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The tale of the hunchback is a story whose literal meaning is so amusing and leaves audience astonished. The sequence of events in the story are well arranged and clearly told by the storyteller in a manner that is captivating to the audience. The story flows from one event leading to another with properly connected plots. This essay brings out an understanding of the relationship between the outer and the inner meaning of the story.
Literal/Outer Meaning of the Story
The outer meaning which is the literal level of the story is told of a tailor who had gone out with his wife for pleasure and amusement. Then one day while returning home they met the hunchback who was so funny and preferred take him for further entertainment in their house courtesy of his comical behavior. The husband bought foodstuff for dinner including a fish so that they could eat together with their guest. The story details that the wife loved making fun and thus decided to put a lamp of fish on the mouth of hunchback with instructions that he had to swallow it all at once. She was oblivious of the fact that the fish had a bone in it which ended up chocking the guest to death. After the incident they agreed to get rid of the body so that they could not be blamed and as such carried it to the Jewish doctor by pretence of carrying a child suffering from smallpox. They cunningly managed to leave the body on the staircase of the doctor and they left. The doctor did not see the dead body and as such knocked it down rolling on the stairs and as such believed that he had committed murder. Just like the previous couple he decided to get rid of the body at a house of a steward to avoid being blamed of the killing. When the steward came back to his house he discovered the hunchback and without hesitation hit it with a mallet on the belief that he had been stealing his kitchen property. The steward then realized that he had killed and hurriedly decided to get rid of the body near the market-place to avoid victimization just before daybreak. Then came a Christian who had been robbed earlier and on noticing the hunchback leaning on the wall he attacked it while crying for help from watchmen and the public. When they gathered they found that the Christian had murdered and reported the same to the governor who could carry out hanging sentence. However, just before the hanging of the Christian there were consecutive claims by the Steward, Jewish doctor and Tailor that they were actually the killers leading to none of them being hanged. When the King heard about the incident, he ordered that all of them be brought before him and declared that the story was so astonishing and worth being written permanently in books. However, the story was further continued which led to a release of jailed barber who actually came and declared that the hunchback was not dead and actually revived it (Dawood 24-76).
The Moral of the Story
The moral point about this story is that the truth cannot be hidden because of our conscience which cannot make us comfortable. We may want to conceal our actions but we end up feeling guilty whenever somebody suffers on our behalf. This is to teach the society to be responsible for their actions. Moreover, there is a hidden lesson that we need to be careful in all our actions by ensuring that we think carefully of the consequences of our responses to any situation. It is a fact that the Jewish doctor, the steward and the Christian believed that they had killed. However, if they had not acted in such a quick manner they could have discovered that the hunchback was actually dead before their actions. The lack of understanding is also another moral lesson that we learn here because all the people had believed that the hunchback was dead only to be revived by the barber who had reasonable knowledge. This teaches us not to conclusively judge others by what we are told but rather we take our own time to confirm situations just like the barber.
The Relationship between the Literal/Outer Story and the Inner Story
The inner story is that meaning of a story that needs to be revealed to obtain the moral lesson. In the case of the given story of hunchback the inner meaning is that all situations that affect our lives must have a source or origin. Moreover, it means that the society has become so cruel that individuals are no longer willing to take responsibility for their actions. Also, according to my understanding, it appears that the story is telling us that it is possible for our actions to be discovered due to our conscience which cannot allow us to maintain secrecy of our actions. All these inner means are strongly related to the given literal meaning of a story.
It was possible for the story to trace the source of the situations back to the origin which was the jailed barber. The fact that the scenes led from one to another up to the original source shows that in life any of our actions can always be traced back to us. In addition, the fact that the barber was able to revive the hunchback to life is closely related to the fact that only some people can have an understanding of their own created problems and that the society may jump to conclusions without proper analysis. This is because all the people including the King had believed that the hunchback was dead and none thought otherwise. Moreover, the fact that the story shows how different individuals were passing on the dead hunchback to avoid blame is directly related to our current society where people are not willing to take responsibility for their actions. They would rather pass the blame to the next person and avoid the consequences. Continuing with the relationship between the literal meaning and inner meaning is that people tend to tell the truth whenever they witness somebody being punished for mistakes they did not commit. The conscience of the characters in the story did not allow them to keep quiet and it applies to the current society where we have witnesses who are willing to testify in several cases even those that implicate themselves. Furthermore, the current society has people who are not tolerant and patient in understanding situations just like all characters in the story who believed that they had killed the hunchback. This is because they did not take their time to consider situations that prevailed before their actions. Thus the story clearly shows how people could put themselves in problems which actually could have been avoided had they acted with caution.
The relationship that exists between the outer and the inner meanings do work together in passing a clear message to the audience without contradiction. By relating the actions of the character in the story to those of real life scenarios makes us to understand the importance of stories in educating the society. The story characters who come out to claim responsibility of their actions helps in building the inner meaning which encourages the society to be honest and be answerable for their actions.
Conclusions Drawn From the Story
I strongly believe that the storyteller has successfully connected the story to the real life situations. It is clear that murder should never be tolerated because the story indicates that the murderer was supposed to be hanged. Also, the fact that there is a strong relationship between the outer meaning and the inner meaning has brought an easy understanding of the story. In addition, the story is an interesting one that captivates the audience throughout the storytelling session. In fact the King was clearly astonished with the all story and ended up rewarding several characters with good positions. Therefore we conclude that the storyteller has been able to produce a story whose meanings do not contradict life situations and as such achieving the main purpose of storytelling in educating audience in real life issues.