Lecture 9

Grimms’ Fairy Tales

Sigmund Freud

  • Asked: Why do people do what they do?
  • Essentially a literary critic posing as a psychologist.
  • Oedipus Complex
    • Children with a penis want their mother’s attention, but their father stands in the way.
  • Electra Complex is similar to the Oedipus Complex but for children with a vagina.
    • But moms are cool (feeds/cares for kids), so they can’t hate their mom as much
    • Split the mother in two: the side that gives food and the side that gets in their way

The Uses of Enchantment (book by Bruno Bettelheim)

  • Bettelheim argues fairy tales help children solve anxiety, Oedipal complex, sibling rivalry, etc
    • Kids can live out these experiences in a fantasy world

Carl Jung

  • Friends with Freud, then super not friends with Freud
  • Collective Unconscious
    • We all have this same structure in our unconscious
      • Archetypes (birth, death, marriage, great mother, devil, wild old man, wise old woman, trickster, hero, apocalypse) are passed down and we just know them
      • This explains commonalities between stories in different cultures