Marcuap, Donna Jane R. May 16, 2011
BSE_English OP # 7
An Analysis of “5 Fables” using Structuralism Approach
The predictable character of the fables, their simplicity and brevity, imposed formal constraints on the writers. However, the same qualities of the genre disallowed any narrative structure other than the manifestation of the relationships between actors in the presented World in terms of structuralism identifying the basic oppositions (binary oppositions), thus making the message of the text easily comprehensible for the readers. The idea of the basic oppositions, manifesting themselves at the surface level of the text in various ways and using structuralism I have here the analysis of 5 fables using structuralism.
structure of the Aesopean type of literary fable largely facilitates our task. It is easily observable that this type of the fable presents certain ideas by means of contrasting opposite, polar concepts. If we assume that the opposites are burdened with certain roles, the number of the roles in question is automatically limited to two.
Fable#1 –The Man, the Boy and the Donkey (AESOPS)
The fable has it’s basic opposition or binary opposition, at the end the man carries the donkey on his back instead of the donkey carry them on it’s back, just because no matter what they do, people keep on finding a fault. The forms of binarism are in human thoughts. Relating to the reality this kind of thing really happens. No one enjoys criticism, in the story of the man and his donkey, the man is such a people-pleaser that he alters his behavior to soothe each critic he encounters on the road. This is one example of an inappropriate response to criticism. “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” And to attempt to do so would be foolish. The modified narrative function, the man, tries to find solution to what others see as a mistake with their act so they have decided to do what the others are trying to suggest, they ride at the back of the donkey, then another criticism so the man gets down and the boy rides then vice versa at the end the man and the boy carries the donkey in a pole and what they’ve done is such a foolish act they don’t even reach the objective(to please everyone to soothe each critic they encounters on the road) and they failed .
Fable#2-The Foolish Lion and the Clever Rabbit (Panchatantra)
In the title itself, shows the opposition between the characters, wherein the
Clever Rabbit defeated the Strong and Mighty Lion. The form of binarism that is present there through human thought is the reality that intelligence wins over might. The structure of the story ;the modified narrative structure is that the rabbit suggest a solution how they are going to get rid of the greedy Lion(objective) ,the steps taken there to meet the objective is when the rabbit introduce to the Greedy Lion another Lion on the well( the Lion’s reflection only),the rabbit fooled the lion ,the clever rabbit succeeds meeting the objective getting rid of the Lion, the lion jumps on the well there the Lion of course died and the rabbit together with the other animals rejoiced and have lived a peaceful life in the jungle. The metonymy there is that the lion symbolizes the confident greedy people, and the rabbit symbolizes a wise man who overcomes a powerful people through intelligence.
Fable#3-The Old Tiger and the Greedy Traveler (Hitopadesha collection of fable)
This fable was ironic, unlike any other stories on which usually a man should be wiser than the animal, and here a tiger uses intelligence over a traveler. The binary opposition is shown; the Traveler becomes the greedy one being tricked by an Old Tiger. The modified narrative structure of the fable: The objective of the Tiger is to get a meal, and the objective of the traveler is to get the gold bangle the Lion has. The steps taken by the tiger is to use the gold bangle as an allure to someone, there he caught and tricked the traveler, while the traveler only thinks of getting the golden bangle and fooled by the word of the Tiger telling him that he doesn’t interest to eat the traveler he was old and not evil. There success to the Tiger and failure to the traveler, who was eaten by the wise old Tiger.
Fable#4-The Girl Who Married a Snake (Panchatantra)
The story was good, when I looked at the title, I was interested, then as I analyze the structure I see the binary opposition, a woman to an animal. It is indeed ironic it shows mythical features of the snake turning into a handsome man after all the faithful wife of her was grateful that his husband being a snake transform to a handsome human being. The father of the girl promised the father of the snake to betrothed his daughter to his son even without seeing what kind is the son of his friend. There the father succeeds to find a bride for his snake son. And the girl married the snake without turning back and at the end they all rejoiced of the broken curse, by burning the snake’s skin while his son was out as a human during evening they were able to break the curse.
Fable#5–Belling the Cat (AESOPS)
There I have analyzed the structure and have seen the theological sequence of narrative functions, first the process of non-actualization, there a mice had suggest a wise plan, and that is to bell the cat, there the mice explains that when they bell the cat they will be able to hear the bell rang every time the cat is around. They will be alarmed by the bell in the cat. That is what the mice have planned and all applauded and agreed. A question was raised, “whom to bell the cat?” Then the plan was ruined and trashed because no one has taken the risk of belling the cat, failure (objective missed). In reality, it’s certainly one matter to propose something, but it is another matter entirely to desire to carry it out yourself. All of the mice were quite willing to agree to the idea of belling the cat, but, presumably, few would risk the dangers of going about and actually putting the plan into action.