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Reply To: A Child’s Edenic Dream: “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”


What a deep dive, Marianne! Even though the YouTube video is no longer available, your detailed description makes up for that. What’s more, I was completely clueless about the origins of The Nutcracker Suite in a 1918 short story by E.T.A. Hoffman!

So many wonderful references in your piece. I especially appreciate the following:

Clara’s dolls that come to life are, like the doll in the story of “Vasilisa the Beautiful” (von Franz, 1995, pp. 192-96), symbolic of a young girl’s inner self, inner knowing, inner strength. Clara’s dolls assembled upon the shelf resemble her own life upon a shelf.”

Vasilisa in all her incarnations is one of my favorite figures from Russian fairy tales. The doll motif especially speaks to me; I taught junior high for years, and regularly introduced 7th grade students to Willim Gibson’s play, “The Miracle Worker,” where Helen Keller’s doll plays a similar role.

Thank you for sharing!