Abstract

This essay explores how the childred’s book Little Bear, written by Else Homelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, depicts the emotional and cognitive experience of developing a sense of self. In its portrayal of an idealized mother-child interaction the book illustrates the growth of the capacity for mentalization, mediated through fantasy, in the context of a secure attachment. Necessary in childhood for the consolidation of a coherent identity, this process is similar to the situation in psychoanalysis, where the transference offers a transitional space between psychic reality and “real life” and where the safety of the relationship is a playground for practicing a new skill.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1085-7931
Print ISSN
0065-860X
Pages
pp. 173-182
Launched on MUSE
2014-06-23
Open Access
No
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