Three Little Pigs: Four Interpretations - An Exercise in Paraphrasing
The Walden University Writing Center Staff
This exercise is designed to help you improve your paraphrasing skills. You'll also get practice at writing a compare-and-contrast interpretive paper, which will help you with the process used in KAMs and other course papers.
Three interpretations of the classic tale of the Three Little Pigs appear here, along with a mini-research study about wolves and pigs.
To help you improve your writing skills, you can approach these pages in two ways:
First, read the assigned questions below. Then read through the four short interpretive texts. Next, take some time to write ...view middle of the document...
The image of the she-wolf, the sheep thief, the pig eater, the cousin of the coyote, the snarling timber wolf gracing the jersey of an NBA team--all convey slyness, recklessness, self-fulfillment, and greed.
The Three Little Pigs, the classic story of a worker's revolt against the tyranny of a bullying capitalist wolf, ends with the eating of the tyrant by the third pig. While his two brothers are naive, slothful proletariats, the third brother's actions suggest the best instincts of the workers' vanguard: wise, hard-laboring, serious, and ready for action. The wolf, we can be assured, preys on the weak. His actions are self-motivated; he sees the community as his to exploit, and for a time, we can assume he has had his way. Others cower at the sound of his breath. We know in time he is full of hot air; the cleverness of the third pig shows that wisdom conquers physical power.
Interestingly, the third pig in the end devours the wolf. The reform minded--and naive--would want us to believe that the bad wolf could be cured of his evil ways. But we know better. Those who use evil means to conquer evil become that which they hate. In this case, we assume that the pig will become the next despot, an overeating avaricious showman, showing, in the classic Maoist sense, that revolution is continuous.
History is rife with examples of sad, lonely tyrants unable to come to grips with self, community, and society. Consider how the world would have been spared pain if Genghis Kahn, if Hitler, if Saddam Hussein had only found a competent psychologist willing to help them work through the pain of their childhoods. Biographers have uncovered miserable lives of countless despots through the ages. Usually male, these sad individuals cried out for their inner selves to be uncovered. What motivates the tyrant?
In the Three Little Pigs, we cannot be sure of the wolf's past. Let us, for sake of argument, assume at best he was an outcast among the litter, forced away by his brothers and mother to a miserable, needy existence. Gone from the pack, he sought food in any way he could; unloved, in search of his female archetype (Jung, 1960), he grew up with neither respect for others or himself, nor trust. At worst, he learned from his parents the way of the wolf: bounty hunters, snarling, drooling and selfish, like landed crows, caring not a lick for what he eats: today a sheep, tomorrow a pig. Amidst a pack, still a loner, feeding the hunger of his psyche with the blood of his prey. Each kill leaves him less satisfied, but unable to articulate his inner needs, he continues to kill and maim, seeking comfort in the terror he causes, for no one challenges his weakness; the weakness not of his physical strength, but his inner self.
In time, his bullying feeds upon itself, almost literally. His success with Pig 1 assures himself that he is powerful. Do we know that he is still...