FLM506: Modern/Postmodern Cinema
Bettelheim’s concept of enchantment and The Night of The Hunter
Bruno Bettelheim poses a controversial figure in the world of psychoanaylsis, although gaining wide recognition for his work on Freud, psychoanyalsis and child psychology, much of his work has now been discredited to a contemporary audience. Bettelheim’s opinions depicted in his book The Empty Fortress, sighting bad parenting as a primary cause for autism is probably the most infamous infraction towards his credibility. However his analyses of fairy tales in terms of Freudian Psychology in his book “ The use of enchantment: the meaning and importance of fairy tales” still resonate’s a globally cultural understanding that their is an innate differentiation in the perception of the world between that of a child and that of an adult. Specifically in the process of problem solving and the personal comprehension of our environment. Indeed Bettelheim’s concept of enchantment suggests that the underlying symbolic meanings of these stories allow children to gain a more acute sense of meaning in reality. Bettelheim’s idea’s of enchantment echo the myth that children have an enthral connection to nature that is absent in adulthood, an idea that has been widely explored since the change in attitude towards children in the emergence of the Industrial revolution. The perception of children maintaing a spiritual understanding of the world, is one that has began to take more form at the end of the victorian
Bettelheim describes fairy tales as having the ability to “evoke support and liberate the emotions of children” indeed throughout his concept of enchantment he repeatedly emphasises the symbolic meaning and educational importance that lie at the heart of fairy tales. Bettelheim applies Freud’s ideas of developmental psychology, sighting the concept of enchantment as being pivotal in the journey from childhood to adulthood, describing the emotional growth...
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