I have an English semester assignment with the question: "identify a short story and discuss the use of myth and legend in constructing identity, the story must include elements of revision."
I came across the awesome "Calendar of tales" project and specifically the October Tale involving the Djinn. So far I have an introduction and was wondering if I could get feedback or suggestions for improvements/ expansions. This is what I have so far:
"In the short story “October Tale” by Neil Gaiman, the classic depiction of Djinns is revised and used to create a picture of human identity and nature. The role of these creatures has always been shown as that of granting the wishes of humans and then being put back into a bottle/ lamp/ jar etc for another few thousand years in order to await a new master to briefly serve. In this story, Gaiman delves deeper into the understanding of these legendary beings and explores the reasons for their actions and interactions with humans. This story can be shown to portray how djinns, who are typically regarded as malevolent beings in Arabian mythology (from whence they originate), are actually mere reflections of the actions and intentions of the humans with whom they interact."
Thoughts?? Thanks in advance
I think you are on the right track with this. You probably submitted the assignment long ago, but I wanted to say that I love your point of view on this. There are many ways of looking at the interpretation.
When I posted the prompt for Mr. Gaiman, I wanted to see how he would get at the heart of how to defeat a djinn. In every tale, it is a human's greed that ultimately defeats them. The unintended consequences of every desire ultimately lead to unhappiness. He did a great job showing the only way to defeat a djinn is to be happy with your life. To embrace the simple miracles of everyday existence and find the joy of someone else to embrace them with you. The djinn ceases to be malevolent, because he reflects the lack of greed and the love within Hazel.
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