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The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales by Bruno Bettelheim
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“The child intuitively comprehends that although these stories are unreal, they are not untrue ...”
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
“The unrealistic nature of these tales (which narrowminded rationalists object to) is an important device, because it makes obvious that the fairy tales’ concern is not useful information about the external world, but the inner process taking place in an individual.”
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
“Since there are thousands of fairy tales, one may safely guess that there are probably equal numbers where the courage and determination of females rescue males, and vice versa.”
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
“If we hope to live not just from moment to moment, but in true consciousness of our existence, then our greatest need and most difficult achievement is to find meaning in our lives.”
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
“He disappears, and her endless wanderings in search of him take her to the moon, the sun, and the wind.”
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
“Maybe if more of our adolescents had been brought up on fairy tales, they would (unconsciously) remain aware of the fact that their conflict is not with the adult world, or society, but really only with their parents. Further, threatening as the parent may seem at some time, it is always the child who wins out in the long”
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
“what redeems us as human beings and restores us to our humanity is solicitude for those whom we love.”
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
“The myth of Oedipus . . . arouses powerful intellectual and emotional reactions in the adult-so much so, that it may provide a cathartic experience, as Aristotle taught all tragedy does. [A reader] may wonder why he is so deeply moved; and in responding to what he observes as his emotional reaction, ruminating about the mythical events and what these mean to him, a person may come to clarify his thoughts and feelings. With this, certain inner tensions which are the consequence of events long past may be relieved; previously unconscious material can then enter one's awareness and become accessible for conscious working through. This can happen if the observer is deeply moved emotionally by the myth, and at the sametime strongly motivated intellectually to understand it.”
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
“If only we could recall how we felt when we were small, or could imagine how utterly defeated a young child feels when his play companions or older siblings temporarily reject him or can obviously do things better than he can, or when adults—worst of all, his parents—seem to make fun of him or belittle him, then we would know why the child often feels like an outcast:”
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
“Even Aristotle, master of pure reason, said: 'The friend of wisdom is also a friend of myth.”
Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales