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In the essay, “The Use of Enchantment” by Bruno Bettelheim, the author argues that fairy tales allow innocent children to easily understand the obstacles and hardships they have to face as they mature. Fairy tales take the children’s anxieties of not being loved, being…
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Fairy Tale In the essay, “The Use of Enchantment” by Bruno Bettelheim, the argues that fairy tales allow innocent children to easily understand the obstacles and hardships they have to face as they mature. Fairy tales take the children’s anxieties of not being loved, being considered worthless and the idea of death. For example, many fairy tales begin with the death of the main character’s parents. This tells that many people will overcome difficulties and problems in their lives. However, modern stories mention limits to our existence, such as death and our wish for a better life. Fairy tales never have both sides of the characters in their story. If one person is shown to be kind and smart, the other character must be stupid or mean. Children realize who the “better” people are and can easily comprehend the differences between the two characters having opposite characteristics. A fairy tale’s ending of “happily ever after” explains how the clever and “good” people can overcome and win their conflict with evil. In addition, fairy tales teach children of when to encounter trials and tribulations in their lives; Children are bound to experience hardships and obstacles in the future. They will know that evil gets punished in the end and they will overcome the dilemmas through their virtuous deeds. Bettelheim convinces that fairy tales make children realize that they can overcome dilemmas and hardships through virtuous deeds, morality and hope. I agree with Bettelheim that fairy tales can guide children’s development. This is because at the end of each tale, children are taught how to overcome hardships and avoid being punished due to evil characters (Bettelheim 128).
Virtuous deeds and morality can lead to happy endings and give a positive lesson to the reader. In most cases, fairy tales do not deal with ambivalent characters. Instead they show characters that are either evil or bad without the mixture of the two characters. For instance, in the Cinderella fairy tale the main character is a kind and good person. On the other hand, the stepmother to Cinderella is an evil character. We find that even after Cinderella growing up in an evil family, she does not turn to be an ambivalent character. Instead she uses her Virtuous deeds and morality to become a good person that overcomes hardships and conflict with her evil family. This Fairy tale teach the reader that even though a person may experience an environment that is evil her or she can avoid being ambivalent through Virtuous deeds (Bettelheim 96).
In fairy tales the evil character usually get “punished as the story’s end” while the good characters succeeds. In addition, those who have good morality can overcome and defeat evil. For instance, in the fairy tale called the “Snow White” we find the King having a daughter, the main character, with his first Queen. However, the Queen dies and the king marries a second Queen who is identified as evil (Disney 18). This Queen plans to kill the king’s daughter but eventually ends up being punished for his evil maid. However, the daughter lives happy ever after. In this fairy tale children are able to understand that people with evil maid ends up being punished while those with good morals ends up having a good life.
Fairy tales focus on teaching how to live happy ever after to children. Although fairy tales do not always end with a happy ending, it gives lesson for our attitudes for the future. In the fairy tale called “A Little Match Girl” there is a poor girl who sell matches to people in the cold. She faces a lot of hardship in life and eventually dies. This fairy tales does not have a happy ending, but readers learn how to live with appreciation. Through this fairy tale children can realize that helping each other is a very important attitude in society. Furthermore, Children figure out that “they will also find the other with whom they will be able to live happily ever after” (Isadora 21).
Fairy tales hold big lessons and good motivation for the reader and makes them recognize what is good and bad. They also teach that though people may face obstacles, they can overcome them by having a positive attitude and good morality. When I was young, I spent time reading fairy tales. They played an important role in my life because they taught me on how to live in the society. Fairy tales teach children that bad people get punished while the good person gets a happy ending. As a result children are able to become mature people in the future.
Works Cited
Bettelheim, Bruno. The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. New York: Vintage, 2010. Print.
Disney, R.H. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Tulantin: Golden/Disney, 2003. Print.
Isadora, Rachel. The Little Match Girl. London: Puffin, 2001. Print. Read More
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