Monday, October 15, 2012

The Fickle Fury in the Face of Fascination

Whew... took me about 5 minutes to come up with that one.

Anyway, as I was reading the Thousand and One Nights, or even the supplemental footnotes provided before, which talked about the plot line of the frame story, I noticed something between the characters of Shahrayar, the serial murderer of the women he marries as a king,  and Shahrazad, the daughter of Shahrayar's vizier, that may be reflective of the human condition, namely in how anger can be quelled with curiosity. Notice how, the king refrains from continuing his bloody wrath upon her because she intentionally tells stories but continually leaves cliffhangers to paralyze any incentive to kill her due to the fact that he wishes to hear the end of the story. Ultimately his curiosity prevents him from continuing his furious habit of murder, something which is plainly obvious to all of you, however, giving it some more thought, I can recall on many occasions when my mother, grandmother and great grandmother managed to quell my screams of anger as a child by either telling me a story and capturing my curiosity, or giving me something to occupy myself with, something which I found fascinating enough to stop crying and become peaceful. Maybe we could even expand this further to how preoccupation in general can quell anger or displeasure. An infant will more likely than not refrain from crying if given a pacifier, and these days, someone like me might not grow mad from boredom if I had something interesting to do. I see a similar situation in the prologue, where the king is kept preoccupied,  and as a result, his notions for and of violence and malcontent with women seemingly disappears.

I guess people never do change after all. At least not in this respect.

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