A Psychoanalytical Perspective On Little Red Cape, Hansel And Gretel And The Brothers Grimm

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This essay argues that there are more advantages of reading fairy tales from a psychoanalytical viewpoint than disadvantages, with particular focus on Little Red Cape, Hansel and Gretel and Aschenputtel by the Brothers Grimm. I will use Bruno Bettelheim’s definition of psychoanalysis when arguing that there are more advantages in using a psychoanalytical approach to reading fairy tales than disadvantages. Bettelheim was a well-respected American clinical psychologist from the twentieth century. His controversial writings covered “vast territory and focused on topics ranging from society, art, education, the Holocaust, and fairy tales to child-rearing” (Meyer, William S. 2009: 275). Bettelheim defines psychoanalysis as being “created to enable man to accept the problematic nature of life without being defeated by it, or giving in to escapism” (Bettelheim 1991: 8), whilst also accepting Sigmund Freud’s notions of a tripartite personality. Freud believed that people had a multilateral personality, composed of the id, the ego and the superego. The id operates unconsciously…and impels the organism to engage in need-satisfying, tension-reducing activities, which are experienced as ‘pleasure’ (Lapsley 2012: 395). According to Freud, ego is a “structure characterised by the function of mediating between the needs of the body and the reality constraints and which has a fundamental inhibitory function regarding the drives coming from the body, preventing their direct and immediate…

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