The Interpretation of Fairy Tales - Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Marie-Louise von Franz
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Chapter 5 Summary and Analysis

Going further with the "The Three Feathers" analysis, Von Franz next analyzes Dummling's descent through the trap door into the castle cellar to find the toad. This is a descent into a person's "unconscious virginal" nature, an irrational and feminine essence called the anima. Earth has long represented the feminine, such as "Mother Earth" or Gaea. Consequently, Dummling's descent is also a move to reaffirm pagan ideals that were rejected with rigid, male-dominated Christianity.

The toad is also long a symbol of the feminine. For example, witches often were said to brew potions with toad parts. Because the toad excretes a substance from its skin that causes irritation of the skin (and death in small animals), the toad is also thought of as poisonous and dangerous. It is also green, the color of nature. Summing this up, the toad is precisely...

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This section contains 608 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Interpretation of Fairy Tales Study Guide
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