Story Closure – Armenian

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American, Armenian
Age: 22
Occupation: Graduate Student
Residence: Los Angeles, CA/Phoenix, AZ
Date of Performance/Collection: April 2011
Primary Language: Armenian
Other Language(s): English

Story Closure – Armenian

“At the end of a story or fairytale that a mother tells her child, she always ends with: ‘Three pomegranates (or sometimes apples) fell down from heaven. One’s for the story teller, one for the listener, and one for the entire world.’”

The informant was unsure as to why her mother said this after telling her stories, but stated that she knows both pomegranates and apples are symbolic. I agree that this symbolism is important, as apples are often viewed as fruits of knowledge, while pomegranates can be seen to represent fertility. In my opinion, this sort of closure to the story depicts how each participant in the storytelling process, including the society in which it exists, benefits from the story. The heavens give each person a fruit at the end of the story. In some ways, this seems to possibly symbolize the seeds of knowledge and ideas that are implanted in a child’s mind by their parents through storytelling. Furthermore, it seems to be a variation of other story closures, such as “happily ever after.” Perhaps it is also just a way to end a story on a happy note, while also allowing the storyteller/narrator to assert themselves outside the context of the story at the end of their performance.
I found a few variations of this story closure, usually only in the last part of the phrase. Instead of “for the entire world,” a couple variations say, “for he who understands” or “for he who takes to heart.”