Long ago, animals lived just next door to the moon. But as Brer Rabbit ‘squabbles’ his way to Sister Moon, Brer Rabbit finds himself living way down below the Moon—on earth, where every night the animals would stare up at the silvery loop that dangles just above them. As Brer Rabbit notices Sister Moon getting puny one night, he offers her his help—to go to Mr. Man and tell him that Sister Moon might need to rest even for just one night. Imagining all the yummy vegetables, sheep and goats in the yard of Mr. Man—as narrated by the clever Brer Rabbit—the animals take a great leap downward to the earth.
As problems and arguments enter their way, the animals—especially Brer Rabbit—start to act more like a man than any other. Until Brer Rabbit outwits Brer Fox and Mr. Man in an adventure that is heightened by the fox’s scheme of cooking fresh food for all the animals to see. Main Body Although the Tales of Uncle Remus is often thought of as a children’s tale, it is much more complex than that. Superficially, it is a book comprised of entertaining fictional tales filled with comical trickster characters. There is the witty Brer Rabbit, the proud Brer Fox, the pretty, silvery Sister Moon, the without-tail Brer Bear, and the wise and sharp Mr.
Man. However, just below the surface lies the teachings of everyday life and a foreshadowing of everyday life today, which is one reason why the book is not intended for kindergarten children anymore (not like the original version of the Joel Chandler Harris folktales) but for those that are of ages 9-12 (Amazon. com 2008). One of the most spectacular spectacles can be seen right at the beginning of the story, when each character represents a group in the society at a time before the civil war during the 1800: (1) Mr.
Man represents rulers and plantation owners. (2) Sister Moon represents white English Americans of the middle-class society, who would love to have the assistance of the black slaves. (3) The animals represent black slaves that were once enjoying their freedom in their own land, but would have to ‘leap down’ to America because there are lots of goods and fresh food to eat. (4) Brer Fox represents white shrewd political members of the middle-class society, who wish to take the trust of the black slaves by providing them things that they would want to have.
(5) Brer Rabbit represents the witty black slaves that show the true nature of Brer Fox to the outwitted members of the black society. At first, it appears that there is no discrimination or distinction among the characters in this book. They seem to live among one another in the same community, but a closer look proves otherwise. In every tale, there is some kind of conflict; yet regardless of the situation, the little guy always outwits his opponent, such as when Brer Rabbit finds a wily way to outdo Brer Fox, who makes up a scheme of cooking fresh food for all the animals living in the forest.
Here, it is evident that there is distinction on who has the power to rule over the society, or who belong to the average society that lacks the wit and the cleverness to see things that are beyond what the eyes can see. The slaves used tales like these to teach children some valuable life lessons. They demonstrated that, with the use of a sound mind along with good common sense, the
Describing the way of life back in the 1800s, the story is actually a way of foreshadowing pre-civil war society, which comes alive right in between the pages of the book. Works Cited Lester, Julius. Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit (Puffin Modern Classics). Retrieved April 2, 2008, from the Amazon. com database: http://www. amazon. com/Tales-Uncle-Remus-Adventures-Classics/dp/0142407208/ref=sr_1_2? ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207108345&sr=8-2.