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A Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Rapunzel

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 1098 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
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A Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Rapunzel  


   The familiar story of Rapunzel, as told by the brothers Jacob Ludwig Carl and Wilhelm Carl Grimm, takes on new meaning with a psychoanalytic interpretation. It is a complex tale about desire, achievement, and loss. The trio of husband, wife, and witch function as the ego, id, and superego respectively to govern behavior regarding a beautiful object of desire, especially when a prince discovers this object.

The story begins in a rural house where a man and woman live without children, near a walled garden tended by a frightening witch. The first line of the story tells us that they yearn for a child. It is clear that there exists in this house an almost tangible feeling of desire to produce offspring. The Freudian concept of the libido or the life force explains this desire as a product of the unconscious id(Guerin 129). To show further the prevalence of the id in this house, which in itself is a symbol of the human mind, the wife covets a vegetable, rampion, which she sees in the neighboring garden from her tiny window to t...


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...presents laws and rules. They produce a child who becomes a commodity, and the rest of the story tells of the struggle between superego and id to settle the ownership of this prize.

Works Cited

Grimm, Jacob Ludwig Carl and Wilhelm Carl. "Rapunzel." Stories. Ed. Eric S. Rabkin. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1995. 514-517.

Guerin, Wilfred L., Earle Labor, Lee Morgan, Jeanne C. Reesman, and John R. Willingham. A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 125-156.

 

 

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