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Author Comment
ChrisCalabrese
Registered User
(6/24/02 8:38:45 pm)
Common Psychological Misinterpretations of Fairy Tales
What are the most common psychological misinterpretations of fairy tales?

Laura
Registered User
(6/24/02 10:09:48 pm)
well ...
Your question assumes that there is a "correct" interpretation. Sure, there are some glosses that most of us disagree with, but I imagine that the person who thought them up believed them to be most relevant and viable. Are you asking for a blanket statement (ie Bettelheim is 100% wrong) or a personal opinion (ie I disagree with Bettelheim about ... because ....)?

ChrisCalabrese
Registered User
(6/25/02 6:06:55 am)
Re: well ...
I am writing a satire, which relies on poking fun at common misinterpretations. . . ie poking fun at sleeping for 100 years being a virtue etc.

Yellow McMaggie
Registered User
(6/25/02 6:52:18 am)
Bluebeard
Here might be one, but I don't know if it is fair to call it a "misinterpretation", because it is just one of the many interpretations. It is in regards to the key in the Bluebeard tales. The one that she uses to unlock the forbidden chamber. According to many Freudian interpretations, the key symbolizes the male sex organ, and I guess that it doesn't take a genius to figure out what the key hole stands for! (Very sexual, donít you think?!)

When she opens the door, the key also becomes stained with blood and that is said to stand for the wifeís irreversible virginity (of course, that may be true you think that he is her first husband/ love interest)

Also according to many interpretations, the key stands for the wife's sexual infidelity, meaning that she has been having extramarital affairs, and the blood means that she can't conceal her guilt

But sometimes the wife is also holding an egg (in addition to the keys) that she is meant to protect (such as in Grimms Fitchers Vogel/ Fitcher's Bird), and that is her sexuality or virginity that she has to protect. When she then opens the forbidden chamber against her husbands orders not to do so, it the egg is what becomes stained in blood (and not the key)

So that are just some of the interpretations, but from a more anthropological perspective, the key/ forbidden chamber motif is thought of as being the psychological remnant of an old initiation rite. (Childhood into adulthood).

Of course, I could spend hours discussing Bluebeard tales, but I won't. I just find them to be the most psychologically interesting.

Cheers!

Katie

Edited by: Yellow McMaggie at: 6/25/02 7:20:51 am
Jess
Unregistered User
(6/25/02 7:02:10 am)
hmm
Chris,

Sounds to me that you are not so much looking for misinterpretations as viewing fairy tales with an ironic eye. I think somewhere I have put these forth before, but here are a few things that I think could be used in a satire:

1) Sleeping Beauty: Look if you are going to forget to invite a fairy, don't you think it would be smart to leave a nice one off the list? Aren't the King and queen glad to see their teenage daughter fall asleep - she is so hormonally out of control; what is with the prince with necrophilia- is it because his mother is an ogress? Would you leave your children with a mother who has a taste for tender meat? And eats people? Talk about mother-in-law problems.

2) now seriously, would you buy an apple from an ugly old peddler woman you didn't know? Wasn't Snow White told little red ridinghood in the past? And what about her living with the dwarves? Speaking of which, wouldn't it have been smart to have left one of them behind to guard her? Maybe all they wanted was a quick cleaning service. Ditto the prince comment above.

3) Beauty and the Beast: So you want a rose in winter? And that isn't asking much? A promise? What's that?

It is easy to pull apart fairy tales. There is so much in them that must be "taken on faith". The easiest ones are the Perrault and Anderson ones. Maybe because they often speak of female "virtues" from a male perspective. I find some of them maddening as opposed to fodder for satire, however. Are you working with a particular tale(s)? Which one(s)?

Jess

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