The moral of the story?
« on: September 16, 2018, 01:26:35 PM »
Most fairy-tales have a moral of a story. But there is one I can't wrap my head around.

Jack and the beanstalk.

The hero is an idiot, who thinks a cow is worth 5 beans. He lives at home with his mother and its actually her cow. Not only is Jack an imbecile, but he's also a thief. His neighbour is a giant who happens to live in a castle on a cloud. Jack begins by trespassing and then breaks into the giant's home, stealing a bag of gold coins. This isn't enough for Jack. He goes back and the second time, he steals a goose that lays golden eggs. Still not done, Jack goes and breaks in a third time and steals a magic harp that plays by itself.

This harp then goes off like a burglar alarm, and wakes the giant, who understandably chases the thief to get his stuff back. Jack rushes back down his beanstalk and then chops it down whilst the giant is still climbing down it. This murderous acts sees the giant fall and split his head open and die as he hits the ground, leaving the giant's wife a widow with no money, because Jack took it all.

Jack and his mother then live happily ever after.

So questions ...
Why is an idiot murdering thief the hero?
What does the giant do to be the villain and deserve having his stuff nicked, be murdered and leave his wife a poor widow?
Why is Jack not in court, with the giants wife suing for damages? This is clearly a matter for the British courts and British law does not allow such acts to go unpunished.

Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman. - Its right there. This has happened in a leafy shire like a Midsomer murder, and the local fuzz hasn't bothered its arse to find out who is terrorising the giant community. I can verify that we no longer have giants in England, so why were they not protected?

I don't see the purpose of this fairy-tale. Where is the moral of the story? Because at the moment you are telling your kids that if you miss school, burgle people's homes and kill them when confronted, you get to live happily ever after.  ???
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Offline Rama Set

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Re: The moral of the story?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2018, 01:57:14 PM »
Most fairy stories align better with changing life stages, burdgeoning consciousness and rites of passage. Fables are the stories that usually have a moral to them. Jack and the Beanstalk is more like The Labors of Herakles than the Tortoise and the Hare.  Have another think about your analysis with that in mind and maybe read “Power of Myth” or “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” if you want to get deep in to mythological thinking.

 
You don't get races of anything ... accept people.

Re: The moral of the story?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2018, 02:38:14 PM »
So, following that line of thought, a fairy-tale doesn't need to convey a moral message. But still, how does the villain (and I've always pictured Jack as a Scouser), get to become the hero.

I'd also like to point out just how poor this giant becomes after Jack robs him.

Fee-fi-fo-fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead
I'll grind his bones to make my bread

Look at that. He's so poor after Jack took his goose and coins, that he is willing to find the dead corpse of a man, grind up his bones and use that to fill out the flour in his bread. Bones don't rise in the oven. Its like adding sawdust. This giant is up shit street without his life savings and goose income. But does the giant come to Jack's house to steal anything? No. The giant and his wife are good people who have committed no wrong. And yet bad things happen to good people. In this instance, they are terrorised by crime. Its not the story I take issue with. Its the way its told. From Jack's perspective. It should be a tale of tragedy, with the hero dead and his wife left bereft. Meanwhile the evil villain, gets away Scot free without a any repercussions. The villain has a name. The hero is unnamed. That's just wrong. I may have to rewrite this story.  >:(
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Offline Rushy

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Re: The moral of the story?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2018, 03:11:27 PM »
I always figured the purpose of the story was to entertain children...

Re: The moral of the story?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 03:26:41 PM »
Ok, children, are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.

Bert and the Beanstalk of Terror.

Bert was a hardworking giant. He'd toiled for many years, helping villagers erect barns, he'd carried their horses and cows to the vet when they were ill, he jobbed a little at harvest time piling up haystacks and he was very good at picking fruit due to being able to reach into the trees easily. But Bert was getting on a bit now. He'd saved a nest egg of gold coins, and invested some of his savings into a goose that laid golden eggs so as to get a passive income into his retirement years. He had also been given a retirement gift by the villagers of a harp that played by itself to entertain him and his wife Bella, so as they may share romantic evenings in together.

Bert couldn't live in a normal house. Being 11 feet tall, he had profound health problems and needed a custom built home with high ceilings and large doors. Unable to afford any land himself, Bert decided to build a home on a cloud. It was a fine home and Bert was very happy there with his wife. He often joked that every Englishman's home was his castle, and that was their castle in the clouds.

However Bert was woken early by Bella one morning.
"Bert!" she exclaimed. "We've been burgled". As the tears rolled down her cheeks, she explained how all their life savings had been stolen. Every last coin.
Bert was understandably furious. "Call the police", he boomed in his big giant's voice. Bella did just that. After the call she told Bert that the police didn't see this as a serious crime as no one got injured and that she'd been given a victim support helpline number to call. To think of all the tax Bert had paid over the years. He was distraught.

"I just feel so violated" he told his wife. "I can still smell the guy who did it. And I've no idea what to do for dinner. We've got nothing in. Not even enough flour to make a loaf of bread".

"Fee-fi-fo-fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead
I'll grind his bones to make my bread"

"Settle down, dear", said Bella lovingly. We've still got the goose. Once it lays another egg, I'll be able to cash that in and we'll be able to get some food. I hear Cyril managed to buy an entire cow for just 5 beans earlier this week. Not sure the goose will lay today because it is traumatised from the home invader, but it'll likely lay an egg tomorrow and we'll be fine.

That night they both went to bed, kissed each other goodnight as they always did, and went to sleep.

The next morning Bella woke Bert very early. "Its gone. We've been burgled again". She was sobbing uncontrollably. "We are ruined, the goose has been stolen!". Bert was furious. They now had nothing. "Call the police!" he boomed in his big giant's voice. Bella did just that. After the call she told Bert that the police weren't very sympathetic and suggested that they needed to beef up their security. They suggested looking around the property for entry points. Ladders, broken windows or beanstalks.

They did a thorough examination of the property, and sure enough, late into the day Bella noticed a beanstalk running up from the ground all the way to their cloud. "Its getting dark now, cut it down first thing in the morning." Bella suggested.

"I can't sleep said the giant. I can still smell that guy in our house and we've even less to eat today."

"Fee-fi-fo-fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead
I'll grind his bones to make my bread"

"Settle down, dear", said Bella lovingly. We've still got the harp. I'll get it to play to help you feel more relaxed so you can sleep.

That night they both went to bed, kissed each other goodnight as they always did, and went to sleep.

That night however, the harp began playing all by itself. Bella woke Bert "Bert, the harp has started playing. I think we are being burgled again!".
"You're right" explained Bert. "I can smell that soap dodging Englishman in my house again".

"Fee-fi-fo-fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead
I'll grind his bones to make my bread"

"Yes, do that!" exclaimed Bella. "Kill that thieving mother fucker!". Bert lept out of bed and started running towards the beanstalk. He could make out an unwashed thief shinning his way down the beanstalk.
"Be careful!" Bella exclaimed. Bert started to make his way down the beanstalk but not a quarter of the way down, the beanstalk gave way. Bert was sent crashing to the ground. His head split open and Bert was dead.

Bella called the police. "Can't you do something?" she asked. "My husband is dead".
"Well we haven't anything to go on really"said the policeman."
"What about the proceeds of crime act?" asked Bella. "Can't you arrest the man for holding stolen goods and return them to me. I've not only lost my husband but all my worldly goods. I've nothing to live on".
"I'm sorry. We'd need a warrant, and we wouldn't get one as we can only suspect Jack. We haven't any real evidence."

13 days later, Bella's emaciated corpse was found lying in the cloud. Meanwhile Jack was seen about town in a new pair of expensive boots driving an ornate carriage. He and his mother lived happily ever after.  >:(
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 03:34:50 PM by Baby Thork »
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Offline Rama Set

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Re: The moral of the story?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 03:32:13 PM »
I always figured the purpose of the story was to entertain children...

This. But also, there is a psychological and sociological niche filled by these stories.

 Jack and the Beanstalk is simply the classic the Hero’s journey.  A hero is not the same as a good guy, heroes don’t have to be good guys, they have to be a creative and vital life force.  He is driven out of his sphere of knowledge by need. He transcends to a higher level, in Jack and the Beanstalk, quite literally. Jack defeats the tyrant that is hoarding the secret knowledge needed to bring providence to Jack’s home, and returns, with the treasure. This return forever transforms the world he returns to.

All myths jam on this form in some way, but Jack and the Beanstalk is very much the same as the Prometheus Myth. I bet if you google “giant in the clouds myths” you could find several other parallels.

Jack isn’t a good guy, he is a transforming figure. The giant isn’t a villain, he is the stagnancy that prevents creative growth in the psyche of men. It’s no wonder Thork prefers the Giant to Jack. He just expressed how dearly he wants to prevent change in his culture. It is exactly these types of figures that are slain in myths.
You don't get races of anything ... accept people.