A fantastic thesis statement from JG

Assignment: The characters in fables, folktales, and/or fairy tales are “true to life.” Agree or disagree. (SIMPLE ARGUMENT)

Although characters in folktales and fairytales have familiar human traits and settings, they are not true to life in that the characters and settings are fanciful inventions designed by the author to entertain us, something that an ordinary human character or setting cannot do.

A possible X-1-2-3 set:

X Although characters in folktales and fairytales have familiar human traits and settings, they are not true to life in that the characters and settings are fanciful inventions designed by the author to entertain us, something that an ordinary human character or setting cannot do.
1 Characters in folktales and fairytales have familiar human traits and settings.
2 The characters are not true to life in that the characters and settings are fanciful inventions.
3  The characters are designed by the author to entertain us, something that an ordinary human character or setting cannot do.

Translating the fables

A very interesting problem is posed by the linguistic gender of the animals in Greek and Latin. Every Greek and Latin noun, including the names of animals, has a fixed linguistic gender which is either masculine or feminine. The Greek raven, korax, is always masculine, as is the Latin corvus, while the Greek weasel, gale, is always feminine, as is the Latin weasel, mustela. Yet sometimes the gender may be masculine in Greek and feminine in Latin, or vice versa. So, for example, the Greek frog, batrachos, is masculine while the Latin frog, rana, is feminine. In English, then, a fable that is translated from the Greek will refer to the frog as ‘he’ while a fable translated from Latin will refer to the frog as ‘she’. The same thing is also true of the eagle, one of the most common characters in the fables: the Greek eagle, aetos, is masculine, while the Latin eagle, Aquila, is feminine. This may cause some confusion at first, but by consulting the source for the fable, the reader can reassure himself (or herself) that the animal in question is not suffering from a gender-identity crisis—unless, of course, the animal is a hyena (see Fable 365).

Aesop’s Fables. Trans. Laura Gibbs. London: Oxford University Press, 2002. Kindle.

An exemplary paragraph by Frank D’Angelo

The characters [in fables] are flat, with no inner life. They personify virtues and vices, such as courage and cowardice, honesty and dishonesty, patience and impatience, humility and boastfulness, kindness and cruelty, sincerity and flattery, cunning and artlessness, and the like. The characters are generally types. They are meant to represent aspects of human nature: the proud peacock, the clever crow, the defiant donkey, the oracular owl, the plodding turtle, the cocky hare, the greedy pig.

D’Angelo, Frank J. Composition in the Classical Tradition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2000. Print. (60).

D’Angelo’s paragraph is an excellent example of the “TEE” paragraph (see here).

You will need to write “TEE” paragraphs for the Exit Examination.

exemplary: worthy of imitation; commendable: exemplary conduct. (Dictionary.com)
Sentences using the word exemplary from YourDictionary.
Sentences using the word exemplar from YourDictionary

X-1-2-3 sentences for a classification paper

Below are three sets of X-1-2-3 sentences for a classification paper answering the question:

What kinds of characters are found in fables?

X Three principal types of characters appear in fables: animals, humans, and supernatural beings.
1 Some fable characters || are animals.
2 Some fable characters || are humans.
3 Some fable characters || are supernatural beings.
X The characters in fables || are moral types.
1 Some of the characters in fables || are morally good.
2 Some of the characters in fables || are morally bad.
3 Some of the characters in fables || are morally mixed.

Notice that in each sentence stack* the subject remains the same while the predicate  changes.

The X-1-2-3 method helps novice writers keep their writing on track by instructing them to make the paper topic and the X-1-2-3 sentence subjects one and the same.

Remember: the X-1-2-3 sentences correspond to your Thesis Statement + three Topic Sentences:

X Thesis statement (usually the last sentence in the Introductory paragraph)
1 Topic Sentence #1 (1st sentence in 2nd paragraph)
2 Topic Sentence #2 (1st sentence in 3rd paragraph)
3 Topic Sentence #3 (1st sentence in 4th paragraph)

* The partial exception is the “list thesis” in the first set: There are three principal types of characters in fables: animals, humans, and supernatural beings. 

AND SEE:
William J. Kerrigan on learning to swim and learning to write
X-1-2-3: the 6 steps
X-1-2-3 at Cost of College
X-1-2-3 sets for a classification paper

Laura Gibbs on Aesop

Passage from:  Aesop’s Fables. Trans. Laura Gibbs. London: Oxford University Press, 2002.

In fifth-century Athens, however, there were no books of Aesop to be thumbed through, since the first written collections of Aesop did not yet exist. It is very hard for us as modern readers to appreciate the fact that Aesop could still be an authority whom you had to consult, even if he were not an author of books to be kept on the shelf. To ‘go over’ or ‘run through’ Aesop meant to bring to mind all the many occasions on which you had heard the stories of Aesop told at public assemblies, at dinner parties, and in private conversation. Aesop’s fables and the anecdotes about Aesop’s famous exploits were clearly a familiar way of speaking in classical Greece, a body of popular knowledge that was meant to be regularly ‘gone over’ and brought to mind as needed.

James Thurber’s country mouse

The Mouse Who Went to the Country
By James Thurber

Once upon a Sunday there was a city mouse who went to visit a country mouse. He hid away on a train the country mouse had told him to take, only to find that on Sundays it did not stop at Beddington. Hence the city mouse could not get off at Beddington and catch a bus for Sibert’s Junction, where he was to be met by the country mouse. The city mouse, in fact, was carried on to Middleburg, where he waited three hours for a train to take him back. When he got back to Beddington he found that the last bus for Sibert’s Junction had just left, so he ran and he ran and he ran and he finally caught the bus and crept aboard, only to find that it was not the bus for Sibert’s Junction at all, but was going in the opposite direction through Pell’s Hollow and Grumm to a place called Wimberby. When the bus finally stopped, the city mouse got out into a heavy rain and found that there were no more buses that night going anywhere. “To the hell with it,” said the city mouse, and he walked back to the city.

Moral: Stay where you are, you’re sitting pretty.

Thurber, James. The Mouse Who Went to the Country. In James Thurber, Fables for Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated. Garden City, NY: Blue Ribbon Books, 1943. Print. (3).

What is a fable?

From Wikipedia:

A fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized (given human qualities), and that illustrates a moral lesson (a “moral”), which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.

A fable differs from a parable in that the latter excludes animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as actors that assume speech and other powers of humankind.

From Composition in the Classical Tradition:

The fable is a short, fictitious narrative designed to teach a moral lesson or make a cautionary point. The purpose of the fable is to give advice, to exhort the reader or listener to pursue a wise and prudent course of action, and to dissuade the reader or listener from foolish or imprudent behavior. The fable is not intended to stand alone as a literary object. It functions as an illustrative example in a deliberative speech or essay as a form of proof.
D’Angelo, Frank J. Composition in the Classical Tradition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2000. Print. (59-60).

From Writing about Literature:

A Fable Is a Short Tale with a Pointed Moral

The fable (from Latin fabula, a story or narration) is an old, brief, and popular form. Often but not always, fables are about animals that possess human traits (such fables are called beast fables). Past collectors and editors of fables have attached “morals” or explanations to the brief stories, as is the case with Aesop, the most enduringly popular of fable writers. Tradition has it that Aesop was a slave who composed fables in ancient Greece. His fable “The Fox and the Grapes” signifies the trait of belittling things we cannot have. More recent popular contributions to the fable tradition include Walt Disney’s “Mickey Mouse,” Walt Kelly’s “Pogo,” and Berke Brethed’s “Bloom County.” The adjective fabulous refers to the collective body of fables of all sorts, even though the word is often used as little more than a vague term of approval.
Roberts, Edgar V. Writing about Literature. 12th Edition, New York: Prentice Hall, 2009. Print. (161).