Discontented King

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“The Discontented King”

“The Discontented King” was written by John Gruelle and is part of Raggedy Anns’ Fairy Stories which was written in 1928. This story is about a King who had everything he could ever imagine. In fact, he had so much that he had to ask his Wise Men to think of new things for him to wish for, because he had run out of ideas. When the Wise Men cannot think of anything, one of the Wise Men’s wives suggests that the wives take the place of the Wise Men for a while. Everyone thinks the idea is foolish, but they follow through with the plan. It turns out that the wives end up putting the king in his place, by making him work hard and eat coarse food. This opens up the king’s eyes, making him realize that he should appreciate all that he has.

In “The Discontented King”, there are no particular good or evil people. The king is extremely spoiled, greedy, and selfish, but he does not seem like a truly evil person. “Once there was a King who was never satisfied with anything. He was just like some boys and girls. He had everything he could wish for and he worried everyone about the court making them think up new things for him to wish for.” (Gruelle 281) Some people may look at him as the evil character, because fairytales often have a hero and a villain. However, after the joke was played on the king by the wives of the Wise Men, he had a complete change of heart. This alone proves that the king had a good heart but he just needed a reality check to show him what was really important. “Then the Queen arranged for him to return. And the people were glad to see that he had improved in appearance and in manners. And when he found out that the wives of the Wise Men had ruled the country well in his absence, he knew he must treat everyone right if he wished to remain King long.” (Gruelle 283)

There are various moral principles that are addressed throughout the story. One great moral of the story is that you should be happy with what you have, and...
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