Monday, March 4, 2013

Jungian Psychoanalysis and Fairy Tales

The most important aspect to take away from fairy tales is the journey and transformation that the hero (or heroine) must achieve.  Without this element, the fairy tale has practically no moral for us to learn from.

The idea that fairy tales are also manifestations and representations of the collective unconscious is another element important to Jungian psychoanalysis.  The formulas and patterns that fairy tales use is not by coincidence, but because those telling the tales all have something in common to share: the human experience.  This underlying part of mankind cannot be shaken off, such as the concept of having a mother or parents, as well as the “coming of age” story.

The Beast's Transformation in Beauty in the Beast.  Without his transformation, their would be no physical or obvious evidence of Belle's effect on him.

Furthermore, archetypes resonate heavily in Jungian theories, with such power given to numbers like 1 (unity), 3 (balance and tension), and 4 (perfect balance).  The presence of alchemy and metal is also said to tell us something about the fairy tale deeper than what is in the surface.  Since alchemy focuses on the transformation of something into gold, the correlation between gold objects and colors associated with the process (red, black, white) put more significance onto the hero’s transformation.

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