Examine One or More Fairytales from a Psychoanalytic Perspective. How Valid, in Your View, is Such an Approach When Applied to Fairytales in General?.
There can be no doubt as to the impact of the fairytale on children throughout generations. This essay will analyse aspects of the Brothers Grimm's "Snow White- in relation to psychological theory put forward by certain psycholoanalysts. It will analyse certain symbols and the psychology behind them. It will also question what it is that children relate to in fairytales; bringing in the idea of a "collective unconscious- in relation to ancient myths from which some symbolism is drawn. Indeed, many of the ideas in "Snow White- can be traced back to similar symbolism in ancient mythology, hence the question is raised of whether these symbols have been drawn directly from antiquity, or are they the product of a collective unconscious? The validity of a psychoanalytic perspective is, arguably, balanced upon the question of a shared unconsciousness. From this, can the individual recognise certain meanings in symbolism, and use it to resolve or diminish internal conflict, or to diminish infantile fixations, such as oedipal conflicts? This essay will approach these questions in relation to "Snow White,"" which is a strong example of the way psychology is intrinsically linked into the themes and imagery of the story.
One of the most interesting aspects of "Snow White- are the allusions to oedipal complications. The stepmother and the deceased birth mother can be seen psychologically as a kind of paradox, existing in one mother figure. Snow White loves her birth (good) mother, and sees her (evil) stepmother as a rival for the father's attention and love. Bettelheim asserts that "Snow White- leaves the oedipal entanglements to our imagination rather than forcing them on our conscious mind. Hence, the mother is replaced by a stepmother. This kind of muted interjection serves to disguise the true meaning, which appeals to the unconscious mind, behind the nave reading of "Snow White.