Now you can take this one of two ways. Either the chicken simply desires to arrive on the other side of the road, or he is suicidal and desires to reach the immortality.

You are watching: To get to the other side

This is where my confusion sets in. According to a Wikipedia write-up, "The first well-known printing of this riddle remained in 1847."

I"d prefer to know the origin of the expression "the various other side" being offered to expect the immortality.


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While dubious that the other side has the double definition you indicate, it originates in the Greek myth of Charon and the river Styx.

The Styx was the boundary of "Hades, the land of the dead, on the other side."

See, for example http://www.theoi.com/Khthonios/Kharon.html


The earliest circumstances in print that I"ve been able to find of “the other side” in the context of death and the afterlife is from Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible written c. 1710.

The doctrine of the immortality of believers lassist dvery own, John 8:51...The residential or commercial property of fatality is so altered to them that they do not check out it as death, they do not check out the terror of fatality, it is quite taken off; their sight does not terminate in death, as theirs does that live by sense; no, they look so plainly, so comfortably, through death, and past death, and are so taken up with their state on the other side death, that they overlook death, and also check out it not.


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A phrase equivalent to this have the right to be discovered in John Bunyan"s commonly circulated book Pilgrim"s Progress from 1684:

When the Day that he need to go therefore, was come, many accompanied him to the River side, right into which, as he went, he said, Death, wright here is thy Sting... So he passed over, and the Trumpets sounded for him on the various other side.

More information have the right to be discovered here: https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/278600.html

It appears reasonable that this widely circulated book having a similar phrase, albeit different, in recommendation to death could have brought about the chicken joke being funny to 1847 listners.


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