I explain why below.
Below, you’ll find my thoughts on Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. And it’s worth the read because there are many misconceptions about the story!
All images in the post are clickable!
Initial Thoughts on Aladdin and the Magic Lamp
Aladdin and the Magic Lamp is an old favorite. This review is based on the standalone book. It is one of the stories in The Arabian Nights (One Thousand and One Nights), which I have read and enjoyed.
According to Wikipedia, The Arabian Nights is a
“collection of West and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age.”
In many Aladdin stories, there is a misconception that Aladdin has only three wishes, when in fact any wish he makes while in possession of the lamp is granted. It is important to read a version of the story that is translated from Arabic to English. This allows you to see things for yourself.
This is also an important life lesson, to try to go back to original sources as much as possible. This is not easy, but worth the effort when possible. I read Aladdin and the Magic Lamp as a standalone story, but I also read it in the Arabian Nights.
UPDATE: This was first published in October 2012!
What is Aladdin and the Magic Lamp About?
Aladdin is the son of Mustapha, a poor tailor. The young lad is lazy and carefree, whiling the time away with other boys like himself in the neighbourhood. This grieves his father so much that he dies . Despite that, Aladdin does not change his ways.
One day a stranger appears, claiming to be his father’s brother who had gone away for 40 years. Aladdin’s mother thought her brother-in-law was dead. She and her son welcome the stranger into their home. However, the stranger is a magician and up to no good, he is after the magical lamp which has to be given to him.
He locks Aladdin in a cave with the hope that the lad will die. Aladdin accidentally finds out that his wishes will be granted. The story reminds me that we should attempt to realize our dreams – Aladdin is in love with the Sultan’s daughter and he is not satisfied until she becomes his wife.
The story is a contradiction, because on one hand there are some deep lessons such as never giving up on your dreams, or doing what it takes to achieve your goals. On the other hand I find it very superficial when people are measured not by their character, but by the riches they possess. Unfortunately, that is still true today and in that way the tale is timeless. To win the Sultan’s daughter’s hand in marriage, Aladdin has to bestow many gifts upon the king.
Aladdin is given a magic lamp and he makes the most of it. If the magic lamp is a metaphor for the talent and abilities you have been given, how are you making the most of YOUR magic lamp?
Should You Buy a Copy of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp?
Although you may have read Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, it’s worth reading again, and you can do so in less than an hour. And I would like you to read the version by Richard Burton, and not the free versions. It’s a very accurate translation of the story. I also highly recommend that you read The Arabian Nights by Richard Burton. It’s a delightful book, and it’s a story within a story.
The version of The Arabian Nights by Richard Burton is one of the best ones because it’s translated directly from Arabic. It’s a long book, close to 1,000 pages. I set a goal of reading at least 100 pages when I read it about a decade ago.
Aladdin and the Magic Lamp & The Arabian Nights
For me, it was an enjoyable experience to read a story by itself, and then read it in the context of another story. I have mentioned previously that The Arabian Nights is a story within a story. And Aladdin and the Magic Lamp is one of the stories within a larger story.
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