Make the right wish


Wish_List_(Magic_Lamp)If you could rub the Lamp of Aladdin and ask the genius to make one wish to come true, but only one, what would you choose? Love, success, fortune, health or what else? Are you sure you will be able to take the right decision with no regrets afterwards? I actually wouldn’t know what to pick, maybe health, however, I’m going to give you a couple of examples in literature to demonstrate that this is a question that has to be pondered carefully, before giving an answer, otherwise the consequences could be devastating.

cumaeSibyl of Cumae was a prophetess in service to Apollo and a renowned beauty. Apollo wished to take her as his lover and was ready to offer her anything she desired. Unfortunately she didn’t ponder on her answer and instinctively asked to defy death: she wanted to live forever. It was easy for Apollo to grant her wish, he was a powerful god after all, but still she refused to become his lover. Greek gods were usually of a revengeful kind, and Apollo’s revenge consisted in granting Sibyl’s wish anyway, as he knew that giving that answer she had doomed herself to misery. In fact the boon Sybil had chosen was one of a cruellest kind. She wouldn’t have died just like anybody else but she would have kept growing older and older and older.

imagesVC9Q2RUJShe lived for hundreds of years, each year becoming smaller and frailer. When Trimalchio speaks of her in the Satyricon, she is little more than a tourist attraction, tiny, ancient, confined:I saw with my own eyes the Sibyl at Cumae hanging in a cage, and when the boys said to her: “Sibyl, what do you want?” she answered: “I want to die.” This is the scene Eliot quotes at the beginning of the Waste Land. The Sybil had given the wrong answer. Immortality doesn’t actually mean eternal happiness because time keeps on reminding its presence painfully “wasting” our bodies. But, had she asked for eternal beauty?

imagesUR2ZX0G4The moment  Dorian Gray may see the picture that celebrates his remarkable beauty, suddenly realizes that his charm very soon will slip away. He will never be as attractive as the portrait which stands in front of him. That picture will keep on reminding his inevitable decay. There are no gods or devils here, but his intense wish of eternal beauty is granted, therefore magically Dorian will remain young while the portrait grows old and ugly in his place. Time won’t touch his features but it will still be able to “waste”  his soul. In fact the portrait, which stands for Dorian’s conscience, will record the consequences of a life of debauchery, and every sin or crime committed will result in the disfigurement of its form. Dorian won’t bear to look at the picture any longer and he will destroy it, thus killing his true self. Therefore neither eternal youth nor immortality are the key to happiness. Ergo, what could the right answer be?


117 thoughts on “Make the right wish

  1. If I could rub Aladdin’s lamp….I ,probably, wouldn’t!
    I have learnt enough, from books and comics, to know that playing with supernatural things is like playing with fire. Everything you wish for will, inevitably, turn against you. So better NOT to touch that lamp!
    But if I really have to wish for something I would, defenetly, wish something armless and simple, like the good ol’ world peace!

  2. I think the right answer does not exist. First of all, everyone has different desires, so it changes between people. Secondly nobody has only one wish. Yes there are the ‘big’ wishes like health, fortune, fame, happiness etc.. but choosing one has always harsh consequences. For example what is the point of always be happy: if there’s no sorrow, happiness would lose its meaning. I don’t want that wish but if I am forced to choose one it will be universal freedom. Freedom to be who and how you want to be, freedom to make your own choices, freedom to say whatever you want to say, freedom to express yourself in every way, freedom to live your life.

  3. If I could rub the lamp of Aladdin, I ask to go back in time, when I was little, at the age of four years old when my parents left. I would ask the genius to have a united family, an example of love to give my children when they will ask me what love is and the secret to keep in time. I would not ask for beauty, money or immortality, I just want the affection of a joint family who choose to spend together every day and forever and to love me in the same way.

  4. Absolutely health. Even in poverty or other difficult situations. You could have success, money, a wonderful family and so on but to spend happily your life, your health must be perfect. If I could make a wish, I would not like anything except health.

  5. First of all , I would reject immortality and eternal beauty because I do not want to end up of Sybil of Cumae and Dorian Gray ; than I would reject success because we often can hear of successfull actors and singers who kill oneself beacuse depression . Morover I reject also peace and love in the world beacuse I’am not Miss Italia . So I think that if I could rub the Lamp of Aladdin I would like to realize myself during my life beacuse perhaps it is the only key to being happy .

  6. I think that live forever happy is something impossible even for gods. The important thing in life is to use ours intelligence to feel satisfied. Indeed happiness only depends on ourselves. So if i could ask a wish to realize is to be always happy of what i do.

  7. I definitely would choose happiness because in it is implicitly contained every wish and I believe that it is a universal aspiration

  8. If I follow my instinct, I will ask for more wishes or something sly like this; but if I stop to think, I will probably throw away the lamp. I am pretty sure that every wish has his dark hidden side, that can change your life first better and than worst, because you have to pay what you have been given. If life is hard enough, why should I make it worse? Thanks, but I prefer to remain in my balanced situation between happyness and depression.

  9. I would ask the genius of the lamp freedom. Freedom to choose my friends, my jobs, freedom to achieve my desires, my dreams. This is the only wish that I want to come true… obviously I would also ask him to score do three goals against Lazio!

  10. If I had choose between the desire of Dorian Grey or that of Sibyl of Cuma certainly I choose the first because both desires involve immortality but I would have the power to choose between life and death, just like Dorian did.
    If I had choose my own I would like to become a God, like the Greeks or the Romans Gods, that is I would have all possible powers.

  11. If I could steal the Aladdin’s lamp I think I will wish I never grow old.Because I can’t think that my body will age,lose healthy and strength instead your mind remain the same.So definitely I will choose the eternal youth,also it would mean remain the same forever.

  12. If I still the Aladin’s lamp, I would ask the ability to time travel as I can come back in the past or in the future but this travel is very dangerous because I must be careful because I could change the present or create new time line l

  13. I don’t know what I want particularly. I believe that in these situations the person who has the choise of the desire could be always the victim. This doesn’t depend on you so you just hope and not care about the conseguenzes. I don’t know which is my desire but I believe that it should be a desire which regards something material. A simple material desire.

  14. I would probably ask for happiness. True friends, health, a beautiful and loyal wife, economic wealth and all those things that would allow me to achieve my personal idea of happiness.

  15. If it were possible, i would probably ask immortalitý. But not the same immortality of sybil. I would desire being spiritually immortal, and being remembered in the next ages.
    However I need no lamp’s genius to accomplish this desire 😉.

  16.  It must be nice to have the opportunity to know people that lived in the past, such as important characters who have made history, or our ancestors. I want to know them and discover things that were not passed down.

    Vittorio Porrini 5 A

  17. I would ask some kind of special power, maybe i would ask him the ability to stop time and move freely. This would make my life way easier and funnier.  The problem is: during the frozen time would i still keep on aging? Even if the answer is yes, i think that i will not regret this choice. Life would not be the same without the fear of death, i am not interested in denying this aspect of life with a desire.

    Florian Rettaroli

  18. If I would have the opportunity to make a wish, I would probably choose happiness. With happiness I don’t mean to be rich or to be famous. But for me to be happy is to live a life with a family I love and to be as healthy as possible. In my opinion that is because everyone has his own perception and idea of happiness.

  19. I think it is really difficult to find “the perfect wish”.
    We always hope to meet, one day, a genius, a person, who can satisfy our dreams and desires but actually, when we really start thinking about what we could ask for, we realize the answer is not so easy as we had thought.
    Everything that comes to my mind soon appears shallow or useless in few minutes.
    Maybe, even if it could sound stupid, I would ask “to live”.
    I would like to have the chance to live as intensely as I can, without the problems concerning health. I want to have the canche of doing mistakes and to live, to find my world, my freedom and I want to find love, however long it takes.
    And I think that we have the canche to do whatever we want in our hands because this is our life and it is made by our choises, and very often we can not live because of problems connected to health, and I know it very well.

  20. I think is difficult Think of a desire That I May be desired More than anything, however, I think What if I stood up I would choose The opportunity to be able to live intensely my life, allowing me to have everything it has to offer Definitely my Bigger That desire and to feel a complete person is she afraid of dying Aware of have lived Because life is Made of time and if That time well spent no can That feel proud of you. So my hypothetical desire to Know What It All Shades of the world.

  21. If I could express the greatest desire of my life, I would ask for staying with my family forever.
    I believe that family symbolizes the main strength of everybody, the reference point which gives you the stability and the courage to face the difficult situations of life. Besides, I believe that when you are surrounded by people who love you, you can find the real happiness and you can stay in peace with yourself. This is what everybody needs in their lives and this is the wish I would express.

  22. Hi teacher,
    I would like to know what happens after death.
    The world has always been conditioned by this mystery.

  23. I think it is possible to choose either options.: one could wish to be etearnal and the other to die at wish. Because in Oscar Wilde’s novel: Dorian Grays the wish of enernal life was granted and he was able to die so I think this is the best choice.

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