What tell us. fairy tales

What tell us. fairy tales

From the thirty kingdom to this day they reached … Sexual temptations, Tabu incest, mutual jealousy of brothers and sisters. Fairy tales, innocent at first glance, talk about unconscious conflicts faced by children. We asked specialists to decipher four traditional plots.

Do you know that Cinderella and her envious sisters are first mentioned on the pages of the ancient Chinese manuscript, which is three thousand years old? Society, customs, states and languages ​​are changing – and fairy tales do not become obsolete, and we still read their children. Such a long life of these plotes is explained by the fact that in them the symbolic form reflects the main psychological problems of people – our archetypal internal conflicts.

Tales affect family relationships (for example, rivalry between brothers and sisters) and personal problems (exit from the children’s dependent position, self-affirmation, awareness of their advantages, the experience of the EDIPOV complex) – the American psychologist Bruno Bettelheim is talking about this in the book "The benefits of magic: meaning and the meaning of fairy tales ". Parents sometimes scare fabulous violence and cruelty, modern children’s literature is often trying to avoid all terrible and sad.

"Do not give up terrible fairy tales: to draw the unconscious fears of the child, they help him to realize them and overcome," says Jungian analyst Stanislav Raevsky. – Lightweight literature, purified from suffering and cruelty, only teaches a child to hide their alarm ".

The wealth of the symbolic content of fairy tales makes their excellent analysis material. Psychoanalysts Freudirds It is interesting to identify the depressed layers of our unconscious, which are reflected in one or another fairy tale.

For example, they believe that in the English fairy tale about Jack, who raised the leggings to the heaven, killed in the sky, the giant and took possession of his treasure, in the symbolic form, the unconscious desire of a teenager "kill the Father" and so approve their masculinity. Jungian analysts see in this fairy tale rather a story about initiation, achieving personality integrity.

"From the point of view of analytical psychology, any fairy tale symbolically describes the internal process, and not external events or relationships with other people. The characters of the fairy tales are interpreted as different components of one personality, the relationship between which lead to transformation and personal growth, "explains Julia Julia Kazakevich.

Both of these interpretations do not exclude each other, but there is a third: as in a variety of other fairy tales, Jack on his example simply shows children that any difficulties can be overcome with the help of the mind and smelting.

History about me

Psychotherapists who use fairy tales in their work often allocate three main (universal) characters that symbolize different sides of our personality.

  • King – The embodiment of the old ego that needs updating. Old identity must die, a hero comes to change the king.
  • Hero symbolizes action and change.
  • Fairy – Our "magic" side, unconscious. She provokes situations that entail change.

Consider the relationships of these figures – a great opportunity to think, where exactly the problem is located, which prevents us from developing.

The universal nature of fairy tales makes it possible to use them in psychotherapy. According to Stanislav Raevsky, "The fairy tale helps a psychotherapist and to talk to the client in the same language, gives a common symbol system. Sometimes a lot can be understood, just asking a person, what is his favorite fairy tale ".

"It is important and how exactly the person will tell his beloved fairy tale, – Julia Kazakevich adds. – everyone will put accents in his own way, add or remove the details, meaningful for him. Next step – write your own story. It is not by chance that the birth of the author’s, literary fairy tale is historically preceded by the emergence of psychoanalysis. The literary fairy tale is the transition between the folk fairy tale and those fairy tales that each of us can write himself, trying to understand the complexity and inconsistency of their inner world. ".

Children and adults, we return to fairy tales again and again, reuniting in this way with you, helping to awaken the child who is hiding in each of us, revealing the strength of his own imagination capable of transforming us and our lives.


Fairy-tale therapy is an actively developing direction in psychotherapy. Most often, this method is used in working with children, because the fairy tale perfectly performs the role of a general language. The fairy tale is a bridge between the rational thinking of an adult and shaped, the "magical" world of the child, in which there is no abstraction and everything happens here and now. Therapeutic fairy tales are used in fairy tale – stories, metaphorically talking about the problems and experiences that the child faces. In them, as in folk fairy tales, the situation always acquires integrity: the hero (with whom the child willingly identify himself) overcomes difficulties and becomes stronger. In group or individual work, children read fairy tales, discuss the actions of heroes, draw the most memorable episodes, play fairy tales on the roles.

"Oslay Skura"

The king, having lost a hot beloved spouse, looking for a new wife, who would not have yielded dead, and falls in love with his own daughter. Princess, following the instructions of the fairy-godfather, runs away from the palace, changing into the slope of the donkey. See you with an excellent prince, she lives in poverty away from the native kingdom.

What tell us. fairy tales

Tabu Izesta. This is perhaps the least known from all the fairy tales of Charles Perso: It says about the most strict out of the existing taboos. The desire for incests attributed to the plot of the king is the projection of the attraction of any girl to the Father, which is at the same time – the natural stage of growing.

The heroine of fairy tale overcomes his alarm, refusing to the Council of Fairy, from light life. In someone else’s kingdom, she lives in dirt, grabs cattle, which symbolically transmits the difficulty of awareness of incestuctural attraction. Only by taking his dark side (to which incestuous experiences include), the princess receives the right to join the "Right" marriage. Dressing in the animal skins – symbol of magical transformation: the girl can not only save his soul, but also to reach a new level.

"Little Red Riding Hood"

The most beautiful girl in the village of Mom sends to her grandmother. In the forest, she meets a wolf who eats her grandmother first, and then a girl. Few people know that the original (1697) version of Charles Perro on it ends – we are more familiar with a happy ending, where the hunters kill the wolf, plowing his stomach, and the girl with grandmother turns out to be unscredit.

Sexual temptation. In this famous fairy tale, sexual meaning is expressed most right. Red color symbolizes sexy experiences. The wolf is, of course, a man: when the girl undresses and falls into him into bed, and the beast tells her that he has such big hands to rolling her stronger, no doubt.

Not satisfied with the unequivocality of these images, the author found it necessary and to supply a fairy tale by advice: the girls do not need to listen to the cunning speeches of men. According to the moral standards of that time, this tale says that sexuality is dangerous, equates male sexuality to aggression, and female – to sacrifice.

Red hat, unlike other fairy tale heroines, does not grow up and remains the girl. It’s not by chance that we stubbornly complement this fairy tale absent from the PRRA transformation (the "second birth" of grandmother and granddaughter from the spelling of the belly of the wolf).


Ovdov, a rich man marries a woman with two evil daughters. They mock the Cinderella until the prince falls on the ball in her. There are many versions of this fairy tale, including the Grimm brothers. The famous crystal shoe appears in the version of Charles Perro.

Rivalry in the family. The rivalry of children because of parental love always existed, this is a completely normal phenomenon. The life of Cinderella seems to be exaggeratedly heavy – but in the fairy tale they reflect the emotions of any child, who has brothers or sisters, as well as the feelings that he is experiencing to parents. The image of the angry stepmother allows the child to recognize his "bad" experiences (anger and insult to parents), without feeling the feelings of guilt. Stepmother and her evil daughters take away from Cinderella Father – he cares about them, and not about his own child.

From the point of view of internal processes, the history of Cinderella is a story of awareness of desires, which, in contrast to the desire to get a beautiful dress or a ride on the ball, can never be satisfied with the Father. These desires are suppressed, which is symbolized by the subordinate position of Cinderella, dirty, like ash, on which it sits or sleeps, and flourish (aimed at the appropriate object) after difficult work on awareness and adoption.

"Snow White"

Stepmother envies the princess Snow White because she is more beautiful. Snow White is discharged into the forest to kill there, but they are released, and she is hiding in the house of seven gnomes. Stepmother finds her and, changing the old woman, gives her poisoned apple. Snow White will come to life only when the prince kisses her.

Difficulties of puberty. Brothers Grimm brought to us a fairy tale, an unusually accurately describing the most important stage in the development of the girl – a period of puberty. At the beginning of the plot, the Queen-mother (then she dies during childbirth) picked her finger. Three drops of blood fall on the snow – it emphasizes the contrast between innocence and sexuality. So the fairy tale is preparing girls to accept menstruation.

Next: In the deaf forest, among the gnomes – characters, devoid of sexuality, – Snow White matures. With them, she rehearses motherhood (but so far without a man), learns to lead the economy. Performing all the functions of a woman except sexual and reproducing, she becomes ready for the arrival of a prince.

Finally, this fairy tale says about the emerging rivalry between mother and daughter. The image of the angry stepmother, of course, symbolizes the usual, non-darling mother, which is jealous of the growing girl. The poisoned apple embodies his excessive maternal love, its omnipotence and fear of punishment that the girl needs to be realized and overcome to turn into an adult. This and the reminder of the mother that the relationship with the daughter is time to rebuild, recognizing it the right to choose its own way. Blood first menstruation – a signal about it.

What tell us. fairy tales

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