View Single Post
Old 05-11-2011, 05:50 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 36,258
Let's discuss the subtext and unanswered questions of the Jack and the Beanstalk story

Presumably everybody knows the story, though there are different versions. Jack and the Beanstalk has more unanswered and half told component stories than any tale since the Book of Exodus.

For starters, why did the peddler, hereinafter referred to as "The Beanseller" or as B, trade beans that would allow an invasion of Giantland for a cow? Not even a nice cow, a cow owned by starving peasants. I have theories. Perhaps "these are magic beans" was a sales pitch that just coincidentally happened to be right, or the Beanseller was honest and really knew they were magic beans. Occams Razor would imply the latter- what are the chances that if he was making up something about the beans to talk a kid out of a cow that the elaborate infeasible tale he made up would just happen to be true?

So assuming that B knew they were beans that would sprout fast and strong enough to allow a not particularly bright boy (or was he? But I digress) to enter Giantland, a place with such insufficient defenses that even a boy could plunder it, why doesn't B just plant them himself, loot the Giant's castle, steal the gold, and use a mere fraction of it to buy a whole herd of cows and still have enough left over to buy a high rise pied a terre, a suburban mansion and a vacation house and still have money left over?


1- The Beanseller has no interest in money


2- He somehow isn't able to conduct the raid himself

If he has no interest in money, why does he have interest in a puny cow?

My theory: the Beanseller has a personal beef (no cow pun intended) with the giant but is unable to invade Giantland himself. He wants the Giant dead, but needs a patsy.


He plans to rob Jack. But that presents so many other problems I'm going to ignore it for now. Perhaps somebody else will take it.