Sir Walter Scott Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Sir Walter Scott said, "He that climbs the tall tree has won the right to the fruit." Do you agree or disagree with this metaphor that fruit belongs to those climb the tree, or should the fruit be freely given to everyone?

One first glance, Walter Scott's metaphor that the fruit should go to the person who climbs the tree seems reasonable. However, as we begin to unpack it, we come to see that the situation is more complex. For example, infants or the elderly might need the metaphoric "fruit" and yet be unable to "climb." In an ethical society, they would nevertheless get a share. In short, the metaphor is limited and does not take into account extenuating circumstances.

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write11,320 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Sir Walter Scott's statement that "he that climbs the tall tree has the right to the fruit" means that a person who does the work to obtain something is the person who has the right to that object. On the surface, this seems a reasonable enough assumption. Why shouldn't the person willing to do the work get the reward?

However, this statement, taken by itself, is overly simplistic. People don't exist as individual entities: community is a prerequisite for human survival if only because infants, unlike other extremely young animals, can't survive on their own.

As we unpack Scott's idea and understand that people live in communities for mutual benefit and survival, the question becomes more complicated. Should a toddler be denied the fruit at the top of tall tree because...

(The entire section contains 415 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial