The story of Aladdin is only so well know because it happens to share a title with the Disney film. Little else is similar as we’ve discussed in class. Taken on its own merit, the story of Aladdin is lacking in several ways. Its plot has compelling moments, yet drags on for long stretches (well illustrated by Katherine’s graph), the characters are not nearly as interesting as others we’ve discussed and it has this strange almost trilogy structure.
The three main conflicts of the story; the first magician and winning the princess, the return of the magician, and finally the revenge of the magicians brother are somewhat contrived. The flow from one part of the story to another is much less natural than even some of the transitions between stories from the earlier parts of the Nights. They story almost seems tacked together.
Aladdin, as a character, changes dramatically as the story progresses, yet we had a hard time finding a reason for this change within the text. Such a dramatic transformation, from disobedient child to charismatic favorite of the sultan, is worthy of close analysis, yet this story doesn’t give us much to dig into, other than to inform us that it happened.
This story does not nearly hold up when compared to other stories in the nights which contain interesting character development and interesting plot structures. I believe a reasonable explanation for this is the difference in source for this story and the stories from the “Bagdad Core.” Galland’s source for this tale is sketchy at best, he may have in fact fabricated most of it himself. It lacks the layers of stories so characteristic of earlier nights tales. At the very least this story is of much different origin from the others, if not an inferior fabrication of Galland himself.