The Camel and His Friends is one of the five chapters in The Panchatantra, a collection of beast fables that originate from India. It was originally written within 100 BC to AD 500 in Sanskrit by Arundhati Khanwalker. This fable has been translated to different languages spoken around the world, including countries as far as Asia, Indonesia, and Europe. It was translated in english by Arundhati Khanwalkar. The story is made up of six characters; the Camel, the Merchant, the Lion, the Leopard, the Fox, and the Crow. After the Camel is abandoned by the merchant, he eventually comes across the Lion, the Fox, and the Crow. The moral of this story is to not easily trust the friends around you, to “Be careful in choosing your friends”.
The Camel suffered of fatigue in the middle of the forrest and was abandoned by his tribe, which caused him to live off of grass for a long time. Eventually he came across the Lion, Leopard, Fox, and the Crow, who took the Camel in to protect him, which allowed him to live a happy life in the jungle. Once the Lion lost his ability to hunt for food to feed his friends, everybody was in need of food! As a way to appreciate how hard the Lion works hard to attain food, the fox proposed the idea of sacrificing the Camel so that they could all have a meal. This infuriated the Lion and thought the idea was absurd. Once the Leopard convinced him however, he agreed to the sacrifice and the idea was brought upon the rest of the animals. One by one, they offered themselves to the lion, but excuses were made until the Camel sacrificed himself. None of the animals objected to the Camel’s offer so the “three rouges, the false friends” killed and ate him.
This story had a basic plot structure, just like any story would. It did not use strong, unique words, only more generic ones. The author focused more on the meaning behind the words, than the words themselves. His exposition started with the Camel being overcome by fatigue and being abandoned, then to the rising action being when the Camel finally felt happy living in the jungle. The precipitating incident is when the Lion was wounded and unable to catch food for his friends, and then it transitioned to the falling action, being the sacrifice proposal from the Fox. Lastly the Resolution is that the Camel was eaten by his rescuers after accepting his offer of sacrifice. The generic structure of this story helps us focus not on the narrative characteristics and figurative language, but on the meaning behind the story.
This story specifically values loyalty, nobility, and honesty. Throughout the course of the story, the camel is constantly treated badly. He was abandoned at the beginning, “The merchant decided to leave the camel and go on his way” and then betrayed with no hesitation at the end, “And in no time he was killed by the three rouges, the false friends.” Arundhati Khanwalker tries to teach the reader a lesson through the Camel’s experiences and hardships. Also, the moral, “Be careful in choosing your friends” refers to friendship being neglected, and those who initially took the camel in betrayed him by killing and eating him. After the Lion accepted the Camel’s request for sacrifice, “Stand aside friend leopard, the king and you have close family ties. It is me whom the master shall eat.”, he called him a noble camel, which portrays how much the Lion appreciated the offer and this situation portrays the value of nobility in the story.
As this story states the hidden moral behind the story, “Be careful in choosing your friends.”, it also comes with values shown throughout the story. Being that this story is presented with a moral, it emphasizes the fact that it is focused on the meaning rather than the technique used to deliver the message; the structure is very simple and straight forward.
Gioia, Dana, and R. S. Gwynn. “Arundhati Khanwalker, “The Camel and His Friends”” The Camel and His Friends. By Arundhati Khanwalker. N.p.: Longman, 2001. N. pag. Arundhati Khanwalker, “The Camel and His Friends” Web. 29 Aug. 2014. College, Goshen. “Literary Analysis Guide | English | Goshen College.” English Literary Analysis Guide Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2014.
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