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Jungian Views on Folktales

Jung was free to look into basic issues of Eastern and other sources, including traditional sources of Europe.

Things depend in part on what Jack and Jill were taught to look up to and back up at a tender age. Below are some Jungian ideas tied in with old and new fiction tales. The good tale deserves to be told and listened to full well. Night-time could be fairly ideal for that, incidentally.

What comes out of analyses of dreams and folktales and much else, tie in with main concepts that are made use of.

French Fairy Tale llustration.
Fanciful French people (mythopoets)

Fancy and imagination (mythopoetical treatment) depends on fanciful people (mythopoets) in the first place.

Some of the things that young ones come to dream of, tends to relate to fantasy stories they come across at a tender age.

Psychoanalyses do not pay if its clients find themselves unable to remedy a thing in their own lives: We should prepare for that.

DotThe realm of fantasy and mind analysis not a new one

"Children must get their share of fairy tales and stories in order to live in the warmth of words and light of literature." [D. Bouvet: "Reading and speaking". Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol (Bord), 1990, 111:4, 305-8]

"[There should be more] careful distinctions between that material which is common to many different cultures and that which differs profoundly from one culture to another. Such categories include [perhaps] social values with reference to gender, variant analysis, and the impact of nineteenth century values on nineteenth century tale collections, especially the Grimms' Kinder- und Hausmärchen." [R.B. Bottigheimer: "Bettelheim's witch: the questionable relation between fantasy and psychoanalysis", Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol, 1989 Aug, 39:8, 294-9]

"Fairy-tales can be used in therapy with children and with adults". [H. Dieckmann: "Fairy-tales in psychotherapy", Journal of Analytical Psychology, 1997 April, 42:2, 253-68]◊

DotMythopoetic treatment depends on mythopoets in the first place

"In Marie-Louise von Franz's analysis of (The Piano by Jane Campion) fairy tale ...(the mute heroine) Ada's ultimate renunciation of her husband is symbolically reinforced by the developing personality of her daughter Flora. The changes in both characters can be ... the emergence of a new psychological readiness"." [J. Izod: "The Piano, the animus, and the colonial experience". J Anal Psychol, 1996 Jan, 41:1, 117-36]

"[Someone among us] extols the "wicked stepmother" stereotype in fairy tales for providing a safe outlet for child-mother aggression. [For:] Dualistic thinking is not ubiquitous in childhood, nor is it ever outgrown. Rather, it is a mode of organizing experience mythopoetically. [In harmony with this line of thought] there [don't have to be sick] moral objections to ... the propagation of the wicked stepmother stereotype." [Cf. M. Radomisli: "Stereotypes, stepmothers, and splitting". Am J Psychoanal, 1981 Summer, 41:2, 121-7]

The everyday life of "hunchbacks", how they saw themselves and were seen by others, can usually only be deduced indirectly from such as fairy-tales and myths, beliefs and superstitions, or through theological and philosophical writers.. Hunchbacks were generally burdened with a stigmatised, pitiful outsider fate somehow. No effective treatment was found. Good citizens showed little compassion. [Cf. U. Halter and A. Krödel: "Praying for the hunchback man. On the cultural history of scoliosis and kyphosis". Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb, 1997 Nov, 135:6, 557-62]

DotYour educational challenge - maybe each night

"Storytelling is an effective way of transferring knowledge and values from one person to another. Stories can cross individual, cultural, and educational differences more powerfully than most other methods of learning. For thousands of years stories have been used for teaching." [K. Kerfoot and G.M. Sarosi: "Hero making through storytelling: the nurse manager's challenge". Nurs Econ, 1993 Mar-Apr, 11:2, 107-8, 102]

And then, one surely needs to rest well and not believe everything one is told.


  1. The youngest ones need warm acceptance, and that extends to the art of tale-telling, as cultural folks have shown.
  2. There should be good place and ample funds for those who master telling and writing for youngsters and many others. Swedish Astrid Lindgren is one good example of a modern tale-teller.
  3. The educative challenge of story-telling isn't the only one in a life. It's tied in with good and ample "self-monitoring" from deep inside - and that feedback often surfaces in the garb of dreams in the night - or maybe in the form of the "organismic feel" that Dr. Carl Rogers talked about. This means there is a dual challenge in the life of any story-teller too. Astrid Lindgren "listened in" to entertain her inner Child, so to speak. That's why she made it too.

IN NUCE Let the young ones be helped better to deal with dominant life challenges by modernised stories told to them and well enacted too.


Jungians and folktales, Carl Gustav Jung, C. G. Jung psychology, Jungian considerations, studies, reviews, analytic psychology, Jung examinations, Jungian reflections, perusals, Literature  

Cw: Jung, Carl Gustav. Collected Works. New York: Pantheon (Bollingen Series, Vols 1-20), 1957-1979.

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