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i read this story today and need help with few questions. sorry it a bit long. i actually not real understand it, especially ending.

by Eric Nicol

Once upon a time there was a knight who lived in a little castle on the edge of the forest of Life. One day this knight looked in the mirror and saw that he was a White Knight.

"Lo!" he cried. "I am the White Knight and therefore represent good. I am the champion of virtue and honour and justice, and I must ride into the forest and slay the Black Knight, who is evil."

So the White knight mounted his snow-white horse and rode into the forest to find the Black Knight and slay him in single combat.

Many miles he rode the first day, without so much as a glimpse of the Black Knight. The second day he rode even farther, still without sighting the ebony armour of mischief. Day after day he rode, deeper and deeper into the forest of Life, searching thicket and gulley and even the tree tops. The black knight was nowhere to be seen.

Yet the White Knight found many signs of the Black Knight's presence. Again and again he passed a village in which the Black Knight had struck - a baker's shop robbed, a horse stolen, an innkeepers daughter ravished. But always he just missed catching the doer of these deeds.

At last the White Knight had spent all his gold in the cause of his search. He was tired and hungry. Feeling his stength ebbing, he was forced to steal some buns from a bake shop. His horse whent lame, so that he was forced to replace it, silently and by darkness, with another white horse in somebody's stable. And when he stumbled, faint and exhausted, into an inn, the innkeeper's daughter gave him her bed, and because he was the White Knight in shining armour, she gave him her love, and when he was strong enough to leave the inn she cried bitterly because she could not understand why he had to go and find the Black Knight and slay him.

Through many months, under hot sun, over frosty paths, the White Knight pressed on his search, yet all the knights he met in the forest were, like himself, fairly white. They were knights of varying shades of whiteness, depending on how long they, too, had been hunting the Black Knight. Some were sparkling white. These had just started hunting that day and irritated the White Knight by innocently asking directions to the nearest Black Knight.

Others were tattle-tale grey. And still others were so grubby, horse and rider, that the mirror in thier castle would never recognise them. Yet the White Knight was shocked the day a knight of gleaming whiteness confronted him suddenly in the forest and with a wild whoop thundered tawords him with levelled lance. The White Knight barely had time to draw his sword and, ducking under the deadly steel, plunge it into the attacker's breast.

The White Knight dissmounted and kneeled beside his mortally wounded assailant, whose visor had fallen back to reveal blond curls and a youthful face. He heard the words, whispered in anguish: "Is evil then triumphant?" And holding the dead knight in his arms he saw that beside the bright armour of the youth his own, besmirched by the long quest, looked black in the darkness of the forest.

His heart heavy with horror and grief, the White Knight who was white no more buried the boy, then slowly stripped off his own soiled mail, turned his grimy horse free to the forest, and stood naked and alone in the quiet dusk. Before him lay a path which he slowly took, which lead him to his castle on the edge of the forest. He went into the castle and closed the door behind him. He went to the mirror and saw that it no more gave back the White Knight, but only a middle-aged, naked man, a man who had stolen and ravished and killed in pursuit of evil.

Thereafter when he walked abroad from his castle he wore a coat of simple colour, a cheerful motley, and never looked for more than he could see. And his hair grew slowly white, as did his fine, full beard, and the people all around called him the Good White Knight.

  • English -

    I've read it -- an interesting story.

    I think the author is trying to say that if we go chasing evil, eventually we may become evil ourselves. Most people, though are neither pure good nor pure evil -- but a mixture of both.

  • English -

    thanks ms. sue :)

    you please help me with some questions?

    i had to make t-chart and list in point form all events that happened and in second column i have to write events in general statements, summarazine and cluster events.

    in first column this what i write:

    -White Knight starts his quest to slay the black knight
    -found signs of black knight
    -spends all his gold in search for him
    -steals buns from bakehop
    -steals white horse from stable
    -inkeeper's daughter gives him love, he leaves her
    -attacks white white knight
    -realizes how black he'd been throughout quest

    i not get how to write in general statements. also white knight kill the white white knight?

  • English -

    who was black knight?

    i think he was the white knight because he do bad things and not follow good he represent.

    how white knight know black knight be around?

    he saw signs of bad deeds done like bakers shop robbed.

    why white knight hit white white knight?

    he look black?

  • English -

    I don't know what your teacher expects for writing the events in general statements.

    The White Knight killed the White White Knight in self defense. The White White Knight thought our White Knight was the Black Knight because he had turned black.

  • English -

    thanks for help ms. sue :) i wrote more question above but one question say why white knight hit white white knight? i thought white knight hit white white knight.

  • English -

    Yes. The White White Knight tried to kill the White Knight (the main character) because by this time, he looked black.

    You're welcome.

  • English -

    thanks ms. sue my other answers right?

    wat really white knight mean when he say is evil then triumphant?

    i really not get this one.

    how this white knight get known as good wite knight?

    he do good things and not ask for more than he need?

  • English -

    Our "hero" started out as a good person. But he was dragged down and evil won.

    He got known as a good white knight after he stopped looking for evil and became a good person.

  • English -

    thanks very much ms. sue :) i only have couple more questions.


    wite knight: represent good?

    black knight: represent evil?

    forest of life: ?

    'soiled mail': ?

    mirror: appearance?

    coat of motley colors: good person?

    what be difference in what author trying to say and what be theme of story? these two separate questions but don't they mean same thing?

    also i not get what allegory be? it be message of life so that be be yourself?

  • English -

    Your good and evil symbolisms are correct.

    Forest of life represents the complexity of life.

    Soiled mail was the black armor of the former "White Knight." His armor turned gray, then black, as he became more evil.

    Yes, mirror is appearance.

    His motley colors were the many colors (not just black and white) that represent real life.

    I think the theme and the author's message are the same.


  • English -

    thanks very much ms. sue for your help :D have a good night!

  • English -

    You're very welcome, Mohammad. You have a great night, too.

  • English -

    hello,, I want to know if you can help me with some of the questions?

  • English -

    the short story
    why do people refer to the white night as " the good white knight" whenever he walked abroad from his castle? is he good white knight? what does this suggest about people in society and their perceptions og good and evil?

  • English -

    hi could you help me with a question i have? What does the white night by Eric Nicol say about human nature?

  • English -

    What is the meaning of " Is evil then trumphant?"

  • English -

    how is this story connected with our life?

  • English -

    This story is connected through our life
    we people at young age represent good and we grow up and become bad cuz we are all excited to know about the world so do bad things n become bad but as we grow old we become kind and religious to good,,.

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