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The Colorful Story of the Three Little Pigs Essay (Book Review)

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Updated: Dec 19th, 2019

Abstract

This paper will focus its attention on James Halliwell Philipp’s short story, “The Three Little Pigs” and the main theme behind the story. The author James Halliwell is famous for writing fairy tales which have been used as nursery tales and nursery rhymes. Further, this paper will analyze James Halliwell as an author and an antiquarian researcher in literature.

This fairy story features or rather is dominated by anthromorphic animals. This paper will also feature eight different editors who have been interested in the story since its first publication. These authors have each analyzed and given different views and opinions regarding the story of the three little pigs.

This story is of great interest to the western culture because of the great morals it possess as demonstrated by the phrases used throughout the entire piece. Just like James Halliwell, the subsequent retellings present the story in the first person narrator. This is done by the wolf to portray the misunderstanding between him and the little pigs. This story is told to inspire people to work hard so as to achieve success.

James Halliwell Philipps

He was born James Orchard Halliwell-Philipps on the 21st June, 1820 to Thomas Halliwell. James was educated at the Jesus College in Cambridge where he took interest in English literature which was under the antiquarian research. As he grew, he became an “English Shakespearean scholar” as well as “English Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales” collector.

His literature work began at 19 years and was dominated by textual criticism. He gave up the textual criticism in 1870 to concentrate on Shakespeare’s life. In 1872, James Halliwell assumed the name Philipps to honor the will of his first wife’s grandfather.

From this time, Halliwell-Philipps took interest and were actively involved in editing literature related to the Percy Society, the Camden Society, and the Shakespeare society. His house was full of strange and rare work which he donated to libraries, institutions, and universities.

The Colorful Story of the Three Little Pigs

The story outline is the tale of three pigs with a duty to build a home. The story actually opens with the mother of these title characters sending them to “seek out their fortune.” The first pig takes little time at this thus builds a house out of straw so as to have extra time relaxing and playing outside.

The second pig values relaxation just like the first one and as a result, uses sticks to build a home. Although he takes a lot of time doing this, he hurries to link up with his lazy friend for play and relaxation.

The third pig is quite thoughtful therefore chooses to build a home out of bricks. This task requires him to put a lot of effort and use extra time to have the best results. Instead of taking time to play and relax with the other two, he seems to value a proper home.

His effort pays off when the “Big Bad Wolf” visits their homes and tries to trick them out of their homes. He three pigs outsmart the wolf thus he resolves to use force to enter. The third pig’s house is the only one which stands up to the wolf’s pressure.

Why James Halliwell Philipp’s wrote the story

Three little pigs is a fairy tale that was written by James Halliwell in the year 1849. On its first publication, the story appeared in the book, “Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales.” It is not quite clear whether James Halliwell was the original author of the story or he had passed it from another. Through the phrases used in this story, the reader can draw a variety of morals. As a result, the story has become popular in the western culture.

The main moral behind this story or rather the reason why James Halliwell Philipps wrote this story was to inspire the readers to work hard in everything they do so as to achieve success or favorable outcomes.

All the same, the reader can tell the primary moral lesson as that working hard and dedication to whatever one does actually pays off. With reference to the story, the reader can see that, the first two pigs had built their homes in a hurry so as to have more time to play.

The third pig had labored hard while constructing his house of bricks. When these a comparison is done between these three, it is clear that hard work brings about success with the third little pig’s house lasting long.

This educates the readers by showing them that, taking time and extra effort while performing tasks could bear them favorable and successful outcomes. Today, many organizations, parents, and teachers encourage their subjects to take extra time and put more effort in whatever undertaking so as to achieve the best results.

This story of the three little pigs has been used in many contexts to encourage people. During the Great Depression, Walt Disney released a short film which inspired many people to get through the frustrations of the era. The bad wolf was used to symbolize the Americans strife while the three little pigs symbolized victory.

With the inspiration derived from the three little pigs’ tale, the people knew for sure they will get out of the depression through hard work.

The modern day story done by Joseph Jacobs has little modifications so as to appeal to the young people. The original story explains that, the bad wolf landed in the boiling pot and died while the today’s version shows that the wolf came down the chimney and only burned his tail.

In his work, Alley Zoe tells the story of three little pigs who are sent by their mother to seek out their fortune. The little pigs travel to foreign land and each has to build his own home. The first pig builds a house made of straw since he is lazy and loves playing and relaxing. The second little pig builds a house out of sticks so that he can have more time to relax and play as well.

The third little pig who is clever builds a home out of bricks. One day, a fox visits the first little pig and destroys the straw house and eats the little pig. The following day he destroys the second little pig’s house and eats him as well.

When he visits the clever pig’s house, he tries all sorts of tricks but his plans are spoiled over and over. This angers him and resolves to enter the little pig’s house through the chimney oblivious of the boiling pot beneath. All of a sudden, the fox lands in the boiling pot and the little pig eats him for supper.

Ashliman’s work is a reprint of Jacobs and Lang’s versions of the “Three Little Pigs.” Ashliman relates the story of “The Three Goslings” with the tale of “The Three Little Pigs.” Ashliman tells the story of three goslings whereby two are selfish and will not allow the younger sister to share their home.

The author shows how each gosling builds a home. The two selfish sisters build unstable homes while the young one who is clever constructs the best house. A fox comes along and swallows the two selfish sisters. The third sister hurries to rescue her sisters by cutting open the fox’s stomach. The two goslings ask for forgiveness and the three live in the young gosling’s home happily.

This new version by Dallimore, the story of three little bush pigs is told. Each bush pig tries to build a house to protect them from the old dingrel. The first pig builds a house of “prickly pear,” the second builds a house of “weetabrix boxes,” and the third clever pig builds a house that can withstand the pressure of the dingrel. In the end, the little bush pigs report the dingrel to the Shire Council who take care of it.

In his version, Graham tells the tale of three little pigs who live with their mother. When they grow older, the mother tells them to move out and build their own homes and keep watch on the Big Bad Wolf. The three little pigs travel together down the road and come across a man with a cart of straws. The first little pig asks the man to sell him the straws so that he can build a house and still spare some money to buy junk food.

Upon seeing a man with a cart of sticks, the second pig asks to buy them and build a house out of them. The man advises both the first and the second little pigs that straw and sticks cannot make a strong house although it is cheap. The third little pig meets a man with a cart full of bricks and buys them to build his house. When the Big Bad Wolf visits the first and second little pigs, he destroys their unstable houses but luckily they run to their brother’s house.

The Wolf follows them to the brick house and tries to trick them severally with no luck. The wolf decides to climb down the chimney so as to reach the little pigs. The pigs keep a boiling pot of water under the chimney such that when the wolf comes down he lands on the water and climbs back howling in pain. The wolf howls down the road and the little pigs live happily ever after.

In his book Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales, Halliwell tells the story of three little pigs who were sent by their mother to find their own fortune. Halliwell narrates how the first little pig begs a man to offer him straw so that he can put up his house. The man offers the little pig the straw with which he proceeds to build a house in hurry so as to have extra time for relaxation and play.

Halliwell goes on to illustrate how a big and bad wolf comes to the little pig’s house and breaks in to eat him up for the house cannot stand the wolf’s pressure. The author continues to demonstrate to the reader how the second pig meets a man who offers him “a bundle of furze” to build himself a house. In a hurry, the second little pig builds an unstable house so as to have extra play and relaxation time.

The author clearly demonstrates to the reader the consequences of a badly done work when the Big Bad Wolf comes knocking. The wolf huffs and puffs and in the end blows the little pig’s house down and eats him up. Halliwell proceeds to show the reader how the third little pig meets a man and asks for his bricks to build a house with.

Without hesitating the man offers the little pig the bricks with which he constructs a firm house with. When the wolf comes knocking and the little pig declines letting him in, he huffs and puffs but is not able to bring the house down. The author demonstrates the cunning character of the wolf by telling the little pig he knows where to find nice turnips.

The little pig agrees to accompany the wolf to Mr. Smith’s field to collect turnip the following day. The pig is depicted as clever for he leaves earlier to fetch the turnips an action which pisses the wolf. The wolf is seen to try every trick to get to eat the wolf but the little pig outsmarts him. In the end, the wolf is seen to declare eating the little pig by getting down the chimney since he cannot bring down the brick house.

The writer shows the reader how the little pig makes up a big fire and hangs a pot full of water such that when the wolf comes down the chimney, he lands on the boiling water. The wolf is boiled and offers the little pig a huge feast that evening.

Hook Williams tells the story of three little pigs living with their old mother whom after her death travel to find their own homes. The first pig builds a house out of straw while the second builds a house out of sticks. The third clever little pig builds his house out of bricks. When the fox comes, he destroys the houses of the first and second pig. The two pigs run to the safety of their brother’s brick house where they burn old fox in a boiling pot of water.

In the book “The Story of the Three Little Pigs,” Jacobs notes the relation between this tale and the story “Wolf and Seven Little Kids.” He observes that kids have “hair on their chinny chin-chins” and not the pigs. In his work, Jacobs tells the tale of three little pigs that are sent by their mother to seek their fortune.

Jacobs illustrates how the little pigs have different thinking capacities. The first pig builds a home out of straw such that when the Big Bad Wolf visits, he blows the house down and eats the little pig. Just like the first pig, the second little pig values relaxation and as a result builds a house out of sticks. When the wolf comes along, he huffs and puffs the house down and eats the little pig. Jacobs demonstrates the third little pig as clever for he builds a house out of bricks.

When the wolf visits, he realizes that he cannot blow the house down and resolves to trick the little pig who outsmarts him anyway. After trying without success, the wolf decides to go down the chimney so as to eat the little pig. Jacobs captures the reader’s attention through the dramatic out turn of events; the wolf lands in a pot of boiling water and the little pig eats him for supper.

In his version, Lang tells the story of a sow that lives with her three children o n a “large, comfortable, old-fashioned farmyard.” The pigs are named Browny, Whitey, and the youngest Blacky. Lang illustrates Browny as naughty who does not listen to his mother’s or friends pleas.

Browny loves to play and roll in the mud. The author depicts whitey as clever but greedy; he thoughts linger around food. Whitey is seen to always look forward to dinner and when the food is poured she fights both Browny and Blacky so as to get the bigger pieces. Just like he mother warns Browny about being naughty, she warns Whitey about her selfish and greedy character.

Lang illustrates Blacky as good natured with no characters of both Browny and Whitey. Lang says “he had nice dainty ways…his skin was always smooth and shining.” Blacky is seen as the cleverest of the three and as a result their mother was proud of him.

The author shows a time when the mother of the three becomes old and feeble therefore calls his three piglets with an offer to build each a house. Browny prefers a house made of mud while Whitey prefers a cabbage house while Blacky prefers a house that is built with brick. Their mother applauds Blacky for being sensible especially with the fox being their worst enemy. Lang tells how the pigs move to their houses after their mother’s death.

Browny is seen to enjoy rolling in his mud house until the day fox comes to visit. Browny does not let the fox in but with the use of his paws, he digs up a hole and gets his way in. The fox grabs Browny by the neck and heads to his den for a feast. The following day, the fox is seen visiting Whitey who is enjoying a meal of cabbage. Whitey refuses to hear fox’s pleas to let him in; all the same the fox being sly eat his way to Whitey and took him to his house.

The next day, the fox heads to Blacky’s house to try his luck. He tries all sorts of tricks but Blacky outsmarts him. For he does not give up, the fox goes up the chimney without realizing that Blacky has put a large kettle on the fire. The fox lands on the boiling water and dies instantly while Blacky rushes to the den to rescue both Browny and Blacky. The three are re-united and live with Blacky in his brick house happily ever after.

References

Alley, Z. (2008). There’s a Wolf at the Door. Illus. R W. Alley. New York: Roaring Brook Press.

Ashliman, D. (1987). A Guide to Folktales in the English Language. New York: Greenwood Press.

Dallimore, P. (2008). The Three Little Bush Pigs. Aussie Gems. Malvern, S. Australia: Omnibus Books

Graham, A. (2000). Fairytale in the Ancient World. London: Routledge.

Halliwell, J. (1849). Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales. London: John Russell Smith.

Hooks, W. (1989). The Three Little Pigs and the Fox. New York: Aladdin.

Jacobs, J. (1890). The Story of the Three Little Pigs: English Fairy Tales. London: David Nutt, 1890.

Lang, A. (1965). The Green Fairy Book. New York: Dover.

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