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Cultural Analysis

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This article debates the merits of fairy tale interpretive frameworks that privilege the psychological and symbolic, versus those that utilize a literal and feminist orientation. Using ATU 510B as a test case, for its intriguing blend of real-world elements and the fantastic, the author suggests that a synthesis of literal and symbolic theories allows for the fullest understanding of the polyvalent meanings of tale, which is particularly problematic due to its depictions of incest. Drawing examples from canonical as well as contemporary versions of ATU 510B, various psychoanalytic and feminist interpretations of the tale type are put to the test, and ultimately combined to reach a more productive framework.


This article was archived with permission from Berkeley.