“So the witch won't eat me”: Fantasy and the child's fear of infanticide

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(9), 718–719. Reviews the book, “So the witch won't eat me”: Fantasy and the child's fear of infanticide by Dorothy Bloch (see record 1980-51431-000). The witch in the title of this book is one of those fantasy creations of childhood, a representative of the savage monsters that pursue children with the intent to devour them and tear them to pieces. The idea is that as long as the child is pursued by witches, the child experiences himself or herself as worthless and bad, and thereby preserves the image of the parent as noble and good. The author's zealous pursuit of her infanticide thesis yields a peculiarly narrow vision of human development, a one-sided theory of destructive aggression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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