Critical Essay Tale of the Porter and the Young Girls

1 January 2017

The following is a critical insight of a passage from; “the tale of the porter and the young girls” from the Thousand and one nights. Presently the Caliph looked on the three Kalandars and, seeing them, each and every blind of the left eye, wondered at the sight. Then he gazed upon the girls, and he was startled and he marveled with exceeding marvel at their beauty and loveliness. They continued to carouse and to converse, and said to the Caliph, “Drink! ” But he replied, “I am vowed to pilgrimage,” and drew back from the wine.

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Thereupon the portress rose and, spreading before him a tablecloth worked with gold, set thereon a porcelain bowl into which she poured willow-flower water with a lump of snow and a spoonful of sugar candy. The Caliph thanked her and said in himself, “By Allah, I will recompense her tomorrow for the kind deed she hath done. ” The others again addressed themselves to conversing and carousing, and when the wine gat the better of them, the eldest lady, who ruled the house, rose and, making obeisance to them, took the cateress by the hand and said, “Rise, O my sister, and let us do what is our devoir. ” Both answered “Even so

The passage unfolds by telling us about the present, “presently….. ” what rings in the mind of the reader is, there must have been events preceding to this and this would only be told in a form of flashback. We also note that such stylistic devices must majorly have been put to play. The reader will therefore switch in to a rhetoric mood and would ask himself questions like; what is the history behind the ‘present’ or maybe would want to know what happened right before Caliph looked at the three Kalandars. Another thing that amazes me is the way Caliph gets carried away by the sight of the three Kalandars.

It simply shows us how humans are simply driven more by what they see than what the reality is. It can also be stereotyped that eyes are so deceptive and we tend to only look at the face value of an item instead of giving it intense scrutiny. It is also evident that as Caliph’s eyes wonder in excitement his concentration and focus seems to be lost since most of the time what we see that seems so attractive tends to control our minds. He wondered at the sight and when he looks at the girls he goes agape. Meanwhile, time is not paused and duty remains struggling behind schedule.

As we read down the passage, we identify a repetition which peps up the piece by the musicality it brings forth. ‘….. marveled with exceeding marvel at their beauty and loveliness’. This repetition creates emphasis to the piece besides creating a rhythmic tone that takes the reader to the scene even though they cannot see it with their eyes. The pictures stick in the subconscious mind and create a revving thirst for the reader to want to read more. Like most pieces of literature both electronic and print, the dominant themes are conflict and love.

The writer has gives the theme of love dominance and this shows that he understands his target audience pretty well. A big percentage would love to watch, hear and make love regardless of the consequences that come along. The statement, ‘Then he gazed upon the girls, and he was startled and he marveled with exceeding marvel at their beauty and loveliness’ has a deeper connotation than if looked at plainly. Initially Caliph is startled by the passing glance of beauty then looks back at the girls and marvels at their loveliness’.

This clearly indicates that he kept staring at them and one wouldn’t be wrong if they termed Caliph as lustful. As he looked at the three girls, it becomes obvious that he was comparing then and most definitely would want to see himself in bed with either of them. The piece is flavored by bit of conversation, this is vital since it makes the characters active and alive by giving them speech. ‘….. Drink! ” But he replied, “I am vowed to pilgrimage,” The quote clearly shows us the character trait of drunkenness at the scene.

People spend time in the confines of their drinking joints however, we also note from the same dialogue that Caliph is so principled and keeps his doctrines, he says, “I am vowed to pilgrimage,” This isolates him and gives him a sense of belonging and identity and staunch religion “ Thereupon the porters rose and, spreading before him a tablecloth worked with gold, set thereon a porcelain bowl into which she poured willow-flower water with a lump of snow and a spoonful of sugar candy” Another stylistic device, description is birthed. The writer explains the scene where the events unfold.

He puts his reader upfront with the intense description of the drinking place and basically the kind of life surrounding the main character. The Caliph after refusing the drink, he is served with his preference and he reciprocates by saying ‘thank you’ this shows that he is appreciative and acknowledges others efforts and sacrifice. “By Allah, I will recompense her tomorrow for the kind deed she hath done. ” This quote clearly reveals a stylistic device, soliloquy which is sometimes known as thinking aloud. This helps us to understand what the character is thinking about the other that he doesn’t want the other to get wind of.

We either get the negative of positive impression about characters and this builds character traits as characters relate to each other in the play. In the same quote we can also see that the language used is so ancient for example ‘hath done’. The use of such language in one way or the other isolates readership since not so many people are acquainted with it. As the wine got the best of them, they engaged in love making and seemingly could not control themselves or redirect their thoughts or actions. They gave themselves to the liquor. This clearly tells us of the consequences of drinking to a stupor.

All those who drink silly will always have a common language and will tend to see all women as pretty as the three Caliph marveled at. In conclusion, “The tale of the porter and the young girls” from the Million and one nights, is one of the most fascinating works. The writer virtually employs an influx of language styles and themes with each sequentially succeeding the other in an amazing way. He also deprives readers by his tactful employment of suspense giving it such a unique torch. And in just one passage one gets a complete package.

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