Looking back on all of the blog entries and assignments for this FYS course, I learned a lot. I learned that fairytales are not just “fun and games” and bedtime stories told to young children. They have a deeper meaning and a deeper connection to life. Sometimes fairytales include the coming-of-age of a woman, the menstrual cycle, oedipal conflicts, rape, and rags to riches, magic, sorcery, and more. There is a meaning to all fairytales. I have learned that Walt Disney altered and changed a lot of the fairy tales made by the Grimm brothers. This was because Walt Disney wanted the fairy tales to be more appealing and children friendly.
When having to complete the oral presentation of The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim “The Jealous Queen in ‘Snow White’ and the Myth of Oedipus,” I learned about a curse cast on a haughty father in relation to the evil stepmother in Snow White. “Snow White’s story teaches that just because one has reached physical maturity, one is by no means intellectually and emotionally ready for adulthood, as represented by marriage. Growth and time are needed before the mature personality is formed and the old conflicts are incorporated. Only then are they ready for a partner of the other sex, and the intimate relation with them needed for the achievement of mature adulthood.” Those parents who (like the queen) act out parental oedipal jealousies nearly destroy their child and certainly destroy themselves. In the end, the vain, jealous, and destructive queen is forced to put on red-hot shoes and then dance until she dies. Untrammeled sexual jealousy, which tries to ruin others, destroys itself (as symbolized not only by the fiery red shoes but by death from dancing in them). Symbolically, the story tells that uncontrolled passion must be restrained or it will become one’s undoing. Only the death of the jealous queen (the elimination of all outer and inner turbulence) can make for a happy world and rid oedipal jealousies of child and mother.
This class was very interesting to be in and I enjoyed it. We have grown as a class and we are all now friends inside and outside of the classroom.