Lessons of Life Steve sat at the dinner table eating breakfast with Steves little sister, Jessy, sat across from him. Steve, she said, wheres skipper? Hes gone now I said. Is he up in heaven? I want him back. Me too, Steve said. I miss him a lot, she said. I know, Steve said, so do I. Death is a hard concept for a small child to grasp. Its difficult to explain how someone can be here one day and gone the next. Children sometimes do not fully understand it, but when a loved one such as a parent dies a child can be devastated. Loss is something that everyone has to deal with at some point in his or her life. Fairy tales help children deal with lifes difficulties such as death and separation anxiety by exposing them to it at an early age. Separation from a loved one is a common problem in many fairy tales. Often the heroine is separated from her lover, her parents, or the world that she grew up in. This is the case in the fairy tale Thumbelina. Thumbelina is taken away from her home and wanders the strange outside world for months. Eventually, she meets a mouse who has it arranged so that Thumbelina is to marry a mole and live underground for the rest of her life. Thumbelina is distressed because she knew that after she married the mole, she would never again see the sun and the flowers or hear the birds sing (Eisen, 301-302). In the Fairy tale Rapunzel, Rapunzel experiences separation anxiety twice in her life. First she suffers separation anxiety from the rest of society and then from her lover. Rapunzel is locked up in a tower deep in the forest by a witch and isolated from all human contact. Rapunzel betrays the witch and lets a young prince in the tower. Her second episode of separation anxiety occurs when the witch takes her away form her lover. Upon discovering her secret the witch takes Rapunzel to a bleak desert place whe…
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