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Essay On If I Get A Magic Lamp

Have you read Aladdin and the Magic Lamp? You probably have. Perhaps the better question for you is have you read a version of the story that’s translated directly from Arabic?

I explain why below.

In a hurry? CLICK HERE to buy a copy of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp translated by Richard Burton.

Below, you’ll find my thoughts on Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. And it’s worth the read because there are many misconceptions about the story!

All images in the post are clickable! 

Initial Thoughts on Aladdin and the Magic Lamp

The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights (Modern Library Classics)

Aladdin and the Magic Lamp is an old favorite. This review is based on the standalone book. It is one of the stories in The Arabian Nights (One Thousand and One Nights), which I have read and enjoyed.

According to Wikipedia, The Arabian Nights is a

“collection of West and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age.”

In many Aladdin stories, there is a misconception that Aladdin has only three wishes, when in fact any wish he makes while in possession of the lamp is granted. It is important to read a version of the story that is translated from Arabic to English. This allows you to see things for yourself.

This is also an important life lesson, to try to go back to original sources as much as possible. This is not easy, but worth the effort when possible. I read Aladdin and the Magic Lamp as a standalone story, but I also read it in the Arabian Nights.

UPDATE: This was first published in October 2012!

What is Aladdin and the Magic Lamp About?

Aladdin is the son of Mustapha, a poor tailor. The young lad is lazy and carefree, whiling the time away with other boys like himself in the neighbourhood. This grieves his father so much that he dies . Despite that, Aladdin does not change his ways.

One day a stranger appears, claiming to be his father’s brother who had gone away for 40 years. Aladdin’s mother thought her brother-in-law was dead. She and her son welcome the stranger into their home. However, the stranger is a magician and up to no good, he is after the magical lamp which has to be given to him.

He locks Aladdin in a cave with the hope that the lad will die. Aladdin accidentally finds out that his wishes will be granted. The story reminds me that we should attempt to realize our dreams – Aladdin is in love with the Sultan’s daughter and he is not satisfied until she becomes his wife.


The story is a contradiction, because on one hand there are some deep lessons such as never giving up on your dreams, or doing what it takes to achieve your goals. On the other hand I find it very superficial when people are measured not by their character, but by the riches they possess. Unfortunately, that is still true today and in that way the tale is timeless. To win the Sultan’s daughter’s hand in marriage, Aladdin has to bestow many gifts upon the king.

Aladdin is given a magic lamp and he makes the most of it. If the magic lamp is a metaphor for the talent and abilities you have been given, how are you making the most of YOUR magic lamp?

Should You Buy a Copy of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp?

Although you may have read Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, it’s worth reading again, and you can do so in less than an hour. And I would like you to read the version by Richard Burton, and not the free versions. It’s a very accurate translation of the story. I also highly recommend that you read The Arabian Nights by Richard Burton. It’s a delightful book, and it’s a story within a story.

The version of The Arabian Nights by Richard Burton is one of the best ones because it’s translated directly from Arabic. It’s a long book, close to 1,000 pages. I set a goal of reading at least 100 pages when I read it about a decade ago.

Aladdin and the Magic Lamp & The Arabian Nights

For me, it was an enjoyable experience to read a story by itself, and then read it in the context of another story. I have mentioned previously that The Arabian Nights is a story within a story. And Aladdin and the Magic Lamp is one of the stories within a larger story.

Aladdin and the Magic LampThe Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights (Modern Library Classics)


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Filed Under: Book Summary and Review, Professional Development, Self-improvement, SummareviewTagged With: Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, One Thousand and One Nights

Johnsburg Central School

Mrs. Flanagan, Kindergarten

“I’d wish for three more X-Box 360 games.” (Eric Mason)

“I’d wish for another cat, another dog, and a new pirate ship.” (Emma Wilson)

“I’d wish for a garden hat, garden gloves, and a shovel so I could work in the garden.” (Ariana Harvey)

“I’d wish for a guitar, a piano, and a dog.” (Elijah Muniz)

“I’d wish for a bunny, a toy Care Bear, and a dog.” (Kayla Gonyo)

“I’d wish for it to be summer, to go to Mason’s house, and to go to New York City.” (Eli Morin)

“I’d wish for a puppy, a kitten, and a baby chipmunk.” (Adriana Washburn)

“I’d wish for a dog, a bouncy ball, and a snowman.” (Bailey Brown)

Johnsburg Central School

Ms. Hagadorn, Grade 1

“I would wish for a pet goldfish, a new board game, and a robot.” (Cole Sears)

“I would wish for lunch every five minutes, my brothers to be nice to me, and only have a sister.” (Mackenzie Mulligan)

“I would wish for the Spiderman cave, the Knight cave, and a pet cat named Midnight.” (Hayden Baker)

“I would wish for kittens to fall from the sky, have lunch all day, and magical lanterns.” (Mia Connelly)

“I would wish for lunch every two minutes, fifteen flying kittens, and candy!” (Caroline Williams) 

“I would wish for a telescope, a SMARTBOARD, and a Spiderman costume.” (Hunter Denno)

“I would wish for more wishes!” (Alexandra Butler)

“I would wish for that my dad’s back didn’t hurt, I wish I could drive my snowmobile, and work with dad every day.” (Sean Bibby)

“I would wish for Kid Icarus, a giant robot, and another three wishes!” (Levi Neal)

“I would wish for a remote control monster truck, a new video game, and a bike.” (Antonio Morehouse)

“I would wish for everyone to be nice to each other, my brother would be nice too, and I would try to be nicer to my brother so we could get along.” (Angelo Galle)

“I would wish that my names was Thorin from the Hobbit, I wished I lived in a castle and lots of gold.” (Brian Burkhardt)

“I would wish for a cell phone to call my mom, I wish I was a grown up and a teacher because my teacher is nice to me.” (Alesha Johnston)

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