Jack the Giant Killer is a British fairy tale in which a young man uses clever tricks to outwit terrible giants and rid the country of the threat they pose. The tale is set during King Arthur's reign. The witty Jack encounters terrible giants, each one more threatening and dangerous than the others. They devour cattle, emprison women, and maintain the country in a state of fear and confusion; but, armed only with his brain and a few magical objects he gathered, Jack will gain the advantage and slay the monsters. This is a classic tale, of which child psychologist Bruno Bettleheim observed that it could play a crucial role in child development: the giants can represent the towering adults, and Jack's legend may give the child a way of retaliating in fantasy against their threatening dominance in reality.