Fairytale Analysis: "Aladdin's Lamp" And "Little Red Riding Hood"

1031 words - 4 pages

The manifestations of fairytales reflect significance beyond a simple one-dimensional context and as a natural departure from the source tale, their transcendent nature is evinced by their ability to shift, not replace, the tales values, archetypes and contextual paradigms beyond the intentional. This shifting nature predicates the textual integrity of the tale, allowing it a pertinent and germane makeup, built upon its didactic nature. This significance is especially apparent in the appropriations of ‘Aladdin’s Lamp’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.

Aladdin’s Lamp, 1704, was included in Antoine Galland’s translation of Arabian Nights., however, it has a status as a disputed orphan tale, bearing its origins vaguely from an 1115 manuscript and a tale recited to Galland by a scholar, Youhenna Diab . The tale was designed specifically to appeal to both the aristocratic and the plebeian audiences in France, and it reflects the purposes of Galland; it had none of the erotic passages or the complicated poetry common throughout Arabian Nights but, unpopular in the vogue style of the time. There is also change in religious disposition between the original Arabian Nights and the Aladdin showing anti-Semitic tendencies, “… and the Jew though of what he should offer, for Aladdin seemed clever. He decided that the smallest valuation was the best, and pulled out a single coin…” This demonstrations a distinct shift in the religious paradigm and is indicative of the changing contextual opinion of Jews, for in the late 17th century, Louis XIV expelled Jews from France, and Galland, as Louis’ official antiquary, reflected his position in his stories.

In Galland’s Aladdin, certain transcendent values resound in any context. Racism is a historical and philosophical paradigm that remains relevant but possesses a shifting purpose throughout the text, whether to characterize or demean with stereotype, its relative acceptance at the time it was written contrasts with its reprehensible, but still prevalent, nature in our modern society. However, some are included that are only applicable in its original era. Often mentioned are slavery and the designation ‘slaves’. Aladdin shows no aversion to this nomenclature because this harsh practice was commonplace at the time, a historical paradigm that isn’t particularly relevant to our modern society. The 1992 Disney Appropriation of Aladdin warps the values of the original and provides a very different, but a substantially contemporarily significant text. One of the most contextually relevant changes is the westernization and bastardization of the genie into a moniker for materialism and consumerism through the use of satire, aimed at imitating the social paradigms of our modern society, this is also shown in the opening scene of the movie, where the Jewish character ‘telling’ introduces Agrabah as a mysterious, enchanting place with ‘the finest merchandise this side of the river Jordan, on sale today!’ designed to...

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