The Monkey Master Is The Victim Essay

710 Words Jan 29th, 2016 3 Pages
The ‘Monkey Master Fable’ follows that an old man named “Ju Gong” enslaved a group of monkeys, forced them to give him a portion of their collections of fruit, and flogged them if they did not submit to his demands. After the monkeys became “enlightened” as a result of youthful influence, they rebelled against the Monkey Master and abandoned him (after destroying his properly and stealing stored fruit), which consequently lead to his death via starvation. It is clear that the Monkey Master is the victim in the case of this fable, but in order to identify why the Monkey Master is the victim, we must define the monkeys as the victimizer. It will be easiest to do this if we first explain why the monkeys are not the victims of the Master, if at all.

Although the Monkey Master ‘taxed’ and punished (if they did not pay their ‘tax’) the monkeys, his behavior is a result of necessity and the previously willful condition of the monkeys, not sheer oppression. Based on the last statement in the fable: “The old man finally died of starvation,” it is clear that the old man was unable to procure fruit on his own-- if he were able to, he wouldn’t have died upon the flight of the monkeys. This presents two issues in claiming that the monkeys were the true victims in this fable. The first is that his inability to procure fruit (due to his ultimate death) indicates his physical inability to actively “victimize” the monkeys. The second claim follows the first—assuming the old man was…

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