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The Fisherman and the Jinnee
Transcript of The Fisherman and the Jinnee
By Cross Carpenter
The hero in this story is a normal, poor fisherman.
One example of archetypes in "The Fisherman and the Jinnee" is the use of the supernatural.
Ex. The Jinnee, the cure for the leprosy
The fisherman does not act in violence but instead uses his mind and his words to avoid his situation.
The importance of compassion, forgiveness, and trust
A poor fisherman is having bad luck on a day of fishing when he finally pulls in something that he thinks is of some value, a bottle made of yellow copper, sealed with lead with the seal of Solomon son of David. He breaks the seal and a jinnee (genie) comes out of the bottle. The genie tells him he will allow him to choose his death and that he will kill him. The fisherman is able to trick the jinnee back into his bottle. The jinnee attempts to get back out but the fisherman tells him two stories.
The Tale of King Yunan and Duban the Doctor
In the fisherman's first story a king is suffering from sever leprosy (a skin eating disease) and none of his physicians can cure him. When Duban the Doctor hears of this king he travels from far away to cure him. He gives the king a polo stick filled with medicine that cured him as he played. He made this doctor his best friend and bestowed on him many riches. One of the king's servants got jealous and said that the doctor was decieving the king. The king believed him and gave the doctor one day to say goodbye to his family before he was killed. The court advisers urged him not to kill the doctor but the king had made up his mind. The doctor says as he is about to be killed "Spare me, and Allah shall spare you. Kill me, and Allah shall kill you. After the one day the doctor brought the king a book with which he laced the pages in venom. The king turned the pages of the book and was killed.
The Tale of King Sinbad and the Falcon
A king went hunting with his prize falcon when they stopped for water. The king filled up a cup for the bird and the horse. The falcon knocked them over, denying the water. Out of anger he slices off the falcons wings. He looks up and sees a snake dripping venom into the water. He realizes what he did and falls into sorrow knowing he killed the bird that saved his life.
After telling these stories the fisherman says to the jinnee, had the king spared the doctor he would not have died, and since you decided not to spare me I will throw you back in the ocean.
Brains over Brawn
The fisherman used his mind to get out of his situation while the ignorant and impulsive jinnee decides to rely on how powerful he is.
The moral is "treat people how you wish to be treated." In this story the Jinnee, King Yunan, and King Sinbad all kill innocent people (or birds) and is then killed or sent into sorrow.
This story shows that in ancient Saudi Arabia (where this story is set in and was written in) being gentle and hardworking was important to them. Also they gave great importance to Islam, as shown by how the fisherman reacted to the Jinnee cursing Allah.
The story "The Fisherman and the Jinnee" is from the book "One Thousand and One Nights" which was compiled by many different authors over many centuries in Saudi Arabia.