Bruno Bettelheim Quotes
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A parent who from his own childhood experience is convinced of the value of fairy tales will have no difficulty in answering his child's questions; but an adult who thinks these tales are only a bunch of lies had better not try telling them; he won't be able to related them in a way which would enrich the child's life.
Fairy tales are loved by the child not because the imagery he finds in them conforms to what goes on within him, but because--despite all the angry, anxious thoughts in his mind to which the fairy tale gives body and specific content--these stories always result in a happy outcome, which the child cannot imagine on his own.
This is exactly the message that fairy tales get across to the child in manifold form: that a struggle against severe difficulties in life is unavoidable, is an intrinsic part of human existence -- but that if one does not shy away, but steadfastly meets unexpected and often unjust hardships, one masters all obstacles and at the end emerges victorious.