Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys: Help vs. Hinder

In Cecily G. and the Nine Monkeys, I identified the binary help vs. hinder.  Cecily the Giraffe helps (rescues)  the monkeys get across the river bank.  A sad and lonely Cecily learns that the monkeys are searching for a new home as she is searching for a new playmate.

“My name is Cecily Giraffe and I am unhappy because I haven’t anyone to play with.  Why are you sad?”

“We are sad,” said George, “because we haven’t anywhere to live.” (Rey p.6) 

When Cecily and the monkeys  become acquainted with one another as they entertain each other, Cecily slowly becomes hindered by her own generosity.  Even though she enjoys the company of the monkeys, at their request she is physically used in ways that can be viewed as dangerous.  Cecily is a seesaw, her head is tied to a tree as a ski slope, a rope is tied around her long neck a to create a sailboat, the monkeys decide to take off her skin??!!, and lastly tied up as a makeshift  harp. Though Cecily is having fun, all of these games do not really include her, tire her out and cause her pain.

“After a while Cecily’s neck got tired, but she was having such a good time that she hardly noticed.” (Rey p.12)

“He shouted orders and pulled the ropes. “Not so hard, not so hard!”, cried Cecily.” (Rey p. 17-18)

Poor Cecily.  Hindered by her own kindness and longing for companionship, she helped the monkeys find a place to live and and became their friend.  Cecily and the monkeys bond and the monkeys even write a song to show their love for her.


Rey, H. A., and Fritz Eichenberg. Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1942. Print.