Weather it is to teach a child or a youth fables and parables play an important role. In bible, there are several instances when Jesus uses parables to explain to his disciples and his people the basic principles of life. This paper explains how fables and parables are useful in the art of teaching life lessons effectively.
Before we get into the discussion it is essential to define the terms fables and parables and also find the basic difference between the two. Fable (from the Latin fabula, "a telling") puts the emphasis on narrative (and in the medieval and Renaissance periods was often used when speaking of "the plot" of a narrative). Parable (from Greek parabole, a "setting beside") suggests a juxtaposition that compares and contrasts this story with that idea. Allegory (from Greek allos and agoreuein, an "other-speaking") suggests a more expanded use of deceptive and oblique language (Jesusi.com, 2001).
According to the Wikipedia encyclopedia a fable is defined as a brief, succinct story, in prose or verse, that uses animals, 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 (Wikipedia, 2007a). In simple terms the fable is generally a tale or a story of animals that come to life and behave as though they were humans. The fable tends to concentrate on animating the inanimate. The only difference between a fable and an ordinary folktale is that a fable always carries a moral (Jesusi.com, 2001). In simple words fables are knowingly fictional, unrealistic fantasy stories with moral that illustrate previously discovered human wisdom (Chopra, 2004).
On the other hand a parable does not take the help of animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature as actors (Wikipedia, 2007a). The parable also tells a simple story. But, whereas fables have a tendency to personify animal characters, the typical parable uses human agents. Parables generally show less interest in the storytelling and more in the analogy they draw between particular instances of human behavior. For instance, in bible Jesus through the parable of good Samaritan proves the true neighborly kindness required in human behavior at large. Preliterate oral cultures are the common roots of parable and fable and both are means of passing down through generations the traditional folk wisdom (Jesusi.com, 2001). Deep spiritual truth is demonstrated using parables that are not previously understood by man (Chopra, 2004).
The parables make it easier to set up unexpected connections. The parable is built on characters, images and situations already known by the reader or the listener, allowing the author or the storyteller to set up, unexpected links with new ideas or situations. The art of metaphor rests exactly in the capacity of establishing comparisons between ideas and situations that, at first sight, do not have much in common, thus revealing unexpected truths and new aspects of truths in life (Badenas, 22-40).
Similar to poems, fables, parables, and allegories have some hidden truths. These are like imaginative literature or spoken utterance constructed in such a way that their readers or listeners look for meanings hidden beneath