Home Legal Advice Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill – A Lawyer’s Perspective

Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill – A Lawyer’s Perspective [Legal Analysis of the Plot, Characters, and Setting]


By Aastha Khanna


Poems are neither questions that demand solutions nor statements that demand plain or linear studying slightly they’re just like the research of legislation that calls for a move of interpretation. No single interpretation of poetry or a authorized conundrum is appropriate; every interpretation requires the reader/lawyer to undergo thoughts punching and jousting.

The second a reader/lawyer thinks he has figured all of it out and his reply is appropriate, he has misplaced the battle of interpretation and exposition. It is all about notion which evolves on each studying and modifications the connotation and brings us again to sq. one and the whilom interpretation would sound farcical. Although a poem or a statute have to be learn as a complete; nevertheless, that entire is just not made out of nothing- it’s made up of the golden pauses and durations, and subsequently every phrase is able to ambiguities and allusion.

The first step to grasp the artwork of poetry evaluation and authorized follow is that there are questions that do not need solutions; all they’ve is conception and notion. Everything will depend on the reader, his tradition, and his degree of consciousness and understanding.

Poetry and legislation require us to show the searchlight inwards and dig deeper for elucidation. In the case of poetry, the poet has achieved his process of weaving phrases, now it’s as much as us as to how we take a look at these phrases and adapt them as our own, as per our cultural, morals, and mental comprehension.

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However, we should be taught to ‘see’ the brand new and aesthetic ambiguities and interpretations, even when the poem or shopper’s scenario comprises the identical olden fragments. Both poetological and authorized creative thought is aware of no boundaries; they each journey to the utopia and again.

Hence, rhyme and motive quadrate with one another. I’ll have interaction in a distinct methodology (or anti-method) of studying, and legally deconstructing the shards and fragments of the standard nursery rhyme ‘Jack and Jill’ by Mother Goose to know the forgoing arguments and the questions and doubts which one may face as a lawyer whereas interviewing a shopper.



As a first-year legislation scholar, one wants to check the shopper’s scenario and assume from all angles. For occasion, within the on the spot case, one of many two characters, Jack and Jill, involves you as a shopper and narrates the next story (verses) to you:

Jack and Jill went up the hill

To fetch a pail of water.

Jack fell down and broke his crown,

And Jill got here tumbling after.

Up Jack received, and residential did trot,

As quick as he may caper,

He went to mattress to fix his head

With vinegar and brown paper.

When the lengthy narration by the shopper is over, what questions ought to pop up in your thoughts? How must you conduct shopper counseling? How must you approach the case? Now it’s your flip to ask open-ended, guiding, close-ended, and reflective inquiries to construct up your story brick by brick.

Here are the suggestive bricks you should utilize to mirror on the factual matrix:



  • Who are the events intertwined?
  • Who are Jack and Jill- gender id, sexual orientation, the connection between them?


  • What have been Jack and Jill doing?
  • What occurred to them whereas they have been climbing up?
  • What occurred to them once they fell down?
  • What occurred to Jill when jack went dwelling?


  • When did they climb the hill (daybreak, morning, afternoon, nighttime, nightfall, night time, day, date)
  • When did they fell down (daybreak, morning, afternoon, nighttime, nightfall, night time, day, date)?


  • Where are these Hills?
  • Where have been they precisely going?
  • Where was Jack’s home?


  •  Why did they climb the hill?
  • Why did they want water?
  • Why did it take two folks to retrieve water?
  • Why did they fall?
  • Why did Jack go away behind Jill?


  • How did they climb- collectively or individually
  • How did Jack fall?
  • How did Jill tumble down?
  • How did Jack’s wound heal?

1.    Jack and Jill went up the hill

Every authorized conundrum commences with a dispute between two events at the least one in every of whom must be a complainant/sufferer/petitioner/plaintiff, and the opposite celebration ought to accordingly be accused/ respondent/ defendant.

To file a go well with, the essential particulars just like the identify and gender of the particular person have to be undeniable. However, within the on the spot case, the 2 folks intertwined appear to be genderless. Both Jack and Jill might be from any sex or gender. For the sake of understanding, allow us to assume that Jack identifies as a person (he/his) and Jill identifies as a lady (she/her).

Now, some info and points which a lawyer wish to get readability on:

a.    How previous have been Jack and Jill?

b.    Were they each climbing the hill collectively on the identical time or individually at a distinct time?

c.    Were they climbing this hill for the primary time?

d.    Do they each know one another: Are they mates? Are they lovers?

e.    At what time did they climb the Hill?

Let’s see if we are able to decipher the scenario from the following verse.

2.    To fetch a pail of water

The function of climbing the Hill will get a bit extra readability by way of this verse. They each went as much as the Hill to fetch a bucket of water. However, the next query will nonetheless puzzle the lawyer:

a.    Were Jack and Jill carrying the identical bucket or separate ones?

b.    What is the supply of water on the Hill- river, spring, faucet water, well, or waterfall?

Now in the event that they didn’t know one another, they have to be carrying separate buckets. Besides, if the supply of water is just not pure, then they each have to be competing with one another to achieve early and get their bucket stuffed sufficiently.

These are all presumptions and interpretations. As a lawyer, one should pay attention actively and passively to research the scenario and construct his facet of the story such that it narrates the case past an affordable doubt.

3.    Jack fell down and broke his crown

This verse certainly must be damaged down into two elements:

Jack fell down: The phrases ‘fell down’ don’t state whether or not Jack rolls down the Hill or he simply fell there at one spot. Moreover, how did he fall, what was the trigger? It could be the case that the place what place he went was moist because of the presence of water or Jill or another person current there will need to have pushed him. Or perhaps he received into an altercation with Jill or another person over the pail of water and as a consequence of that misplaced his stability and fell down.

Stretching the factual matrix even additional, can we assume that Jack tried to misbehave with Jill supplied not many individuals have been there upon the hill and Jill pushed him, or perhaps another person tried to misbehave with Jill and to assist her, Jack misplaced his stability or was pushed by the third celebration? In that case, a lawyer should a query if the Jack was simply harm or grievously harm because the third celebration (accused) can be tried and sentenced accordingly.

In case of harm,§319 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 stipulates {that a} court docket can punish the convict with imprisonment as much as one yr with a most superb of INR 1000. And if Jack was grievously harm, §325 lays down imprisonment as much as seven years with or with out superb. Or was it a case of tried homicide or murder? Maybe somebody is aware of of Jack’s schedule and he accordingly deliberate to homicide Jack by pushing him down the Hill or by utilizing any weapon.

A lawyer should use open-ended, guided, and closed-ended inquiries to construct this story additional. It may also be the case that Jack was an aged particular person and he fell or misplaced his consciousness due to his frailty. There isn’t any finish to the creative thought; it may be as tensile as one needs it to be.

Broke his crown: Assuming that Jack is just not a little bit boy carrying a toy crown or a king of some kingdom (is it protected to presume {that a} king wouldn’t climb the Hill to fetch a pail of water for himself?), we are able to comprehend that Jack broke his head by falling. In different phrases, he suffered a severe damage.

4.    And Jill got here tumbling after

Here comes a twist within the story! The different celebration within the on the spot case tumbled down the Hill. The foregoing matrix stays roughly the identical. But, can we additionally construct our story on the premise that each Jack and Jill have been lovers, and a vigilante crowd on seeing a person and a lady collectively grew livid and being the so-called guardians of Victorian morality attacked the couple as a consequence of which Jack and Jill fell down.

Or once more as I discussed, somebody tried to kill Jack and Jill to avoid wasting him, intervened, and tumbled down.

5.    Up Jack received, and residential did trot

Surprisingly, each Jack and Jill fell down, nevertheless it was solely Jack who received up and ran dwelling. Why didn’t he assist Jill? What occurred to Jill? Is she alive? We don’t know but. This is a explanation for suspicion and brings Jack throughout the radar of prosecution as a possible offender or homicide, because the case could also be.

Or perhaps the assassin or vigilant crowd was nonetheless after him, and he was making an attempt to avoid wasting himself. Or perhaps Jack and Jill aren’t mates and even acquaintances.

6.    As quick as he may caper

Again, Jack ran, skipped, and jumped his approach dwelling. He was surprisingly in a rush. This symbolizes that he was grievously harm. To transfer past the radar of the prosecution’s suspicion, Jack might have to interrupt the chain of the story constructed by the prosecution.

Shreds of proof like Medical report or Medico-legal Report (MLC), First data Report (FIR), CCTV footage, and police investigation report have to be introduced into the image to interrupt the chain. Eyewitnesses should even be examined.

7.    He went to mattress to fix his head with vinegar and brown paper

If Jack was grievously harm, as an alternative of going to a hospital or searching for medical assist, Jack most well-liked to make use of a house treatment to deal with his damage. This is without doubt one of the acts which push him into the radar of suspicion. If Jack was attacked by somebody, he will need to have taken recourse to public authorities instantly.

Why didn’t he report back to the police or why didn’t he search skilled medical assist? Was he making an attempt to tamper or fabricate some proof in opposition to him? Does this level in direction of mens rea?


Repeated studying of the poem from various views can convey to mild the varied authorized questions {that a} lawyer may ask throughout shopper interviewing, examination in chief, or cross-examination. There could also be a number of views and interpretations of the poem or authorized case.

Learning ask questions, weighing numerous elements and balancing them, analyzing the factual matrix from every angle, segregating applicable info from the irrelevant ones, understanding the settings- these are all essential elements of studying and lawyering.

A lawyer, identical to a reader, has to soak up and assimilate a number of perceptions and potentialities a few of which might be mutually unique, nevertheless, an excellent lawyer and an excellent reader by no means scoop out one chance at the price of one other. Interpretation by no means stands nonetheless, not even between two readings by the identical particular person, not to mention studying by two individuals.

Poetry, forsooth, is a spider’s net of thous puzzles but to be unfolded and solved.

Contradictions and romanticism are sometimes a necessary a part of the sport.

People, poems, and cases- these aren’t mazes and puzzles which as soon as solved might be solved endlessly. They are perplexing, stuffed with incertitude, a reader and a lawyer should hold digging deeper, and every dig would proffer mental calisthenics and assist uncover the world of escapades for the shopper. The ambiguities wouldn’t result in confusion; slightly they might result in richness and depth.

The permutations and combos would lead us to not a conclusion however to a degree of interpretation that may assist us join the dots, construct up our case, and show our perspective past an affordable doubt, at the least for the sake of concluding the trial. 

Mystery, thy identify is poetry! Mystery, thy identify is legislation!

Aastha Khanna (most well-liked pronouns: she/her) is a commerce graduate at present pursuing LL.B from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. She has performed an lively position in scholar politics at University degree by serving because the Joint Secretary of Students’ Union, Law Centre-1 and President, Women’s Cell, DUSU. Besides politics, she has performed main roles in numerous societies and committees of her school and Faculty and arranged nationwide degree occasions.

Aastha is a heavy proponent of ‘Refuse, Resist, Rebel, Revolt’ and subsequently doesn’t shrink back from elevating her voice for causes that matter.

If you could have an attention-grabbing take or an informative cake on the legislation, legislation as a profession, or the legislation faculty life, please e mail your write-ups, notes/tables (the informative cake bit), poems, and so on. to tanuj.kalia@lawctopus.com with the subject-line ‘Blog for Lawctopus’



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