In terms of the psychoanalysis here, which is heavily based on Freud’s work, it sounds like a lot of rubbish to me. And if you know Bettelheim’s work from his work on autism, you’re not entirely safe from that here — he only mentions it once or twice, but it’s still jarringly wrong. Still, some of his analyses of the texts on a literary level do make sense, and his suggestions of how some people might apply their own lives in understanding and interpreting them are fascinating. As a literary work, The Uses of Enchantment is a bit of a classic, and if you’re a first year English Lit student wondering why Red Riding Hood’s signature colour signifies her coming to sexual maturity, well, it’s got you covered.
Reading it now, eh. I can appreciate some of the stories he tells about the way people relate to stories, even if the psychoanalysis behind it is laughable at times. (Warning: I was raised by a psychiatrist. I haven’t read Freud for myself, just absorbed a healthy disdain through my mother and what I encountered as a lit student.) Some of his comments on why fairytales endure while modern morality stories don’t work, too. But overall… shrug?