General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

In Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale "The Emperor's New Clothes" who is at fault?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28307points) October 7th, 2019

The tailors? For having lied to the king, and and actually having made nothing at all?

The Emperor? For having been so vain and stupid and accepting the word of the tailors?

The townspeople?” For having aided and abetted by their blindness and willingly buying into the emperor’s vanity?

“The kid?” – the whistleblower who actually told the truth?

Who is guilty?

wikipedia summary‘s_New_Clothes

the story

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11 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

The townspeople

rebbel's avatar

Hans, for making the story up.

janbb's avatar

The (MAGA) townspeople.

zenvelo's avatar

“At Fault”? “Guilty”? Of what? Exposing hypocrisy?

Certainly, the kid is in no way at fault for anything. But the vain emperor and all his sycophants (which include the tailors and the townspeople) are complicit.

gorillapaws's avatar

There’s nothing that’s mutually exclusive about the blame here. All of those parties are blameworthy for their respective failures.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@gorillapaws why the kid, what did he do?

flutherother's avatar

The only one at fault was the kid who was executed for treason by Emperor Trump.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Blame must fall on the townspeople, who after all, were neither blind nor tricked. They denied or ignored
what was directly in front of them. The tailors were paid for “giving the king what he desired”. In fact the lesson is: everyone got just what he deserved!

Zaku's avatar

Everyone did what they did, which caused what it caused. Multiple people were involved and their interactions were what they were.

Guilt requires agreement about value judgements.

What I noticed about myself, was that I thought I remembered the story details well, but when I read this version, I found many details that were different from my memory which are relevant to perspectives on the characters’ morality.

The weavers have fairy-like knowledge and confidence to take advantage of everyone’s nature this way.

Really I’d say all of the adults fail the test of the weaver’s trick, until they listen to the child. The whole adult society (other than the weavers) is “guilty” of being too stuck in its self-shaming doubt to see or face the truth, let alone speak and argue for it.

I notice that the mainstream conversation never loudly calls out the farce for what it is, and the weavers seem to go unpunished.

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