The Use of Enchantment

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"The use of Enchantment"
What Would Superman Do?

“The world of the comic book is the world of the strong, the ruthless, the bluffer, the shred deceiver, the torturer and the thief.” Dr. Fredric Wertham, anti-comic enthusiast, was the embodiment of the misconception people had on comics ---- more specifically, superhero comics. Dr. Fredric Wertham preached the idea that comics were a negative influence on children as it promoted violence, brutality, and evildoing which would affect a child’s development by warping their moral character, corrupting their minds and causing a rise aggravation, violence, and overall bad behavior. Wertham could not be further from the truth! Comic book stories about superheroes are very much like the concept of fairy tales and as Bruno Bettelheim says a fairy tale’s purpose is to aid in the child’s development by molding their moral character. According to Bettleheim, fairy tales, in their “most essential form,” guide the child’s development by personifying and simplifying moral concepts in their most basic form and illustrating complex situations in a way the child could understand. Personally, I find Bettleheim’s evidence convincing that fairy tales have a moral impact on a child’s development, where very much like Bettlehiem said about fairy tales, comic books do the same thing.

Children face struggles in life that are unavoidable. Bettleheim writes about how the fairy tale specifically molds children morality in its effort to help in their development. To first grasp the attention of the child and to help begin the idea that the child can relate to the hero of the story, Bettleheim states that most fairy tales have the hero dealing with a personal tragedy, like the “death of a mother or father,” (Bettleheim 138) which can create a parallel to the child of “the most agonizing problems, as it (or the fear of it) does in real life.” (Bettleheim 136) By doing so, the fairy tale hero is more appealing to the child because of...
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