Coming of Age in a Fairytale: The Dilemma of "Jack and the Beanstalk" Book Review by Nicky

A discussion of the notion that fairy tales are often extended metaphors for adolescence with a focus on "Jack and the Beanstalk".
# 151225 | 929 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2012 | US
Published on May 30, 2012 in Literature (Children)


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Description:

This paper discusses the elements that suggest that the fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk" mirrors and thus represent a journey through adolescence and how there are many examples of Jack's growth into manhood in the tale. The paper looks at how the story shows a progression of greed, manipulation, and impetuousness and how in the end the tale quite obviously justifies Jack's actions by rewarding him with everlasting wealth, an adoring mother, and a princess for a wife.

From the Paper:

"At the same time, the elements suggesting that "Jack and the Beanstalk" does mirror and thus represent a journey through adolescence are too numerous and obvious to ignore. Leaving the all-too-Freudian example of the imagery of the beanstalk aside, there are many examples of Jack's growth into manhood in the tale. The progression in what he steals from the giant's house provides one instance. The bag of gold is useful, but only in the short term--it is a one off, a fluke. The golden hen provides a consistent and continuous living--Jack has successfully provided for his family. Yet he goes up one more time, and this time fetches down a harp that sings beautifully, showing a desire for beauty and the finer things in life (Cook par. 13). This progression fairly obviously follows a progression of maturity, from the bag of immediate riches to the long-term financial solution to elements of culture and refinement."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cook, Jeff. "Jack's Quest for Maturity." Accessed 24 September 2009. http://www.llp.armstrong.edu/watermarks/9911023rd.html
  • Jacobs, Joseph. "Jack and the Beanstalk." The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, Maria Tatar, ed. New York: Norton, 2002.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Coming of Age in a Fairytale: The Dilemma of "Jack and the Beanstalk" (2012, May 30) Retrieved June 24, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/coming-of-age-in-a-fairytale-the-dilemma-of-jack-and-the-beanstalk-151225/

MLA Format

"Coming of Age in a Fairytale: The Dilemma of "Jack and the Beanstalk"" 30 May 2012. Web. 24 June. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/coming-of-age-in-a-fairytale-the-dilemma-of-jack-and-the-beanstalk-151225/>

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