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The Tale of The Ox and the Donkey in Modern Society

Writers have used tales to convey a particular message to the audience. Tales are stories where one is creative, and they can either be factual or fictional. For instance, One Thousand and One Nights was compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age and focuses on what people experience in society. Different tales have various lessons from their multiple setting and are narratives with a beginning and an end. There are expectations of how people should behave in modern society, and most of these societal prospects are depicted in stories. The myths can focus on economic, social, and cultural lessons. In the tale, The Ox and the Donkey have many lessons, as shown in modern society. The two domestic animals in the story are used to show how individuals live in the community. The story also shows the differences between the traditional and the modern ways of living. Thus, one can analyze the narrative of The Ox and the Donkey to show how it relates to various aspects experienced in the contemporary world.

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In this paper, the chosen thesis is ‘How do the tale of; The Ox and the Donkey in One Thousand and One Nights apply to modern society?’ since several lessons are learned from the story. The story is also fascinating and can attract many readers as it is educative and humorous. For instance, the power of the division of labor in modern society can be discussed using the tale. There is a farmer, an ox, and a donkey in the story, and the ox is used to plow the farmer’s farm while the donkey used to carry products from the market and carry the farmer too. Division of labor at home, workplaces, in the political fields in society today has led to making work more accessible. For instance, in places such as home, division of labor is shown when the tasks, such as house chores, are divided. The farmer ensured that every animal had responsibilities to make work easier via sharing tasks and prevent one from suffering more.

Division of labor has led to the development of people working in the areas they are specialized in. For instance, the ox is best at working on the farm since tasks such as carrying goods from the market would be difficult for him. In this case, in today’s politics, different leaders are elected depending on their capability and how best they can serve. In the story, the ox is not given the task of carrying goods and going to the market since his area specialization is in the farm. Moreover, everybody deserves good health to work effectively. Thus, division of labor has helped people to support those who are not feeling well as they recover. In the story, when the donkey asked the ox to pretend he was sick, the farmer had to continue preparing his farm, and so he took the donkey with him. This can also be used to educate people on the need to work hard despite facing the challenges in the community. For instance, many people have experienced financial difficulties, preventing them from engaging in various activities. Nonetheless, focusing on ways to overcome these issues can help humans to design various plans to limit the monetary challenges.

The consequences of offering advice and gossip are shown in the story. People gossip and tend to offer miscalculated solutions without looking at possible consequences that one may encounter. For example, when the ox complained of having a bad day, the donkey would tell him that he also worked hard. After many complaints, the donkey thought, “the ox is lazy, and he does not like to work” (Van Leeuwen 34). The donkey got used to the ox’s stories until one day he decided to offer his friend a piece of advice. The donkey did not know that he had miscalculated his advice and that the consequences would fall on him. The following day he was whipped and worked tirelessly on the farm. He was too exhausted while his friend ox stayed resting, eating, and drinking the whole day.

The story has the lesson of helping one another in the community. It is good to observe if people’s friends’ burden will affect others. In today’s society, some people offer advice without minding the impacts it may cause. People should mind themselves too before offering advice that may affect them unless it is too critical and worth the sacrifice. Individuals should always investigate if any information or complaint is accurate before thinking of possible solutions. The people in higher ranks also should try to treat their workers well and equally to curb such protests.

The issue of hard work has also been encouraged in modern society since it helps individuals develop the community. Moreover, humans have to work hard in many ways to survive. In the tale, the farmer works tirelessly to gain food and ensure that he lives a good life. He was meticulous, and he wanted to have the best product for the market. Additionally, despite the ox faking his sickness, the farmer did not stop working. He made sure that the work continued by taking the donkey to the farm to work on behalf of the ox. He worked the whole day on his farm. The ox complained of pulling the heavy plow the entire day without a break.

The story has also portrayed the power of true friendship in society today. Friends help each other in times of need; in the story, the companionship is between the ox and the donkey. Every time the ox wanted to talk to someone, he would talk to the donkey. Complaints are part of what ox used to speak to donkey about. In the story, they portray a strong bond they had despite them being of different species. When the ox needed help from the donkey, he offered advice as part of the help. The donkey’s solution led to him suffering since he worked on the farm on behalf of the ox.

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Friendships in modern society have various benefits for individuals, such as improving mental health and physical strength. Doctors have shown that friendship promotes brain health and development. Friends should be there for their partners during the good and the bad times, as portrayed in the tale whereby the ox and the donkey are good friends despite the hardships they are facing. For example, the ox tells the donkey, “you have done me favor beyond description for I have been sitting in comfort. God bless you for my sake” (Nayebpour 89). Furthermore relationships also reduce loneliness in people’s lives. In the case of the ox and the donkey, their friendship has reduced loneliness since they were two, and they could communicate and share how their day was every day. Relationship also led to the promotion of the exchange of ideas between the ox and the donkey. For instance, the ox tells the donkey “may you stay safe from harm watchful one” (Nayebpour 86). Through companionship, the ox could get a solution for him to have a rest day. After the donkey shared the notion, he agreed that it was a good idea, and they tried it out.

The story has shown how different animals have different functions in people’s lives. In the tale, the donkey and the ox are the animals discussed and their different responsibilities. Sometimes the donkey used to carry the farmer while he was either going to the farm or the market, and the ox was used to pull the plow on the farm. Whenever the farmer wanted to prepare his farm, he used the ox for that. The story has an extraordinary significance to modern society. In today’s community, people keep animals for various reasons depending on the help they offer. Thus, the story can also reveal that people benefit from animals in many ways, and humans should value animals.

In society today, there are social class indifferences, whereby there are the rich and the poor. In the tale The Thousand and One Nights, the king tells his daughter about the story of the farmer and the two domestic animals (Van Leeuwen 55). The king identifies the high-class persons, and the farmer signifies the low class in society today. All royal families are wealthy, and their level is incomparable to those of the farmers. Social class divisions have also involved the politicians who work in the government, whereby they belong to the high class while the local farmer is viewed as the low class. Various social classes interact with each other differently; for instance; the king’s daughter wanted to be married by people they share the same social type: high class.

In modern society, the high-class persons have adopted the new ways of functioning, and in case they require work to be done, they ask their employees or hire people to work for them. In the story, the farmer used an old ox to prepare his farm; this indicates poverty. He also used his donkey to transport his goods to and from the market, a signification of class indifferences. In the modern community, people have adopted technological ways to do their economic activities, such as tractors to farm. The story shows that the status quo impacts society and people are from different socioeconomic statuses.

The story also shows how people treat persons who work for them. For instance, the ox and the donkey work for the farmer, and they complained about how they were being treated. The ox complained that he is being overworked and not given time to eat. The ox also complains that the work is much and his colleague is treated better (Van Leeuwen 89). The ox says to the donkey “watchful one, I hope you are enjoying the comfort and the service you are getting” (Nayebpour 87). The donkey also thinks that he is overworked until the day he is offered to work on behalf of the ox.

In today’s society, different leaders have diverse ways that they treat their workers, and the laborers have diverse views about their managers. In the story, the ox and the donkey complain about their boss, which has been experienced in many organizations. The farmer does not offer equity according to the animals, and they had a different view on how they were treated. The ox states “your ground is swept and watered and they serve you” (Nayebpour 89) People should treat their employees well to ensure the efficiency of work. The people should have mercy on those in need; for instance, the farmer would give the ox time to eat to work more resourcefully without the excuse of him faking sickness.

In conclusion, different stories have multiple lessons in people’s lives as portrayed in societies today. Authors ensure that people can learn numerous issues that are experienced in the community. For instance, many people have argued that there are different changes in modern society, such as technology, which was not experienced in the past. Therefore, such issues can be addressed using tales. One Thousand and One Nights is one of the stories that have focused on the importance of friendship in the community. Many people in the modern world have faced challenges that require assistance from other persons. Consequently, One Thousand and One Nights shows that the experiences of the ox and the donkey are what many people encounter in the modern world. The main lesson portrayed in the story to modern society is that people who desire to help should consider the effect of the solutions that may occur to them. The story of The Ox and the Donkey has many similarities with the state of modern society. For instance, the power of friendship, the status quo and how to improve it, equity in treating workers are depicted in the narrative. Thus, readers can learn various aspects in the narrative One Thousand and One Nights.

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Works Cited

Nayebpour, Karam. “Narrativity in The Thousand and One Nights.” Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 2017, pp. 85-90.

Van Leeuwen, Richard. The Thousand and One Nights and twentieth-century fiction: Intertextual Readings. Brill, 2018.

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