Janet's Reviews > The Witch Must Die: The Hidden Meaning of Fairy Tales

The Witch Must Die by Sheldon   Cashdan
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's review
Feb 01, 12

bookshelves: fairy-tale, grownup
Read from January 07 to February 01, 2012

The Witch Must Die is a straightforward, readable analysis of fairy tales from the perspective of childhood psychology. It's refreshing to see an author chuck elaborate Freudian analysis and explain the appeal of fairy tales as a way for children to deal with the temptations of the various ways to be bad. Cashdan describes "the witch" as both a representation of 'the bad mother' and of the negative side of the self, and explains why the witch must die. She also explores fairy tales that help children to wrestle with the 'sins of childhood': envy, vanity, sloth, greed, gluttony, deceit, and lust (premature sexual activity). Cashdan's analysis is intelligent but not at all stuffy. Her references to modern books and movies and chunky quotes from comparative versions of the same fairy tales easily continue to engage the casual reader's interest.
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