September 04, 2012
Throughout history the fox has been associated with the good and the bad. In pre-Christian Times the fox was seen as a symbol of the god of vegetation or as a symbol of forest and mountain-spirits. This later changed and the fox was seen as a demonic figure. The fox is very common in fables and is often seen as a trickster, he is depicted as greedy and dishonest.
One of the best fables about a fox is the fox and the grapes. Interestingly it kind of sits between the two depictions of good fox/bad fox in that the foxes reaction to not being able to get the grapes is, well, very human!
Aseops fable about the fox and the grapes introduces the expression “sour grapes”. The term later became an English idiom. It is an example of cognitive dissonance. One desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one’s dissonance by criticizing it.
The original fable goes like this.
“Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked, ‘Oh, you aren’t even ripe yet! I don’t need any sour grapes.”
So it is easy to despise what you cannot have.
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