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The fable “The very proper gander” by James Thurber deals with a gander who is spread rumour about and who is driven out of the country. The gander is married and has two children. He’s a good father who looks after his family and treats it very well. He is fine and very beautiful. He is a quiet member of the barnyard, he never wishes anything bad for the others. He’s always nice and friendly towards the other members.
One day somebody said: “This is a very proper gander”. The word somebody expresses that it could be said by everybody. The old hen who is married with the rooster hears this. But because she does not understand it right she hears the word “propaganda” a homophone that sounds just like “proper gander”. The hen likes talking because there is nothing else to do on the barnyard for an old hen. So she runs to her husband to tell this news. Now the chain begins. Suddenly everybody remembers hearing bad words from the gender or they remember seeing him with the hawks, the enemies of the barnyard. In the end, the animals unite and drive the gander out of the county.
Of course the animals stand for persons and the barnyard for the human society. The gander symbolizes all the quiet persons who try to get along with the others as good as possible. But only one misunderstood word is enough to make the others notice him negatively. Perhaps the gender is an outsider who does not take part in the society and now the other animals remark him. The others spread rumour about the gander and that is not right. They just say these things because the others think the same. One person begins the others go with it. In the barnyard society rules group force so they do not need any proof, they just listen to anybody saying bad things about the gander and they follow that example. Perhaps they’re also jealous of him being beautiful and fine and having such a happy family. The gender family has no problems, and the other barnyard members do not want him to be so lucky if they’re not too.