The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales

The great child psychologist gives us a moving revelation of the enormous and irreplaceable value of fairy tales - how they educate, support and liberate the emotions of children.

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By Nandakishore (Abu Dhabi, 03, The United Arab Emirates) · ★★★★★ · March 09, 2015
This was the first book which assured me that my enduring interest in fairy tales was scholarly and not something to be scoffed at as juvenile. Until then, I have been blissfully unaware of the psychological depth of fairy tales and how a lot of major literary works are inspired by them. Now ther... ...more
By Nicole (Millbrae, CA) · ★★★★☆ · September 10, 2009
Bettelheim has totally schooled me on the phallic symbol. I have learned, in reading about how to read fairy tales, that I am woefully under-educated about penises and their manifold symbols, which there are exponentially more of than I ever could have dreamed about or hoped for.

This is an amazi... ...more
By Cleiton · ★★★★★ · January 26, 2010
O livro de Bettelheim, é verdadeiramente um livro surpreendente, ele mostra que os contos de fadas têm tanto sucesso entre as crianças por que representam elas mesmas, em seus incoscientes principalmente.

Mostra que as madrastas más são na verdade suas mães, a parte ruim delas, e que os conflitos... ...more
By Kaycie (Brooklyn, NY) · ★★★☆☆ · June 14, 2012
I suppose this book was ground-breaking when it was first published, but honestly, I thought it focused way too much on the idea of all children having an oedipal complex and maybe not enough on how the violence and darkness in original fairy tales address something in a child's imagination (whic... ...more
By Jacqueline (Arlington, VA) · ★★★★☆ · December 11, 2011
Anyone who needs to be convinced that the protagonist of a children's story should always solve his or her own problems without adult help should read this book. If you can get past the outdated Freudian theory, this book is a fascinating examination of fairy tale motifs and how they help childre... ...more
By Amy Rae · ★★☆☆☆ · February 14, 2015
I can't believe I'm going to start this review with a Neil Gaiman quote, which is both incredibly pretentious and apt to make you think I think far better of Gaiman than I actually do, but here goes:

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tel...
By Peter (London, The United Kingdom) · ★★☆☆☆ · September 01, 2012
I'm about halfway through and have given up on this. It's as dry as a piece of old toast. I'm sure it was all very revolutionary when it came out, and probably influenced the likes of Marina Warner or Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood with their modern takes on fairy stories, but it all feels ver... ...more
By J. (Rochester, NY) · ★★★★★ · April 05, 2014
Recommended for anyone who deals with children

Bettelheim was an old-fashioned Freudian psychiatrist -- the kind who talked to patients instead of drugging them -- and a Holocaust survivor. After the war, he emigrated to Chicago, where he did terrific work with children suffering from serious ps... ...more
By Aitziber (Tarragona, 56, Spain) · ★★★★★ · July 27, 2011
Una obra magnífica, aunque posiblemente solo realmente apta para psicólogos, estudiantes de psicología y aficionados acerrimos a la misma.
Se trata del analisis completo y minucioso del simbolismo de los cuentos de hadas más conocidos y populares del imaginario europeo occidental desde la perspec... ...more
By Amar (San Francisco, CA) · ★★★☆☆ · March 07, 2012
Good in that it gets you interested in the original versions of stories like Cinderella, Snow White, etc. It's nice to see someone think at length about the meaning, import, structure and significance of fairy tales, and there are definitely some good tidbits in here. One of my favorites-- instea... ...more