The therapeutic value of fantasy

Elbert Elkanah Maynard, Fayetteville State University


The Therapeutic Value of Fantasy explores author and reader identification with fantastic characters and discusses how this identification acts as therapy. Part I surveys the background of bibliotherapy in addition to speculative fiction's difficulty in obtaining literary merit. The connection between dreaming, fairy tales and fantasy as they relate to the unconscious are examined. Part II focuses on the author as artist and examines how the author reaps the benefits of bibliotherapy through the act of creation Franz Kafka's biography and work The Metamorphosis are reviewed in light of the fantasist's need for escape. Part III investigates the similarities between the physical appearance of the stereotypical fantasy reader and several popular fictional characters. The shared traits of the most iconic speculative fiction characters are not mere coincidence, but rather a part of a formula to create characters that attract readers in need of therapeutic release.

Subject Area

Modern literature|Counseling Psychology

Recommended Citation

Maynard, Elbert Elkanah, "The therapeutic value of fantasy" (2010). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI1498900.