Cinderella : A Story of Sibling Rivalry and Oedipal Conflicts, by Bruno Bettelheim

1461 Words 6 Pages
Most children experience agony and hope as they face the struggles of sibling rivalry throughout their childhood. This situation has been experienced by children, of whom may or may not have siblings, for hundreds of years. Several stories represent this crisis, including the Biblical story of Abel and Cain which was written over 3000 years ago. Abel of whom was forced to be Cain’s ash-brother. Cain had developed an intense feeling of jealousy of Abel when his offering to the Lord was rejected while Abel’s was accepted. This caused him great agony, but he wasn’t the only one. The fairytale “Cinderella” encompasses the ideas of sibling rivalry as well as the agonies and hopes that correspond with it.

In the essay: “ ‘Cinderella’: A
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This is how most children feel they are treated, even if they are given miniscule work to do. They may feel this way because of sibling rivalry - jealousy, competition, or fighting between siblings. The child may believe that his or her sibling(s) have some sort of advantage over him or that their parents favor their other children over him; this belief may lead the child to think that his parents give him the hardest work because they favor his other siblings. However, Bettelheim states that sibling rivalry is caused by the child's feelings about how their parents think of them instead of how their siblings think of them. He proposes that this is because when a child fears that he is thought little of by his parents compared to his siblings he may feel rejected. This causes the child to become jealous toward his other siblings because he wants to be the parent’s favorite kid, not the least favorite.

Bettelheim then uses a Biblical example to illustrate this point. In the book of Genesis there is a man named Joseph who, because of parental favoritism, is forced into slavery. However, he eventually rises into power with only the Pharaoh above him. His

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