An Analysis of the Fable, Parable, and Tale Essay

760 Words Apr 27th, 2011 4 Pages
Many parents enjoy reading their children short stories. In these short stories parents’ read their children, besides the instant entertainment, there is an underlying message to educate and perhaps teach a lesson. Some children’s favorite types of short stories are fables, parables, and tales. Many people do not know that these three types of short stories vary greatly in their individual characteristics, the type of story they tell, and their purpose.
The fable, parable, and tale all have differentiating characteristics when compared to each other, but are also similar in some ways. The fable, to start, has little detail about the characters it presents, and they can be just about anything the author decides. The structure of fables
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Parables present stories that have believable realistic situations. As in the story “Independence” by Chuang Tzu (Kennedy 8), interpreted by Herbert Giles, the situation had realistic aspects with the man being offered a high government position and turning it down. Parables also have a mysterious and suggestive tone about them that further allows the reader to understand the story. Lastly are tales. Tales are sometimes thought to be stories that have been handed down from generation to generation. This type of story is very unrealistic and has strange events that take place throughout it. The fable, parable, and tale are different in how they tell their story but work in their own way.
Each the fable, parable, and tale, have a purpose for their stories. First, the fable serves to teach lessons about life. The fable clearly states a message that can be generalized and applied to life. It presents a statement of truth about the message of the short story. There are two good examples. One in W. Somerset Maugham’s “The Appointment in Samarra” (Kennedy 4) with the moral that you cannot escape death, and the other example in Vernon Jones’ “The North Wind and the Sun” (Kennedy 5), that persuasion is better than force. The parable serves a similar purpose of teaching a moral just as the fable does, but it instead, uses realistic situations and does not state the moral clearly, thus is open to several interpretations. The parable

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