Commentary to Bettelheim's Chapter on Cinderella.

Good Essays
Violetta Zektser 5/6/2013

Children’s Literature(ENG232) Prof. Keith Walters

Commentary to Bettelheim’s chapter on “Cinderella”

Let me start off with saying that Bettelheim completely ruined my fantasy on fairy-tales. His contorted mind really made it hard to remember all the beautiful tales from childhood.Of course he is entitled to his own opinions and I won’t argue with that but I certainly don’t agree with a bunch of points he is trying to make.

For instance:

“...if the child could only believe that it is the infirmities of his age which account for his lowly position, he would not have to suffer so wretchedly from sibling rivalry, because he could trust the future to right matters. When he thinks that his degradation is deserved, he feels his plight is utterly hopeless. Djuna Barnes’s perceptive statement about fairy tales-- that the child knows something about them which he cannot tell (such as that he likes the idea of Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf being in bed together)-- could be extended by dividing fairy tales into two groups: one group the child responds only unconsciously to the inherent truth of the story and thus cannot tell about it; and another large number of tales where the child preconsciously or even consciously knows what the ‘truth’ of the story consists of and thus could tell about it,but does not want to let on that he knows.” (The Uses of Enchantment, Bruno Bettelheim, chapter 29: Cinderella, pg. 239.)

I feel like Bettelheim is seriously either over exaggerating here or if that is the way he feels then I really have not met any child who feels he or she has to suffer so ‘wretchedly’. That is a harsh word. Of course, I see that Cinderella shows sibling rivalry and I am sure that children see that but lets also not forget that

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    As is well known, the famous storytale "Cinderella" has many variants across cultures and time periods. These variants have been found to have the same general plot, which is characterized by the persecuted heroine, the meeting with the prince, the revealing of an inner identity, and marriage with the prince. This plot is simple enough to be understood by a child, yet the details that support the story's timeless popularity are more difficult to discern, and are sometimes viewed quite differently…

    • 905 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Chapter 1: Top of the Class Autumn 1941. Four-year-old Adeline is intelligent and smart, receiving an award from her kindergarten teacher (Mother Agnes) on the first week of school. Her Aunt Baba treasures Adeline’s award by placing it in her special safe-deposit box. Adeline is close to her Aunt Baba, asking her about her deceased mother. Aunt Baba isn’t willing to share what she knows but Adeline learns that her mother died from a fever two weeks after she was born. Chapter 2: A Tianjin Family…

    • 1715 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Cinderella

    • 518 Words
    • 3 Pages

    is the ultimate reward represented as a form of a prince charming for having a good behavior in life. Therefore, in the case of fairytale “Cinderella” by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s version, love differs with my idea of true love for been unrealistic, too innocent, and unfair. The best seller shows many nonrealistic examples of love. For example, when Cinderella meets the prince charming and immediately wants to marry him. In reality this does not happen, a person needs to know the person who’s she…

    • 518 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Cinderella

    • 1846 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Discussion Board #3- Question 2 Cinderella is one of the most popular fairy tales from around the world and there are hundreds of different versions of the tale. “Cinderella: or The Glass Slipper,” by Charles Perrault was first published in 1697 ,also known as the Victorian Time, “Aschenputtel,” by the brothers Grimm was published in the 19th century. Both versions of the tale have the same theme of “happily ever after”, but the two authors use different methods to portrait that theme. Disney’s…

    • 1846 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Cinderella

    • 569 Words
    • 3 Pages

    “Walt Disney's Cinderella” adapted by Campbell Grant is the retelling of a familiar fairytale. In the fairytale, Cinderella is a plain servant for her stepmother and two stepsisters. With the help of a fairy godmother and some mice, she transforms into a beautiful princess who captures the heart of a young handsome prince. Then when the clock turns midnight, she has to return home and she loses her glass slipper. After the ball, the prince then goes to find the owner of the slipper, which belongs…

    • 569 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Cinderella

    • 353 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Cinderella is a famous traditional f airy tale. Through years it has become very popular among children around the entire world and it has adopted different versions by many writers. One of the famous versions of this t ale came from Roald Dahl who included this in his famous book Revolting Rhymes. There he fractured traditional fairly tales and he also put a touch of his dark humor by which he is so recognized. To begin with, Roal Dahl presents many changes to Cinderella’s t raditional…

    • 353 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Cinderella

    • 1540 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Professor Bennett Literary Evolutions 11 February 2014 Cinderella’s Happily Ever After Throughout the history of literature, the tale of Cinderella has always been portrayed as a fairy tale that ends with happily ever after. However, to some writers the tale of Cinderella isn’t so simple and sweet. Roald Dahl, British novelist and poet, tells the tale of Cinderella in a more gory and dark way. He views the story in a light different than what most poets and writers see, and ultimately the fairy tale…

    • 1540 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Cinderella

    • 1685 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Cinderella is a primary example of the Graves/Jung stages of characterization. Rather than exclusively focusing on one interpretation of Cinderella, it is best to focus on two different interpretations. As we learned throughout the semester, the idea or goal behind the fairytales and folklores vary tremendously based on timeframe. For instance, the Grimm version ofCinderella would vary from the Walt Disney version of Cinderella. The differing goals of fairytales from past to present are emphasized…

    • 1685 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    cinderella

    • 413 Words
    • 2 Pages

    There are many different versions of the Cinderella tale, but in all of them, there is a prince who takes the Cinderella away with him, and they live happily forever. “Aschenputtel” is a German folktale written by the Grimm brothers, and “Yeh-Shen” is the Chinese version written by Ai-Ling Louie. They are both stories about two young beautiful maidens who are treated badly by their stepmother and stepsisters. The story’s message is to teach people that goodness is always rewarded in the end. In…

    • 413 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Cinderella

    • 572 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Cinderella Equals Sarcasm In the poem “Cinderella,” Anne Sexton uses sarcasm to say that nobody ever ends up being happy and never has that fairy tale ending that they all want. Sexton wants to show how society is under an illusion that all this is real. She is also saying people cannot just become happy despite their good fortune. Sexton uses sarcasm as a way to entertain and portray her points that she is trying to make. At the beginning of the poem she gives examples of many success stories…

    • 572 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays