Folk and fairy tales appear in every culture and have existed for centuries. There must be something about them that meets a basic, important need in children and adults. Bruno Bettelheim is one of the best known psychoanalysts to discuss the importance of fairy tales in children's development. In 1977, he published a book titled Uses of Enchantment. In it he discusses his views of why fairy tales are important, what about them makes them ideally suited for children, and what important lesson children learn from them.
Please read the introduction to his work. After you click on the word excerpt, click on "Preview this book" and scroll down to the Introduction. Optional Reading Guide.
Fairy tales across cultures and time.
Now turn to Folk & Fairy Tales, the small anthology of fairy tales you purchased. Hallett and Karasek, the editors, have grouped versions of a single fairy tale together so that we can appreciate how they appear in different cultures and at different times. Please choose one group to read and consider. Then read the "Introduction" of the book and the collection of stories you have chosen.
When you've completed the collection, consider how the stories differed and how they changed from culture to culture and over time. Then write a one- to two-page essay summarizing the elements of the stories that remain the same throughout the collection and then describing the changes you noticed.