Angela Carter claimed that heroic optimism was an important element in fairy stories, the principle which sustained the idea of a happy ending whatever the odds.  The ability of the hero/heroine (protagonist) to remain hopeful while enduring their respective trials and torments impels the reader to continue to hope that the inevitable resolution will be a happy one.  In most fairy-tales the happy ending is an essential consequence of the journey, actual and physical, of the protagonist through the tale.  Natalie Babbitt defined ‘The Happy Ending’ as:

something which goes much deeper [than a simple ‘happily ever after’], something which turns a story ultimately toward hope rather than resignation…” (Babbitt in Haviland, (1973) p. 158)

As a result of this hope, Babbitt said that

Wilbur can escape an early death, Cinderella can be Queen, Bilbo can outwit the dragon, and the ugly duckling can become a swan.  Not without pain, not without violence, not without grief; but in the end, somehow, everything will always by all right.” (Ibid, p. 159)

Apart from a few exceptional tales, the storyteller’s audience (usually young girls), and the text’s readers, are able to anticipate, while enduring the hardships as the protagonist goes through them, the resolution of these difficulties in a positive and happy way – in other words a consolation, for all participants, for the rigours thus endured.  Tolkien refers to:

[this] consolation of fairy stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe [eucatastrophe], the sudden joyous ‘turn’ … this joy, which is one of the things which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially ‘escapist’ or fugitive’.  In its fairy-tale – or otherworld-setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur.  It does not deny the existence of the dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of joy, joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief. (Tolkien, (1964) p. 60; (1992) p. 175)

The notion that “this joy is not essentially ‘escapist’ or ‘fugitive’ “ leads us back to his idea that the world of ‘faerie’ is ‘otherworld’, or of a secondary world of the author’s devising.  The fact that the reader suspends belief in the real world to enter this secondary world does not mean that he/she is running away from the former.  After all, upon reaching the conclusion (hopeful happy ending) of the ‘otherworld’ story, the real world must be re-entered.  The fact that the reader does so, armed with hope and joy, is a bonus, an advantage for him/her to help deal with the problems encountered there.  As Tolkien was a highly religious man, he saw this joy linked to the joy of holy miracles, of faith and belief in the after-life, and the joy he believed would be the reward when finally united with God in Heaven – thus his use of the word ‘evangelium’.

Tolkien added:

It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give the child or man that hears it, when the ‘turn’ comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art, and having a peculiar quality. (Tolkien, (1992) p. 175 – 176)

I have personally experienced this ‘turn’ when reading Tolkien’s own works – a little for THE HOBBIT but many times, very strongly for THE LORD OF THE RINGS.  It is a tangible ‘turn’, which no doubt young readers of fairy-tales would experience.  My belief that Tolkien is the ultimate authority on fairy-stories was backed up by my research – most reference material I studied quoted the above statement by Tolkien, in part or in full, to illustrate and support their particular theories.

In my selected fairy tales: DONKEY-SKIN (H/O), THE SIX SWANS (H/O), and PRINCE AMILEC (Zipes, pp 48 – 54), there was a point in each story when a joyous ‘turn’ of events occurred – when the story moved from trials and sorrow to happiness and reward for the protagonists.

In DONKEY SKIN, by Perrault, the princess first had to go through the sorrow of leaving her home to escape the incestuous attentions of her father; the trials of  wearing the donkey-skin and toiling as a scullion in the kitchen of a farmhouse; and the derision and harassment from the servants; before being eligible for the joy and glory of winning her prince.  Of course she required the assistance of her fairy godmother to achieve her escape from home, and the acquisition, not only of the three beautiful gowns (the colour of the sky, the moon, and the sun), but also of the donkey-skin, with which she disguised herself.

Throughout her trials Donkey-Skin did not give up hope of deliverance from her menial situation.  This was evident by her ritual cleansing and dressing in her gowns on Sundays, and when having seen the prince from a distance

[she] admired him with a tender look.  Thanks to her courage, she realized that she still had the heart of a princess beneath her dirt and rags. ( Ibid, p. 71)

This equates with heroic oprimism – appearing to propel the tale towards its happy ending.

I believe that there were several places in the text where the joyous ‘turn’ of events occurred.  The first was when the prince saw Donkey-Skin, dressed in all her finery, through the key-hole.

[T]he prince kept peeking at her, scarcely breathing because he was filled with such pleasure. …. Three times he was on the verge of entering her room because of the ardor that over-whelmed him, but three times he refrained out of respect for the seemingly divine creature he was beholding. (Zipes, (1989) p. 71)

While this was a joyous event for the prince, the reader knows that it was also a turning point in the tale for Donkey-Skin.  The next joyous event occurred when Donkey-Skin put the ring on her finger, dressed in her finest gown, and entered the court.  Once again the tale focussed on her beautiful gown, her physical beauty and her majestic bearing, and on the reactions of the courtisans, King, Queen and prince rather than on the princess’s happiness (which the reader is left to assume).  Finally, at the wedding, the bride’s father,

who had purified the criminal and odious fires that had ignited his spirit in the past, [and] the flame that was left in his soul had been transformed into devoted paternal love, (Ibid, p. 74)

also had a joyous moment when reunited with his daughter.  “Weeping with joy, he embraced her tenderly.” (Ibid, p. 74)  Once again everyone shared his moment, even the fairy godmother, who “told the entire story … [which] culminated in Donkey-Skin’s glory.” (Ibid, p. 74)  However, I believe that Perrault deflated the joy of the happy ending by his over-abundance of moralizing.

In THE SIX SWANS, by the Grimm brothers, the sister of the swan-brothers undertook a difficult task in order to free them from their step-mother’s spell.  Her brothers told her that, to achieve this:

For six years you may neither speak nor laugh, and in that time you must sew together six little shirts of starwort for us.  If one single word falls from your lips, all your work will be lost. (Grimm, (1975) p. 234)

It was considered a trial indeed for a female (that loquacious creature) not to speak or laugh.  It also meant that Donkey-Skin had no means of either explaining her identity to the King, or defending herself against the false accusations of her mother-in-law.  She suffered sorrow at the separation from her father and her brothers, and grief at the loss of her babies.  Our hope is kept alive by the King’s defence of his wife:

She is too pious and good to do anything of that kind; if she were not dumb, and could defend herself, her innocence would come to light. (Ibid, p. 236)

But it is dashed again when even he had to deliver her to justice, after the disappearance of the third baby.

In this tale we are given concrete evidence of her joy, the ‘turn’ occurring as she stood at the stake with the shirts over her arm.

S]he looked around and six swans came flying through the air towards her.  Then she saw that her deliverance was near, and her heart leapt with joy.” (Ibid, p. 236)

The reader moves with her from this point onwards as she freed her brothers, who embraced her, then finally was able ot speak for herself.  Her children were returned to her, the wicked mother-in-law was punished, and the happy ending was completed with the final sentence:

[T]he King and Queen with her six brothers lived many years in happiness and peace.” (Ibid, p. 237)

In  PRINCE AMILEC by Tanith Lee, it was the hero, Amilec, who had to undertake difficult tasks in order to win his chosen princess.  From the outset the character of this princess is exposed to the reader, but not to Amilec, who fell in love with her portrait.  He was blind to her rudeness, to the page’s warning that she was frightful and that he should go home, and was determined to attempt the tasks no matter how impossible they seemed.  However, upon succeeding to fulfill them, with the aid of a pretty witch and her bat, Basil, encountered not the princess’s love and gratitude, but a royal tantrum.

The reader has recognized almost immediately that the witch is far more suitable a bride for Amilec, and must wait in frustration until the ‘turn’ occurs, when he will realize this for himself.  Hope is raised when the princess demanded a wedding dress:

By this time Amilec was getting a bit fed up with her tantrums, but he thought that, of all her demands, this was the most reasonable.  ( Zipes, (1986) p. 53)

When the witch delivered the dress, wearing it to display its beauty, he was stunned – ‘the scales fell from his eyes’.  In front of the court he declared:

“How can I have been so blind!  You are the most beautiful girl I have ever met.  You are also the kindest.  May I humbly ask you to be my wife?  I promise to look after Basil, and I’ll live in the cave, if it will make things easier.”  (Ibid, p. 54)

To say that the hero was optomistic in this tale would be untrue.  However, he was determined, in the face of seemingly impossible odds, to persist till the end.  Having formed an alliance with the witch, who completed his task for him, he was able to face each subsequent task more hopefully, looking after Basil and collecting seaweed while she did so.  Thus, the hope of the happy ending was sustained throughout the tale.

The joy of the happy ending is not as remote from the reader in this tale, due to the involvement of that reader throughout the tale.  Not only did Amilec and the witch live happily ever after, but the princess was happily allowed to travel, leading the story to begin its cycle once again.  The reader knows that she also will suceed, if the tale follows it pattern truly.

In conclusion, I reiterate that the hope held by the protagonist of the tale, prepares the way for the happy ending, and is an essential component of the fairy tale, whether the trials be insignificant or enormous.  Tales that have no joyous ‘turn’, no happy ending, are unsatisfying, providing no consolation for the reader.  As Tolkien said, in his ‘Epilogue’ to ON FAIRY-STORIES:

The peculiar quality of the ‘joy’ in successful Fantasy [fairy-stories] can thus be explained as a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth.  It is not only a ‘consolation’ for the sorrow of this world, but  a satisfaction, an answer to [that truth].” (Tolkien, (1992) p. 178)

(C) Jud House  28/08/2005


Babbitt, N. (1970)  “Happy Endings?  Of Course, and Also Joy.’  in Haviland, V. Editor 1973)  CHILDREN  AND LITERATURE  Views and Reviews.  London:  The Bodley Head Ltd.

Buchan, J. (1931)  ‘The Novel and the Fairy Tale’.  in Haviland, V. Editor (1973)CHILDREN AND LITERATURE  Views and Reviews.  London:  The Bodley Head Ltd.

Butler, F. Editor. (1975)  CHILDREN’S LITERATURE VOL 4.  Philadelphia:  Temple  University Press.

Gilbert, R. (1990)  ‘Endings’  in  MEANJIN  Vol. 49 (1990)

Haviland, V.  Editor. (1973)   ‘Folk Literature and Fantasy’  in  CHILDREN AND LITERATURE  Views and Reviews.  London:  The Bodley Head Ltd.

Le Guin, Ursula. (19   )  ‘This Fear of Dragons’  in  THE THORNY PARADISE: Writers on Writing for Children.  Blishen, E. Editor.  Harmondsworth, UK: Kestrel Books

Lewis, C.S.  (1952)  ‘On Three Ways of Writing for Children.’  in  BOURNEMOUTH CONFERENCE PAPERS AND DISCUSSION.  Library Association Proceedings.

Liberman, Anatoly. (1985)  ‘Between Myth and the Wondertale.’  in  MYTH IN LITERA-TURE. Kodjak, A., Pomorska, K., Rudy,S. Editors.  Columbia, Ohio: Slavica Publishers Inc.

Kegan, Paul  Editor.  (1975)  ‘The Six Swans.’  from  THE COMPLETE GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES.  London:  Routledge. (H/O)

Perrault, Charles. ‘Donkey-Skin.’  from Zipes, J. Editor (1989) BEAUTIES, BEASTS AND ENCHANTMENT.  Meridian:  Penguin.

Philip, Neil. (1989)  THE CINDERELLA STORY; The Origins and Variations of the Story known as Cinderella.   Penguin Books Ltd.

Shavit, Z. (1986)  ‘The Notion of Childhood and Texts for the Child.’  in  POETICS OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE.  Athens & London: University of Georgia Press.

Tolkien, J.R.R.  (1964)  ON FAIRY-STORIES.  in  POEMS AND STORIES.  Williamson  F.R. & Tolkien C.R. Editors.  London:  Harper Collins Publishers (1992)

Yolen, Jane. Editor. (1986)  FAVOURITE FOLKTALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD.  Pantheon.

Zipes, Jack. Editor. (1993)  DON’T BET ON THE PRINCE; Contemporary Feminist Fairy Tales in North America and England.  U.K.: Scolar Press

Zipes, Jack. (1983)  FAIRY TALES AND THE ART OF SUBVERSION.  London: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd.

Zipes, Jack.  (19  )  ‘On the Use and Abuse of Folk and Fairy Tales with Children.’  in BREAKING THE MAGIC SPELL: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales.  H/O London: Heinemann.

Zipes, Jack. (1986)  ‘Fairy Tale as Myth  Myth as Fairy Tale.’  in  THE BROTHERS GRIMM:  FROM ENCHANTED FORESTS TO THE MODERN WORLD.  New York  & London: Routledge.

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J R R Tolkien wrote: “If a fairy story as a kind is worth reading at all it is worthy to be written for and read by adults.  They will, of course, put more in and get more out than children can.”

Tolkien believed, and I agree with him, that not all children or adults like fairy stories, just as not all of them like science or mathematics.  He believed that children were accidentally associated with fairy stories because their reading matter was selected for them by the lower class servants, attendants and nurses.  These fairy stories were the written form of the oral folk tales that were told amongst the lower class adults.

Though the peasants were excluded in the formation of this literary tradition, it was their material, tone, style, and beliefs that were in corporated into the new genre.” (Zipes, J. (1991) p. xii)

Of course, this does not apply to more recent times, when fairy stories were specifically written for children.

Both children and adults have the ability to suspend disbelief, and to believe in the World of the sub-creator/storyteller.

Fairy-stories offer . . . . Fantasy, Recovery, Escape and Consolation, all things of which children have, as a rule, less need than older people.  (Tolkien, J R R (1975 ed.) p. 44)

When reading or listening to fairy stories, children relate to the Fantasy, and to the Consolation elements of the story.  They are interested in the plot of the narrative, in the characters and their fate, in justice and fair-play which must be seen to be done, and in the resolution of the tale with, preferably, a happy ending (Consolation), unless a sad one is justified.

The fairy story communicates to the child an intuitive, subconscious understanding of his own nature . . . .[he] feels understood in his most tender longings, his most ardent wishes, his most severe anxieties and feelings of misery, as well as in his highest hopes. (Bettelheim, B. 1976) pp. 155 & 154)

Adults, as well as seeing all these elements, usually on a more profound level, also derive more from the story by way of historical relevance, moral and ethical values and issues, irony and justice, with an awareness of symbolism and the language used by the author to convey not only the plot, but also all of these nuances.  Adults recognise the element of Escape as a means to leave behind their daily worries for a brief time, and the Recovery element – “a recovery of perspective” (Isaacs & Zimbardo, (1970 ed.) p.144) – as that which leaves them feeling spiritually healed for having read the story.  They relate to their own experiences with fairy tales during their formative years.

Tolkien knew, none better, that no audience can long feel sympathy or interest for persons or things in which they cannot recognize a good deal of themselves and the world of their everyday experience.” (Kocher, P. (1972) p. 1)

The stories, JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, RUMPELSTILTSKIN, and THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES, taken from Virginia Haviland’s collection THE FAIRY TALE TREASURY, incorporate these levels of comprehension, of both adults and children.

In JACK AND THE BEANSTALK by Joseph Jacobs, children’s perception of the story would focus on Jack with whom they could relate.  After all most children have done ‘silly’ things for which they have been punished, in their eyes often unfairly, and by parents who do not always apologise when proven wrong.  Children would not dwell on the fact that Jack stole – rather that the ogre, who ate little boys for breakfast, deserved to be tricked.  Although Jack lied to the ogre’s wife, who was shown as kindly, then curious, the children could easily ignore the lies because she lost their sympathy by turning on Jack on his third visit.

Repetitious patterns, which most children find enjoyable, were used by the author to depict height and distance.          

So Jack climbed, and he climbed, and he climbed, and he climbed, and he climbed, and he climbed,till at last he reached the sky [and] . . . . he walked along and he walked along and he walked along . . . (Jacobs in Haviland, p. 80)

with a “Fee fi fo fum” thrown in, would be aurally pleasing to children.  Just as their sense of justice would be satisfied when Jack was proven right about the beans, so would their need for a happy ending (consolation) be satisfied, (after a little dose of fear) when

Jack and his mother became very rich, and he married a great princess and they lived happy ever after.” (Jacobs in Haviland, p. 85)

Adults reading this story would not only take in these elements of the story, but would also see, for example, that Jack, by being sent to sell the family cow, an adult task in our society, was seen as the ‘man of the house’, indicating not only the father’s absence in the story, but that the age in which the original folk tale was told was much different from our age.  Children were not cosseted and protected then, but were considered as chattels, as extra pairs of hands, who had to earn their keep by running messages and cutting wood, and were punished physically for any misdemeanor.

According to Bettelheim, and taking the psychological view, this task also represents the beginning of Jack’s journey towards manhood – from the onset of puberty to the completion of the journey when he chops down the beanstalk, not only to save his life, but also to indicate that he no longer needs to rely on ‘magic’ to assist him to make his way in life.  Bettelheim comments that when Jack steals the bag of gold which soon runs out he realises that he must go back, this time knowing he is risking his life, to take something (the hen that lays the golden eggs) that will continue to provide financial security.  He says that

it is not necessity which motivates Jack’s last trip, but the desire for daring and adventure – the wish to find something better than material goods. . . .the golden harp, which symbolizes beauty, art, [and] the higher things in life. (Bettelheim, B. (1976) p. 191)

Adults would acknowledge the repetition of phrases as a clever device used by the author to indicate to the children that Jack had indeed climbed a long way up, and walked a long distance.  They would note that Jack told lies and that he stole, and that this was part of the out-witting of the ogre by a small boy - symbolic of the little people out-witting the social giants of this world.  They would become aware that its historical relevance was that the lower class peasants could get the better of their rich upper-class masters, or at the very least could mock them in folk tales.

In RUMPELSTILSKIN by the brothers Grimm, children are confronted immediately by two characters, a very poor miller and his very beautiful daughter, with whom to associate.  They would understand that the King was an important man (be subconsciously aware of his power), and that the poor miller would try to make his daughter appear special –  after all, the track record of most fairy tales would be of the poor beautiful girl who marries the rich prince or King.  But children would also be saddened when the daughter was locked up to do an impossible task – just as they would be glad when the little man came to save her.  Their sense of fair-play would see that she should give him something in exchange for not only spinning all that straw, but for actually saving her life – a necklace and a ring would seem to be fair rewards.

When the daughter was locked up the second time, there would be less concern when she wept, for children can predict fairy stories by their pattern – they would know that the little man would come again.  Meanwhile their dislike of the King would be growing.  Children would feel a shock when the little man asked for her first-born child – that would seem unthinkable, and a betrayal by a mother.  But children also understand an ultimatum, though they would not know that the concept had a name – it would be obvious that she had no choice.

Children would enjoy the name game introduced into the story to give the now-Queen a means of keeping her child – the more names listed the better they’d like it.  While they would not be aware of their religious (in the first instance) and their peasant (in the second instance) origins, still the intricacies of the names would be aurally pleasing, and visually also if they could read.  Their delight when the Queen discovered his real name and told him would be eucatastrophic, especially as he stamped his foot through the floor – the just deserts for losing his temper!

The relevance of [this] fairy story to reality lies in this [eucatastrophic] gleam, which is a ‘sudden glimpse of the underlying reality of truth'” (Isaacs & Zimbardo, (1970 ed.) p. 148)

Eucatastrophe is defined by Tolkien as “the joy of a happy ending” and as that which

gives the reader ‘a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears …’ [and] a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart’s desire. (Isaacs & Zimbardo (1970 ed.) pp. 147 – 148)

Adults would be immediately aware of the patriarchal nature of the setting of the story – the daughter would be representative of the typical, passive, physically beautiful female whose fate was at the mercy of and in the hands of males – not only her father, but also the King, who, because of Noblesse Oblige, could take any commoner’s daughter. Adults would recognise the miller’s bragging and the King’s greed as the cause of the daughter’s hopeless plight.  They would empathise with the little man’s demands for a reward for his services – after all, in today’s society, doing something for nothing does not lead to success and wealth in life.  However he was not without compassion, demonstrated when “[t]he Queen began to weep, so that the little man felt sorry for her.” (Haviland, V. p. 160)  But he was another male to subjugate the daughter, who remained passive throughout the story.  Even when she had become Queen, she could only use her position of power to send someone else to search the countryside for the little man.

Once again adults would be aware of the subliminal message that life is a journey (this time for a female) through trials which are often dangerous and life-threatening.  The resolution of the troubles, often through another person (usually an aggressive male) are clearly made obvious by the ending, with its implication (although not actually stated) of the Queen living happily ever after with her King and her baby (the consolation).

In THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES by Hans Christian Andersen, from the outset the readers, whether adults or children, are included in the joke or trick being played on the emperor.  They are informed that two swindlers, who arrive in town, are weavers of

the most beautiful stuffs imaginable.  Not only were the colours and patterns unusually fine, but the clothes that were made of the stuffs had the peculiar quality of becoming invisible to every person who was not fit for the office he held, or if he was impossibly dull. (Haviland, V. p.174)

This basically is the crux of the story, which centres around not only the self-esteem (pride and vanity) of the emperor and his staff, but also the need for people not to appear foolish in public, and their need to believe in themselves and the fitness for their chosen (whether by self or superiors) careers.

Children would see this story on a superficial level, seeing the vain emperor pretending to see what was not there so as to avoid appearing foolish, yet by so doing, being tricked into looking even more foolish – there are surely few things worse than parading in public with no clothes on!  They would relate to the desire not to be singled out as stupid before their peers, while their subconscious need for security would evoke their sympathy for the emperor even as they laughed at him.

The fact that the swindlers were not only stealing the threads supplied to them, but were also rewarded with knighthoods for their non-existent work (and thus for their swindling) would seem to children to be part of the swindle, and an example of the emperor’s gullibility.  Children would happily associate themselves with the child who saw and said that the emperor had no clothes on, and would feel proud that it took a child to expose the swindlers who exposed the emperor.  Finally, I believe that children would be impressed by the courage shown by the emperor, who, when exposed as naked and foolish, continued his parade regally with his head held high, as an emperor should.

The class distinctions are very obvious in this story – the fact that the emperor thought nothing of spending all his money on his clothes, instead of on the army or the theatre, is made immediately apparent in the opening paragraph:

Instead of saying as one does about any other king or emperor, ‘He is in his council chamber,’ here one always said, ‘The emperor is in his dressing-room.’ (Haviland, V. p.174)

An adult reader would realise that this story is mocking the thoughtless behaviour of the rich, showing that the lower classes were well aware of the inequity, and were ready to ridicule the upper classes if the opportunity arose.

The moral of this story is clearly that pride (and vanity) always comes before a fall, as adult readers would immediately see, and children could be taught to understand.  The emperor’s need to delegate would appear logical to an adult – he was a man of power and thus needed to safeguard his high position.

[The emperor] felt a little queer when he reflected that anyone who was stupid or unfit for his post would not be able to see it. . . . he need have no fears for himself, but still he thought he would send somebody else first. (Haviland, V. p. 175)

He consequently selected his “faithful old minister . . . [as] he is a clever man and no one fulfils his duties better than he does.” (Haviland, V. p. 175)

This story offers adults escape with humour – a chance to watch another’s dilemma unfold and be resolved with the consolation that the emperor was exposed as foolishly vain, yet with his dignity upon exposure as a form of recovery.  The fantasy element – the magic cloth which was known to be non-existent - still has a power over the readers, both child and adult, who, half-believing, watch the worry and embarrassment of those who viewed it.  The fact that the swindlers appear to go unpunished leaves the readers with a sense of incompletion, thus, by this unresolved element, keeping the story fresh in their memories.

I chose these three stories as they all, in my opinion, demonstrate different types of fairy stories – JACK AND THE BEANSTALK is male oriented, showing a boy’s maturation to adulthood; RUMPELSTILTSKIN shows a typical subjugated heroine, achieving via the intervention of a male; and THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES presents a clear moral, showing that one should believe in oneself and in what one sees, not in what one is told.

As I have shown, adults would certainly get more out of these stories than children do.  And if the adult should read the story aloud, or better still tell the story, to a child, then the story would be coloured by the adult’s own

emotional involvement in the story and in the child, with empathy for what the story may mean to him. Telling is preferable to reading because it permits greater flexibility. (Bettelheim, B. (1976) p. 150)

(C) Jud House  28/08/2005, 20/11/2012 & 15/11/2012



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