the three pigs

1.In no more than four paragraphs, summarize the story of the three pigs. (Refer to any of the four interpretations for direct quotes.)
2.Compare and contrast these four interpretations of the story, using direct quotes and paraphrases as appropriate. Try not to be judgmental; use the author’s evidence for support.
3.Offer a brief critical analysis of the interpretations. What were the strengths and weaknesses if any, of each? Three Little Pigs: Four Interpretations – An Exercise in Paraphrasing This exercise is designed to help you improve your paraphrasing skills.  You will also get practice at writing a compare-and-contrast interpretive paper, which will help you with the process used in your doctoral study and other course papers. Three interpretations of the classic tale of the Three Little Pigs appear here, along with a mini-research study about wolves and pigs. To help you improve your writing skills, you can approach these pages in two ways: First, read the assigned questions below.  Then read the four short interpretive texts.  Next, take some time to write a brief paper in which you answer the questions posed at the beginning.  Were you able to summarize easily using your own words?  Were you able to write without having the original source open in front of you?  Did you include proper in-text citations? Assigned Questions 1.    In no more than four paragraphs, summarize the story of the three pigs.  (Refer to any of the four interpretations for direct quotes.)
2.    Compare and contrast these four interpretations of the story, using direct quotes and paraphrases as appropriate.  Try not to be judgmental; use the author’s evidence for support.
3.    Offer a brief critical analysis of the interpretations.  What were the strengths and weaknesses, if any, of each? Three Little Pigs: Four Interpretations Gomez (1999) Literature is rife with pigs as symbols, from the Three Little Pigs to Porky, from the pigs in Orwell’s Animal Farm to Hollywood’s recent creation, Babe.  These characters have ranged from the crafty to the naive, from the big-hearted to the stupid who noisily eat garbage and roll about happily in mud.
Wolves have fared poorly; with the exception of the 1983 movie Never Cry Wolf, the animal has gotten a bad rap through the ages in literature and in the press.  The image of the she-wolf, the sheep thief, the pig eater, the cousin of the coyote, the snarling timber wolf gracing the jersey of an NBA team–all convey slyness, recklessness, self-fulfillment, and greed.
The Three Little Pigs, the classic story of a worker’s revolt against the tyranny of a bullying capitalist wolf, ends with the eating of the tyrant by the third pig.  While his two brothers are naive, slothful proletariats, the third brother’s actions suggest the best instincts of the workers’ vanguard: wise, hard laboring, serious, and ready for action.  The wolf, we can be assured, preys on the weak.  His actions are self-motivated; he sees the community as his to exploit, and for a time, we can assume he has had his way.  Others cower at the sound of his breath.  We know in time he is full of hot air; the cleverness of the third pig shows that wisdom conquers physical power.
Interestingly, the third pig in the end devours the wolf.  The reform minded–and naive–would want us to believe that the bad wolf could be cured of his evil ways.  However, we know better.  Those who use evil means to conquer evil become that which they hate.  In this case, we assume that the pig will become the next despot, an overeating avaricious showman, showing, in the classic Maoist sense, that revolution is continuous. Amdur (1998) History is rife with examples of sad, lonely tyrants unable to come to grips with self, community, and society.  Consider how the world would have been spared pain if Genghis Kahn, if Hitler, if Saddam Hussein had only found a competent psychologist willing to help them work through the pain of their childhoods.  Biographers have uncovered miserable lives of countless despots through the ages.  Usually male, these sad individuals cried out for their inner selves to be uncovered.  What motivates the tyrant?
In the Three Little Pigs, we cannot be sure of the wolf’s past.  Let us, for sake of argument, assume at best he was an outcast among the litter, forced away by his brothers and mother to a miserable, needy existence.  Gone from the pack, he sought food in any way he could; unloved, in search of his female archetype (Jung, 1960), he grew up with neither respect for others or himself, nor trust.  At worst, he learned from his parents the way of the wolf: bounty hunters, snarling, drooling and selfish, like landed crows, caring not a lick for what he eats: today a sheep, tomorrow a pig.  Amidst a pack, still a loner, feeding the hunger of his psyche with the blood of his prey.  Each kill leaves him less satisfied, but unable to articulate his inner needs, he continues to kill and maim, seeking comfort in the terror he causes, for no one challenges his weakness; the weakness not of his physical strength, but his inner self.
In time, his bullying feeds upon itself, almost literally.  His success with Pig 1 assures himself that he is powerful.  Do we know that he is still hungry upon consuming the first pig?  His physical appetite is sated.  But what of his psychic needs?  Bursting with self-hatred and loneliness, he is hungrier for more–more power.  He finds the second pig, uses the same ruse to consume him, and his gluttony continues.
By now he cannot stop himself.  Psychopathic, he stops at nothing to consume the third pig.  Probably aware that he is being outsmarted, he continues on his quest.  Like a suicidal kidnapper, he knows of his ultimate fate, and he does nothing to let it stop.  It as if he is shouting to the third pig, “Please–defeat me and put me out of my misery.”  Sadly, the third pig is eager to comply with the death wish. Fazio and Ek (2000) Literature, like life itself, is rife with examples of satanic tyrants wreaking havoc on God-fearing peoples.  The forces of evil in children’s literature are many and infamous: the billy-goats gruff, Jack’s giant, Red Riding’s Hood disguised wolf, not to mention such movies as Star Wars, The Blob, and Cinderella.  All share, in one form or another, a God-fearing sojourner’s confrontation with Evil himself, and whether through wit, strength of muscle, or strength of will, a victory over the cruel forces of Satan.
Perhaps no tale better exemplifies this than The Three Little Pigs.  A brute sociopathic force, the wolf is Evil Incarnate, uncivilized, a greedy, lying glutton who consumes the naive, kindhearted pig brothers without mercy.  How else to explain his maliciousness?  We do not know how hungry he is when he confronts the first pig; we know only that he is both “big” and “bad,” reputations he has not earned from weekly church attendance.  As for the pigs, they are naive and goodhearted; leaving the protective embrace of their mother, two haven’t a clue how to build a house.  They are, in some literal sense, God’s innocents, wishing no harm upon anyone, seeking only the barest of protection from the elements.
The rest we know only too well: Evil knocks on the pigs’ doors.  Defenseless against the power of Satan, the first two pigs are consumed by it when the walls come tumbling down.  The righteous third pig, with brains and God at his side, outfoxes the evil one, and in a death match, ends up cooking and consuming the wolf, ridding the world once and for all of Satan. A. Hokum, B. Goniff, and C. Crook (1997) The cunningness of pigs and wolves was compared to determine the extent to which each animal is capable of outfoxing the other.  Scores on three instruments, the Jones Hot Air Test (JHAT), the Smith Wool-Over-Eyes Scale (SWOES), and the Cross-Mammal Cunningness Probe (CMCP), were compared.  Results indicated that pigs are, by nature and possibly by influence of environment, craftier than wolves, lending credence to those who argue that the story of the three pigs is not implausible.
Background.  That pigs, wolves, and foxes are among the craftiest of mammals is legendary, at least in the popular literature (cf., e.g., Fox and the Hound, Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood, Animal Farm).  Their reputations range from harmful (Robertson, 1993) to harmless (Warner, Warner, & Warner, 1941).  In direct confrontation, as Amdur (1995) has noted, the literature often suggests that though stronger, wolves invariably end up victimized by their own greed.  Pigs, though unruly, greedy beasts themselves (as Orwell so well depicted them) are still seen as victims and underdogs, upholding the American literary tradition that pits mice as victim of cats, though ultimate victors.  As Gowdy (1972) argued, Americans contain a soft-spot in their hearts for incessant losers in the animal world, such as cubs and gophers–and embrace sports teams of the same ilk.
This study compared the cunningness of wolves and pigs, in order to add to the growing body of literature on dominance in the animal world.
Method.  Sixty pigs and 60 wolves of varying ethnicities were recruited for the study.  Wolves were given sheep carcasses, and pigs sweet corn as incentives for participating.  All participants were surveyed using three instruments: JHAT, a test of physical endurance; SWOES, which measures guile and deception; and CMCP, a measure of cunningness, defined here as the ability to deceive, and of greed.  (See Appendix A with regard to validity and reliability).
Results.  As was hypothesized, wolves scored higher on the JHAT, lending credence to past research (Disney, 1941) that shows in terms of physical strength alone and no known contravening variables, wolves have the ability to dominate pigs.  Scores on the SWOES and CMCP, however, showed pigs to consistently rate higher in cunningness (p>.5)  and guile.  There was no significant difference between the two species in measures of greed and hunger.  Males were found to be slightly lazier and self-serving, while females were found, surprisingly (cf., Dibble, 1958), to be less catty.
Discussion.  Because popular literature rarely pits mammals at each other in tests of physical strength alone, this study was undertaken to explore whether pigs or wolves are more cunning.  Results indicated that pigs are more cunning and deceptive than wolves, who were indeed found to have greater physical strength.
Given these findings, and all else being equal, the results suggest that a particularly clever pig could outfox a wolf.  Future research should examine whether a wolf has sufficient hot air to blow down a brick house; Jones’s own work suggested that certain humans, himself included, could, but that was not the focus of this study and should be explored.

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