque è molto interessante e ha aperto un mondo che fino a quel momento era per me [...]

    20. Bettelheim's Uses of Enchantment is one of those classic pieces of criticism that are both absolutely essential and hopelessly outdated. There is a lot of useful analysis and history, and there are some really lovely passages about the universality and applicability of fairy tales. He even quotes Tolkien on the subject, seeming to agree with him in his distaste for didactic, allegorical, and condescending stories (for children and adults). Unfortunately, as he gets into the nitty gritty of looki [...]

    21. Una obra magnífica, aunque posiblemente solo realmente apta para psicólogos, estudiantes de psicología y aficionados acerrimos a la misma. Se trata del analisis completo y minucioso del simbolismo de los cuentos de hadas más conocidos y populares del imaginario europeo occidental desde la perspectiva psicoanalítica.Olvidense de la inocencia suprema de los héroes de los cuentos de su infancia: ellos están obsesionados con la madre y la oralidad, tienen marcadisimos complejos de edipo e inc [...]

    22. E' il primo trattato di psicologia che leggo e l'ho trovato più scorrevole di quanto pensassi, infatti è scritto in uno stile semplice e discorsivo senza tecnicismi. Probabilmente la facilità che ho avuto ad approcciarmi al testo in parte è dovuta al fatto che le fiabe mi hanno affascinato fin da piccola, quindi immergermi di nuovo in quel "mondo incantato", anche se con un approccio analitico, mi è stato in qualche modo familiare. Leggere che le storie con cui sono cresciuta non sono solo [...]

    23. Good in that it gets you interested in the original versions of stories like Cinderella, Snow White, etc. It's nice to see someone think at length about the meaning, import, structure and significance of fairy tales, and there are definitely some good tidbits in here. One of my favorites-- instead of:"And then they all lived happily ever after."some stories end with:"If they have not died, they are still alive."Haha grim but true, that!The main problem I had with this book is Bettelheim s psycho [...]

    24. Bettelheim fue uno de los psicoanalistas más respetados en su tiempo, aunque hoy en día sus teorías, sobre todo las referentes al autismo, han sido seriamente cuestionadas. De orientación psicoanalítica casi fundamentalista, Bettelheim hace un análisis profundo y muy impresionante acerca de las historias, los personajes y las problemáticas presentadas en los cuentos de hadas con los que todos -o casi- crecimos, y en verdad que resulta interesantísimo. Sí, es cierto que se nota su afilia [...]

    25. I'm actually not longer sure why this book was on my To Read list, although I'm guessing it might have come up while reading one of Joseph Campbell's books. Also, as a disclaimer, I pretty much skimmed the last 100 pages or so. The large scheme of the book I enjoyed: the exploration of the similar themes expressed in fairy tales that reflect the human race's views on morals and the human experience. I also enjoyed the small parts that talked about the origins/history of some of the fairy tales e [...]

    26. Esta é uma obra resultante de uma extensa investigação e que analisa com profundidade os contos de fadas e o seu significado, a partir da vertente psicanalítica.As explicações e análises detalhadas mostram a importância que os contos de fadas assumem para a criança; ao invés de serem prejudiciais por serem demasiado fantasiosos, eles promovem o desenvolvimento da criança, estimulando-a e ajudando-a a libertar as suas emoções.A escrita de Bruno Bettelheim acaba por não ser tão aces [...]

    27. An incredible layman's intro to child developmental psychology, this is an absolutely vital read for storytellers of any stripe or any parent looking to peek inside the emotions and ideas of the important little people in their life.I became aware of 'Uses' after reading an essay by Martin Scorcese which talked about how Stanley Kubrick used Bettelheim to compose the screenplay for 'The Shining' (side note: The Shining is a terrible, terrible bedtime story for children and not recommended by Bet [...]

    28. Are all psychiatrists obssessed with sex? This one certainly seemed to be. It would seem that all fairy folk tales (as he calls them)are telling us on a subconscious level how to grow up to become psychologically mature and have good sex lives. He has some valuable things to say, but he belabors his sexual ideas so these get drowned out.And he says that in the genre of animal/monstrous spouses, women are always beautiful animals while men are usually fierce and repulsive. I beg to differ: Bettel [...]

    29. An interesting and important book, indeed, a classic. The points he make concerning the role of narrative (especially what we call fairy stories) in the development of children are definitely important. My feeling is, however, that Bettelheim is a bit rosy-spectacled. Eric Berne in "What do you say when you have said 'Hello'?" discusses a similar topic, but his argument has a harder edge. We maybe use narrative of whatever kind in forming our individual identities, but sometimes our identities a [...]

    30. I thought this book dragged on a little bit and was very sexual in its explanation of most of the fairly tales we have grown up with. The first half of the book is an explanation of some of the best known fairly tales we have grown up with and in some places was really insightful but in others quite repetitive and boring. The chapters cover myth, the pleasure principle, importance of externalisation, brining order into chaos, our dual nature, languages, the youngest child, why some fairy tales w [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *