Cruzat, Charmaine S. May 16, 2011
BSE_English OP # 7
An Analysis of 5 Fables
Using Structuralism Approach
A binary opposition is a pair of opposites, thought by the Structuralists to powerfully form and organize human thought and culture. Some are commonsense, such as raw vs cooked; however, much such opposition imply or are used in such a way that privileges one of the terms of the opposition, creating a hierarchy. There is also the thematic structure which includes the theme and the moral lesson in the fable. And lastly, the modified narrative function, is it success or failure?
Fable No.1 The Mongoose and the Brahmin’s Wife (Panchatantra)
I think the binary opposition deceit here is within the Brahmin’s wife considered to be the evil, and the Mongoose is the good character. In the brief interpretation of the fable, a Mongoose is a pet who has a good heart that help to protect the child of the Brahmin. But, eventually something had happened; the snake (cobra) wants to bite the child. In the midst of the fable, the objective of the Mongoose was to save the child so they had the combat, mongoose succeeded in killing the snake. After that, the Brahmin’s wife arrived , she had a misinterpretation of what had happened because she saw a blood stained from the mouth of the Mongoose. Without a second thought, she killed the Mongoose not knowing that her child was in good condition. The lesson, “don’t act in haste, think and act.” The problem was solved between the snake and the mongoose but too much promptness of the Brahmin’s wife leads to death of the Mongoose.
Fable #2 the Little Mice and The Big Elephant (Panchatantra)
The title itself indicates that there is a binary opposition lies here. We all know that big elephants are stronger than little mice. Big means large while little is small. Precisely there are merely differences between the two. “A Friend in need is a friend indeed”, in fact the principal subject are the mice and elephant. Considerably, the big elephant must protect the mice when suffering from chaos, metaphorically speaking, vice versa happened. The little mice help and save the group of big elephant trapped in huge strong nets. The ethical message seeks us that, “sometimes a weak looking person may prove stronger than others”. Simply, we cannot judge other people in their small image because there is that saying small is terrible. The fable reach the objective.
Fable #3 The Brahmin’s Dream (Panchatantra)
I suppose the binary opposition used here is the Brahmin by the name of Swabhavakripna and his dream. It is within himself (appearance) and imagination (will not happen). The thematic structure was consider that the Brahmin was all alone and had no friends and relatives. He was known for his miserliness and used to beg for his living. The Brahmin was such an imaginative person; his objective was to have a better life. When he was sleeping he dreamt that the pot of him is overflowing with rice gruel. But he didn’t reach his objective because when he woke up he found that he was dreaming the whole situation. All his dreams got shattered at once. The moral lesson,”one should not build castle in the air”. Don’t dream too high.
Fable #4The Bird with Two Heads (Panchatantra)
Another interesting story from Panchatantra. The title reflexes the binary composition. How come that the bird have two heads? How about sharing a common stomach? Typically pertains that this fable is such different. In the first place, the first head was selfish because when he found a fruit and taste it he didn’t share to other head because he believes that they have one stomach. It pinches too much to the other head, so when he found a fruit he eats not knowing that it was poisonous. The consequence of this action, both of them lost their lives. The process of actualization didn’t reach the objective because the other head let cruelty take over. The lesson resorts that sharing good things with others is always good. And always remember that if you give don’t count the cost of it.
Fable #5-The Fox and the Crow (Aesop)
This fable from Aesop shows binary opposition, fooling someone and being fooled. In this story the Fox fooled the Crow by fluttering the crow with his words , the fox tell the crow he has very beautiful voice and ask it to sing , so that the cheese on its mouth will probably fell. The fox and the Crow like other fables, I have read has it’s funny stories. The structure of this fable is there, thematic structure shows the position of characters being fooled and the one fooling around.