The Thousand & One Nights: Folk Collection Overview


No wonder tales are sop popular among kids – they tell the fairy stories about magic characters that fill the children’s’ lives with excitement. However, not only the kids are wonderful fairy tales readers, the grownups are frequently involved in tales reading because they bare a meaning much beyond the mere entertainment, but rather a deep insight on world’s historical societal heritage. As such, the paper will elaborate on one of the best folk collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories One Thousand and One Nights (Lawall, p. 1054). It is remarkable that the tales are conserved by scholars, folk collectors throughout centuries, which gives the book a precious value as the heritage of Middle East and Central Asia.

Brief Summary

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves is the story told by Scheherazade – the legendary Persian queen – is under consideration. This is a story about Ali Baba and his brother who, after their father’s death, decided to split the inheritance. Ali Baba ends up having merely nothing and drags out a miserable existence. He goes to the forest in order to gather wood for the fire and to earn for living. There he sees forty thieves who open the cave door with the words: “Open, O Sesame!” and hide all the gold and treasures they hunted (Scott, p. 10). Ali Baba decided to try his fortune and open the rock with the same words, which he successfully does eventually, getting much of gold out of the cave. Afterwards Ali Baba’s wife advises to get the scales in order to weight the plunder. Once he asks for the scales from his sister-in-law, she puts a drop of wax so that the gold coin sticks to the scales. This becomes a surprise afterwards for the sister-in-law, which she prompts to share with Cassim – Ali Baba’s brother. Cassim extracts the truth from Ali, goes to the cave and is captured with greed so much that he forgets the magic words to get out. Ali Baba manages to bury the brother as if he died a natural death by sewing his body together after quartering. The thieves find out that someone took the body and thus someone else knows the secret. They start looking for another thief of their treasures wishing to kill him. Once they chance him there are three attempts to kill Ali Baba. However, the loyal girl called Morgiana foils thieves’ plan by confusing the signs they leave all the time. And ultimately, she kills wisely all the thieves. However, after some time passes the one major thief, that remained alive, comes back to call for revenge and befriends Ali Baba. Morgiana recognizes him and plungers dagger into his heart. Ali Baba gives her the freedom and marries her to own son. Thus, Ali Baba is the only one who knows the secret of the cave.

Lesson of Generosity

The tale is remarkable for the lessons it gives a reader. It is exciting and thrilling at the moments of upcoming death possibility and Middle East treatment of thieves. Surprisingly, the tale is famous all over the world, though having many horrific features and moments, for example when Cassim’s body was sown together buy a tailor, or the actual point of constant intentions to kill Ali Baba. The Middle East itself was very dangerous in some way; however, it gave multiple tales’ heritage for the contemporary generation to enjoy. So, the first lesson Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves teaches is that it is punishable to be as greedy as Ali’s brother Cassim. It is impossible to avoid fortune’s discontent if you are an avaricious person. The man was eventually violently killed for all the unfair he did to his brother and the overwhelming desire for gain and profit.

Lesson of Gratitude

Another lesson I liked about the tales content is that gratitude is one of the most important virtues. The two characters of Ali Baba and Cassim are contrasted here in terms of treating other people. Ali Baba ultimately thanks his saver Morgiana and grants her a longed for freedom for everything she had done. No wonder the tale is very instructive for the contemporary youth and kids it reflects the established world’s rules of communication, interaction, and people’s treatment. It is desirable to pay attention to such quality as appreciation because one reaps as one has sown! This should become a foremost slogan for the prominent modern business communicators and simply everyday relations.

Lesson of a Ready Wit

What I loved in the tale was Morgiana’s smart mind. This is completely wonderful that the tale does not lack a character of smart and sharp-witted girl. She, to my mind, was the central figure as per the development of the plot. Also, her loyalty just shakes an awareness of the contemporary people. Of course, it is hard to understand the relations of a master – Ali Baba – and Morgiana today in the democratic society, but this prompts to admire the character of a girl even more.


The Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves tale is one of the most perfect reflections of Middle East’s culture and literary heritage. One Thousand and One Nights gives plenty of such examples, though this very tale is specific in terms of teaching vitally important lessons and capturing interest.


Lawall, S., et al.The Norton Anthology of World Literature. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. 2003. Print.

Scott, J. Arabian Nights. Mountain View: Mediamorphosis. 2010. Print.

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"The Thousand & One Nights: Folk Collection Overview." Premium Papers, 9 Jan. 2022,


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Premium Papers. 2022. "The Thousand & One Nights: Folk Collection Overview." January 9, 2022.

1. Premium Papers. "The Thousand & One Nights: Folk Collection Overview." January 9, 2022.


Premium Papers. "The Thousand & One Nights: Folk Collection Overview." January 9, 2022.