Study Guide

Aladdin Wealth

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Money makes the world go 'round. It's also the root of all evil.

That sounds like a problem.

Our story presents characters on both sides of the wealth spectrum. Aladdin lives in extreme poverty, while Jasmine basks in the glow of mega luxury. But when you get down to it, they both have the same basic problems:

ALADDIN: Palace looks pretty amazing, huh?

JASMINE: Oh, it's wonderful.

ALADDIN: I wonder what it would be like to live there, to have servants and valets...

JASMINE: Oh, sure. People who tell you where to go and how to dress.

ALADDIN: It's better than here. Always scraping for food and ducking the guards.

JASMINE: You're not free to make your own choices.

ALADDIN: Sometimes you feel so—

JASMINE: You're just—

BOTH: —trapped.

OMG, they have so much in common. Those two really ought to just get it over with and kiss already.

When you think about it, the original "Aladdin" folk tale is all about wish fulfillment. A boy finds a magical lamp with a genie inside, and it's like he wins the lottery. He gets all the riches and material things he always wanted, and his life is perfect forever and ever. Sounds awesome, right?

But the movie version of Aladdin doesn't quite agree; in fact, it kind of takes the opposite stand. In this movie, greed isn't good, and money can't buy you love. Just look at Jasmine: sure, she's a princess, but her entire life has been restricted and confined by her privileged position. And she's most definitely not happy. For this princess, it's mo' money, mo' problems.

Of course, Aladdin's life is no picnic, either, and he thinks being rich can solve all his problems. To be fair, it can solve some of them—like the whole starvation thing. But, in the end, Aladdin recognizes that even having a world-class menagerie of exotic-type mammals won't make his life better. It's only by being himself and being honest with the people he loves that he can really find true love and true contentment.

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