Snow White's secret failing.
Rapunzel's unforgivable sin.
Why Bettelheim didn't get it.
The hidden message in
The Wizard of Oz.
What accounts for the enduring charm of fairy tales? Why are generations of children drawn to Snow White, Sleeping
Beauty and Cinderella? The answer is that fairy tales, in addition to being entertaining, perform an important psychological
function. The Witch Must Die demonstrates how fairy tales help children resolve inner struggles between positive and
negative impulses by allowing youngsters to project these struggles onto conflicts between characters in the stories.
Timeless tales such as Cinderella, The Fisherman’s Wife and Hansel and Gretel reveal how fairy tales allow young readers
to confront envy, greed, gluttony and other unwelcome tendencies that children experience in the course of growing up. The
author also illuminates the role played by iconic images like glass slippers, gingerbread houses, and talking mirrors, along
the way exploring why Cinderella’s father is never around when she needs him, why stepmothers are regularly portrayed as
cruel and vindictive, and why the original version of Sleeping Beauty is rarely told.
About the Author
Sheldon Cashdan, Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
He is the author of Abnormal Psychology, Object Relations Therapy, and Emma von N. (a novel)