Discussion 15

2. What do you believe the demon symbolizes in The Story of the Fisherman and the Demon? What allegories do you read in this story?

I think the demon symbolizes everything the fisherman does not want. Which is failing his family dying. The demon explains to the fisherman that because the fisherman has freed him the demon will reward him with death. It was interesting because the demon never gave of a vibe through discussion that he was innately evil or that he was not joking, but this led to the eventual stand of between the demon and the fisherman with the “long-necked brass jar,” threatening to throw it in the sea. What was so different about this demon is that he spoke very intelligible, yet was described as being a hideous monster, with a head which looked like a tomb and so forth. Thus the demon symbolized not only what he didn’t want, but perhaps even as over excitement. That is to say that the fisherman was content with his daily routines and struggling for food life style and when he ran into the demon he was upset that he ever found him and now has to deal with him.

It was interesting how much was mentioned about “god,” yet at the same time there really was not that much meaning behind the god talk. For example, the fist think the demon says is “O Solomon, prophet of God forgive me, forgive me. Never again will I disobey you or defy your command.” This was strange because the very next thing the demon says is I will kill you for freeing me etc. of course there could be a number of metaphorical meanings behind these two characters purpose such as the king going against innocence.

The whole story had an excessive amount of referencing to god, no fish then “god eats the fish” or during their argument “spare me, and God will spare you, destroy me, and god will destroy you.” This was interesting coming from the demon to the fisherman, which I would assume to be a confusing situation. The demon threatens to kill the fisherman, then uses god as an excuse for the fisherman not to kill him, even though the demon did something bad against god resulting in his imprisonment from which the fisherman saved him. Alas, through all of this the demon eventually took back his threat and claimed it was a joke, only after the fisherman had the power of the demons life in his hands. A confusing story, but so many lesson which can be gained from it. The whole Arabian Nights was one of my favorite stories for sure, because it allows for so much deconstruction and life lessons.

3 thoughts on “Discussion 15

  1. vradams

    I would agree with you on all the useful life lessons, compare these stories to more of the modern day “literature”…

  2. kjs93

    I was interested in your discussion of the demon and god. It seems as if he has mixed opinions of god, sometimes he is fearful and other times dismissive. I do not think discussion of god was excessive however given the cultural context.

  3. Mary Filbin

    I like how you took the story out of just being about Shahrayar and Shahradaz and applied it to a wider sense and that of the characters in the story. I can see when you remove it from the era and cultural arena it seems to mention God a lot, but in context of when it was written and the devout nature of the society it is very appropriate. You opened my eyes to wider possibilities than just changing of a King’s heart.

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