Carl Jung and Bruno Bettelheim popularized the application of fairytales to psychology and personality traits. In The Uses of Enchantment, Bettelheim uses Freudian psychology to describe the existential quandaries children are working through based on their favorite fairytales. Children reading “Cinderella,” for example, are working through the Oedipus complex and sibling rivalry. In “Snow White,” children are beginning to notice how they cause parental turmoil and are starting to separate themselves from the parental unit. According to Bettelheim, phallic symbols pervade fairytales, such as the beanstalk in “Jack and the Beanstalk.” It’s since been revealed that Bettelheim abused the children placed under his care and plagiarized much of his work from psychiatrist Julius Heuscher. Despite this, his work remains popular and has influenced both fairytale scholarship and therapy practices.
Carl Jung’s research into archetypal images in myth and fairytales and how they relate to dreams and the subconscious sprouted a field of psychoanalysis and folklore scholarship perhaps best exemplified in Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales by Jungian psychologist and Carl Jung student Marie-Louise von Franz. In Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales, Franz explores the lessons about human behavior and thinking tucked away in fairytales, and how important it is to acknowledge these stories as being part of a person’s core being.
Today, fairytales have successfully been used in therapy sessions, from couples therapy to children’s therapy to narrative therapy. (If you want to read a fictionalized account of how fairytales are used in therapy, check out this beautiful Charles Yu short story published in The New Yorker: “Fable.”) And beyond the scholarly implications of using fairy tales as personality indicators, their universality and familiarity make them both an easy and fun way for anyone to assess their and other people’s personalities.
Whether you prefer dark and twisted fairytales or their Disney counterparts, this quiz will assign you a fairytale and tell you a little bit about your greatest strengths and weaknesses in the process.
Take The Fairytale Quiz Now And Discover Your Fairytale
And if you’re looking for more fairytale content, check out these posts:
- Take either of these quizzes to discover your next fairytale read.
- Learn why the same fairytales are told again and again.
- Read how “Cinderella” helped this writer’s mental health.
- Check out these under-the-radar fairytale reads.
- Discover the difference between a myth, fairytale, and legend.
- And how fairytales can disrupt the status quo.