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The inventiveness and creativeness of the stories that make up the
Tales from the Thousand and One Nights1 are not to be underestimated.
Representing a colloquial and commonplace view of the Arab society, the
tales tend to embody the values of the people during that time. What is,
however, in question is whether the values back then are the same, or
held to the same regard in contemporary American society.
There is no doubt that there are certain mores which the narrators of
each story want to get across as virtuous or vicious. In some stories,
the value of individuality is expressed through fortune or active roles.
In other stories, the values of fidelity or courageousness are stressed as
virtuous traits. The reason that the stories are looked upon so highly
is that the translator (or reader) may pick up on the themes and values
and see them as a reflection of his or her own society.