How Someone Had a Wen Removed by Demons (1:3) - Course Work on Literature

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Middlebury College
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How Someone Had a Wen Removed by Demons (1:3) is a collection of tales from Uji, which talks about an old man who had a wen that was the size of an orange on his right cheek. In the folktale, the old man avoided people as he always spent most of his days gathering firewood (673). At one point when he was in the mountain looking for firewood, an intense storm erupted, which forced him to take shelter under a hollow tree (673). After a while, he heard noises in the woods, which made him feel relieved that he was not alone. Upon inquiry, he noticed that the noises in the woods came from funny creatures who were dressed in different colors, and others had only one eye (673). Apparently, the funny creatures appeared to be demons. As the story proceeds, the demons sat around the tree where the old man was. While seated under the tree, the demons seem to be in a joyful mood as they drink wine, smiled, and danced together (673-674). The old man, seated under the hollow tree in amusement, joined the demons in the dance. The leader of all the demons appeared impressed by dance, and told him that he should attend their parties more often (674). In his reply, the old man affirmed that he will not miss any of their parties. After the dance, the demons deliberated and decided that they should take the wen out of the old mans face (674). Repulsive, because he had it for many years, the old man let the demons do so. In fact, he did not feel any pain. Upon, arrival at home, the old mans wife noticed a change and asked him what had happened, which he explained in detail (674). As well, a neighbor, who had a wen on his left cheek, asked the old man what had happened. He explained it to him, and the neighbor decided to go to the hollow tree in the mountains and wait for the demons (675). When the demons arrived, they asked the neighbor to perform a dance. As the folktale depicts, his dance was so poor that it left the demons unimpressed. They decided to put a wen on the other side of his cheek, so he could have two because he did not live up to the standards (675). The paper discusses the moral lessons as well as the discrepancies from the folktale.

Readers can earn that they should not covet. The neighbor wanted his wen removed too because he saw his neighbor looked good without one. He said I wish you could tell me, then I could have mine taken away too (675). As the folktale begins, the old man appeared to be comfortable with the wen on his check. In as much as he did not have much contact with members of his community, he was comfortable with himself. His daily business was looking for firewood. On the other hand, the neighbor wanted to look good because the old man did. On the real sense, he appeared to have his sense of weakness and was unable to attain his desires. In the folktale, the writer does not mention whether the neighbor had ever looked for other alternatives to get his wen removed. Yet, when he saw that the old man did not have a wen anymore, he was envious, and wanted to feel the same way. He did not care the process the old man went through and the people who had the wen removed. In the Bible, the tenth commandment indicates that one should not be envious of the things that do not belong to them. Even so, in nature, demons are considered to be bad creatures that have negative motives towards people. In fact, if they help someone, they always seem to want something in return. In the folktale, after the old man performed the dance, the demons were impressed. So, they decided to take the wen off the old mans face, not realizing that it is something, which made him detach from his community. After they removed the wen, they told him that he should attend all their parties and perform a dance for them. The neighbor thought that he would manage to charm the demons. But indeed, his dance was poor, and the demons were discouraged to an extent that they decided to put another wen on his face.

Another moral lesson from the story, which the reader should understand is that blessings come in different forms. In the beginning of the story, the old man accepted his condition and avoided interaction with people because of the size of his wen on his right cheek. He did his everyday chores and appeared to live peacefully. When he met the demons in the mountains, he was terrified and sat there in horror as the demons danced and drank wine. When told to stand up and dance, he did not hesitate (674). In fact, he jumped up and danced without fear. In his mind, he did not know that the demons would later remove the wen from his face. The neighbor on the other hand, went to the mountains under the hollow tree prepared because he thought that his wen would be removed. When the demons appeared under the tree where he was seated, he was terrified when the demons asked if the old man had already arrived (675). Morally, the story teaches the reader that things happen to different people in dissimilar ways. In fact, even in real life, individuals receive blessings in various ways. One might become rich because of his hard work, lottery, or got an inheritance. Just because something happened to someone because he did a particular thing, does not mean that it will happen the same way to another who has the same problem. Blessings can come in the form of being confident. In the folktale, when the demons asked the old man to perform the dance, he did so. Even though he was terrified from within, he was confident enough to jump and dance without fear. Even when asked to attend all other parties, which the demons would attend, he confidently asserted that he would be present. The neighbor, on the other hand, was fearful and trembled uncontrollably when he saw the demons. The old mans diligence made him receive his blessings. Conversely, the neighbor was not ready. He went to the mountain because he wanted to be like the old man. Justly, people should stay calm and wait for their blessings to come.

In summary, despite the moral lessons learned from the folktale, there are some discrepancies in the story. The major one is how the demon removed the wen from the old mans right cheek. The writer of the story puts forward that the demon twisted and pulled the wen from the old man and he did not feel any pain. On a broader perspective, wens are painful to remove. In fact, an individual will have to undergo a surgical procedure to have it removed. Additionally, the fact that the man did not have any blood spillage or wounds on his face after the removal is questionable. From a personal perspective, it is impossible to believe that demons have the power to heal. Since, the process they took to remove the wen appeared to be some sort of miracle due to the fact that the old man managed to walk home without any complications. Additionally, another discrepancy in the story is the idea that demons danced, smiled and drank wine in the presence of the old man. It is unbelievable that the writer gives them human characters. As it is known, demons come to destroy. They do not mingle with people if they do not want something in return. In fact, they do so if they want that human to accomplish a mission on their behalf. In the folktale, the demons appear to have a good heart. Based on the story, all they wanted is to have more dances with the old man because they were impressed with how he performed. Therefore, they decided to take a truce with the old man. They took his wen from his face, so he would come next time to dance.

Work cited

How Someone had a Wen Removed by Demons (1:3). Pp. 673-675.

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