The Feminine in Fairy Tales Book Summary

The Feminine in Fairy Tales, a book written by Marie-Louise von Franz, is an exploration of the archetypal feminine characters that appear in fairy tales and folktales from around the world.

Her analysis reveals how these tales represent universal truths about femininity and womanhood.

In this book summary, we’ll examine some of the themes explored in this groundbreaking work.

The Power of Mythology

In her book, von Franz argues that fairy tales are not just stories for children but contain powerful symbolism that speaks to our collective unconscious.

She states that these stories are “collective myths” which use symbolism to show us how to live meaningful lives.

She believes that studying these tales can help us understand women’s roles in society and our own place within it.

The Archetypes of Women

Von Franz explores the various archetypes of women found in fairy tales.

She looks at characters such as the wicked mother-in-law, the cruel stepmother, and even Snow White as representations of different aspects of femininity.

She argues that understanding these archetypes helps us better understand ourselves and our relationships with others.

She also examines how these characters serve as metaphors for human fears and desires, helping us gain insight into our minds and motivations.

The Journey of Self-Discovery

Von Franz also discusses how fairy tales can be used as tools for self-discovery.

She believes that many fairy tale protagonists go on journeys to find themselves or search for something lost.

This journey is often metaphorical for real-life experiences such as growing up or finding love.

By studying these stories, we can learn how to navigate our journeys with courage and wisdom.


In The Feminine in Fairy Tales, Marie-Louise von Franz uses her expertise in Jungian psychology to explore the archetypal feminine characters found in fairy tales and folktales worldwide.

Through her analysis, she reveals how these stories contain timeless truths about femininity and womanhood.

Which can help us better understand ourselves and our place within society.

By delving into this work, readers can gain insight into their motivations while learning valuable lessons about courage and resilience throughout their journeys of self-discovery.

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