Apes are almost universally negative images in Western culture, although they were often revered in the Indian, Egyptian, and Chinese traditions. In Christian symbology, however, they have long been considered a symbol of malice and physical ugliness, as a pejoritive epithet dating back to the ancient world. An ape with an APPLE in its mouth typically depicts the fall. They stand for uninhibited, filthy humans; in dreams, they are "that which is like the human without being human but which seeks to attain humanity" (Biederman, 16). With relation to humans, they can represent mimicry and also stages of development towards man. In psychology, they are the symbols of insecurity and doubt about one's own position or role.

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