[Intro] My name is JeriLyn Stone and I am originally from Miami. I am a junior in the college of arts and sciences. My concentrations are anthropology, philosophy and women’s studies. After graduation I plan to return to Denmark to continue my studies in architecture and design. My interest in fairytales began when my aunt who is an artist in Copenhagen won several awards for her designs that were based on the Hans Christen Andersen tales.
[Blog Response 1] Bettelheim believes that fairytales are the most satisfying stories for children, regardless of the child’s intellectual ability. He refers to emotional and psychological processes that are working in fairytales through modes such as symbolism. Darnton also references psychoanalytic processes in his essay. Some more common topics in both essays include child as a developing organism, the importance of fairytales to teach difficult lessons, and psychoanalysis in the context of French enlightenment.
In short I think that Bettelheim’s account is cushy and largely uninteresting (his last section excluded). His discourse neglects to provide is readers with academic support for his claims and thus leaves them unfulfilled at the end of his work. He presumes particular “rights of passage” to be universals when in fact his specifications refer only to Western civilization.
Despite Bettelheim’s shortcomings in structural complexity and I am captivated by the last section of his essay in which he begins to attack the falsehood of happily ending fairytales that create a fallacious sense of security in children. Bettelheim presents this view that fairytales of today do not have the same “nightmare quality” of those that Darnton references in his essay “The Meaning of Mother Goose.”
In comparison with Bettelheims work, Darnton is more efficient in providing his audience with facts, data, support and analysis yet the direction of his essay is confusing. Bettelheim’s structure and fluidity certainly outdoes Darnton’s disconnected compilation of a little red riding hood story, psychoanalytic perspective, and discourse of the importance of storytelling.
Darnton offers several perspectives throughout his essay. I will focus my analysis on Darnton’s anthropologically oriented perspective that storytelling in France during the enlightenment is useful in preserving the peasant experience. According to the article, comparative studies “have revealed striking similarities in different recordings of the same tale” despite geographical placement. This information supports the latter points that Darnton makes in his work such as the accuracy of tale passed down orally are not easily subjected to change. Additionally, Darnton’s work provides support for Bettelheim’s claim to the universality of life changes as humans’ progress from infants to children to teenagers to adults.
In all, these works are a compliment to one another. The shortcomings of Bettelheim’s work are the strong points in Darnton’s and vice versa. Battelheim provide logical structure and Darnton provides necessary support for the use of fairytales in children’s curriculum. Moreover, the two champion the old fashioned fairytale that does not always end happily in favor for the use of symbols to subconsciously guide children in morality and decision making processes.