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Fingerling as a Female Narrative: An Examination of Female Psychological Mechanisms at the Core of the 'Fingerling' Tales / המעשייה כנרטיב נשי — מקרה בוחן: בחינת המנגנונים הפסיכולוגיים הנשיים העומדים בבסיס המעשייה 'אצבעוני'

רוית ראופמן and Ravit Raufman
Dappim: Research in Literature / דפים למחקר בספרות
כרך‎ 17/16 (תשס"ח-תשס"ט), pp. 401-422
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23417843
Page Count: 22
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Fingerling as a Female Narrative: An Examination of Female Psychological Mechanisms at the Core of the 'Fingerling' Tales / המעשייה כנרטיב נשי — מקרה בוחן: בחינת המנגנונים הפסיכולוגיים הנשיים העומדים בבסיס המעשייה 'אצבעוני'
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Abstract

Tale Type AT 700, named 'Fingerling', is presented as a narrative based on female psychological mechanisms. The underdeveloped character, who never leaves home or separates from his parents, is presented as an expression of maternal-symbiotic needs, motivated by the desire to preserve the mother's symbiotic relationship with the infant. The immaturity typical of this character may be understood as the experience of maternal immaturity, projected through the child. This idea is supported by evidence from three sources: (1) different versions of this tale type from different cultural regions; (2) the hero pattern model; (3) female dream narratives about pregnancies and women giving birth to tiny babies, which symbolize maternal immaturity and the absence of a father. The possibility of seeing the fairytale as a feminine genre is presented not through the protagonist but by reference to the female viewpoint at the root of the narrative. This viewpoint may be revealed through a comparative rereading of fairytales and female dream narratives. Such a comparison shows that the tales about Fingerling can be interpreted as the story of the dependent, immature mother.

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