- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; 49352nd edition (April 23, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679723935
- ISBN-13: 978-0679723936
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 101 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales 49352nd Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From the Inside Flap
The great child psychologist gives us a moving revelation of the enormous and irreplaceable value of fairy tales - how they educate, support and liberate the emotions of children.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
First published in 1975, Bruno Bettleheim, one of Sigmund Freud's followers and an important contributor to psychoanalysis, has written an incredible book, suggesting that the fairy tale has a pedagogical use, educating the child about the struggles in life, that these struggles are an intrinsic aspect of existence. Following Plato, he believes that the literary education of children should begin with the telling of myths. In other words, the fairy tale can present models for behaviour, providing meaning and value to our lives. This wonderful book expresses this view extremely well and also provides a frame of reference towards the child's overall psychological development.
I have read Freud for some years, and nowhere, including Freud himself, have I read a more succinctly expressed view on the ultimate purpose of psychoanalysis, than in this book by Dr. Bettleheim, he writes,
"Psychoanalysis was created to enable man to accept the problematic nature of life without being defeated by it, or giving in to escapism. Freud's prescription is that only by struggling courageously against what seems like unwieldy odds can man succeed in wringing meaning out of existence." (P.8)
Fairy tales inform us about life's struggles, hardships and the reality of death. From Bettleheim's point of view, the fairy tale is a "manifold form" that communicates to the child, educates them, against life's vagaries and realities, which are the unavoidable aspects of our existence. More specifically, the fairy tale is an educational tool to help children grow and develop into adults. He goes on to say that the child needs to be given "...suggestions in symbolic form about how he may deal with these issues and grow safely into maturity." (P.9)
Bettleheim adeptly sets out to prove his theses by analysing well known fairy tales in the context of psychoanalytic theory, persuasively arguing the value of these tales towards the child's psychological development.
If you are interested in psychoanalysis and would like to know more about the profound positive effects the telling of fairy tales can have on our young, this incredible book is indispensable.