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Fantasy And Curiosity (Freud)

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Does Fantasy Fulfill Curiosity?


German 219

Perrault's "Bluebeard" addresses the issues of sex, marriage and curiosity. However, in relating to Freud and Bettelheim the issue of curiosity is most relevant because Freud's analysis of fantasizing and Bettelheim's are different, but very important to curiosity as children and as adults. In "Bluebeard", the topic of curiosity leaves the reader with a sense of fear about fulfilling curiosities.

According to Freud, children have many fantasies, and because they are children, they are able to act them out without serious consequences. They can enter the make-believe world when they choose and leave when they choose. They make believe as if they are adults, acting out things they could only do as adults (Freud 144, 46). This may include marriage, having children or having their own house. They are simply playing. However, when children grow up, they can no longer act out their fantasies to explore themselves. According to Freud, they then must stop playing and commit their wishes to fantasizing; repressing the desire to experience a type of happiness that one cannot have again (145). Freud also says that only those who are unsatisfied fantasize (146). If this is assumed, then it can also be assumed that curiosity plays a major part in the role of these fantasies. Children role play as adults because they are curious about what the world is like when you are grown up. Adults fantasize because they know only what their particular world and their particular role in the adult world is. They are curious and perhaps hopeful about other ways of life. Since they cannot, for the most part, find out in reality what other roles hold, they must fantasize. Their fantasies are fueled by the desire to know what might be around the next corner. "Bluebeard" seems to be more of a warning towards adults than to children. Although it can warn children about the dangers of marriage and sex, as well as curiosity, the character in the tale is a grown woman. Although she should be adult enough to control her desires and obey the wishes of her husband, she still gives into the overwhelming curiosity. "Bluebeard" does show Freud's theory. The woman is still fantasizing and cannot resist the temptation. She is giving into a desire that has been inherent since childhood.

Bettelheim, on the other hand, believes that fairy tales need to enrich children and children must be able to relate to the tales. They need to be capable of "suggesting solutions to the problems which perturb him" (Tatar 270). The tale should give the child reassurance as well as validate his concerns and worries. Children can find comfort in the tales because they can reassure their fears and make them feel more prepared for what is coming to them in their adult future (Tartar 269-71). Bettelheim also talks about the unconscious of children. If the unconscious is not allowed to dictate choices in one's life, then one's personality will suffer. This can be slightly related to the fact that one's curiosity must be fulfilled. In the sense that the unconscious



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