2013 Sejong Writing Competition

Winning Entries :: Essays :: Junior third place
Generosity and Jealousy in the Goblin's Club

The Korean folktale, The Goblin’s Club, tells the story of a poor, generous woodcutter who came out of poverty and became rich, and his older brother, a wealthy, greedy, jealous man who always wanted more than he needed. The woodcutter accidently becomes rich when he frightens a goblin who drops its magic club, and the woodcutter then uses it to become wealthier than he could ever imagine. His rich, older brother finds out about his younger brother’s good fortune and out of jealousy tries to recreate it. In the end, he fails and is senselessly beaten flat and stretched long by the goblins. The moral of the Goblin’s Club is that generosity will bring you good fortune and greed or jealousy will only lead to misery.

Generosity will bring you good fortune. The younger brother had no intention of becoming rich, but when he did, it did not change his generous nature. For example, when he found some acorns, he was selfless and saved them all for his family including his brother who did not need them at all. If the younger brother was greedy and ate the acorns, he would not have scared the goblins by having them mistake the crackling, chewing sound for thunder. The acorns would have been gone, and the goblins would have found him instead of being spooked off. Similarly, some people today are generous, and they have received good fortune as a result. A NYPD officer bought a pair of boots for a homeless man even though he probably did not make that much money himself. He did not receive great fortune in terms of wealth, but rather his good fortune was in his heart and in his reputation. He felt proud for doing the right thing. Unknown to him, someone took a picture of his act of kindness, and the story spread through the news media. Consequently, people thought highly of him because of his good deed. Likewise, his example of generosity may have inspired people today to do similar acts of kindness that will help others. All of these are examples of generosity which lead to happiness that don’t result in wealth but instead, peace of mind which is the best fortune of all.

On the other hand, the older brother is greedy and jealous and this leads him into misery. Even though he is rich, this does not satisfy him and he only wants more. When his brother finds the goblin’s club and becomes rich, instead of being happy for him, he is jealous even though he doesn’t need to be. This finally leads to his failure of being senselessly hit with the goblin’s club. If he had been satisfied with what he had, none of the bad things would have happened to him. At the same time, the older brother had plenty of money which he hoarded for himself and didn’t share with his poor parents and brother. This was probably because being wealthy was the only thing he was good at, and he did not want his family to be wealthy too. When his brother became richer than him, this tore him up inside, because he no longer was best at something. As a result of his jealousy, he doomed himself to a life of misery.

If a person leads a life in which they think more of others than themselves they will avoid misery and be content whether they are rich or poor. In life, if a person is to be content, it does not matter if they are wealthy as long as they live a moral life. It is more important to care about others than to hoard possessions. You could have all the money, acorns, or shoes you could imagine, but if you don’t share them with others your life will be incomplete and your greed will lead to a miserable downfall.