For this writing Assignment, you will be exploring myths and narratives. Myths often communicate the values, lessons, or beliefs of a culture. For example, Narcissus is so self-involved that he falls in love with his own reflection in the water. This leads to his death, because he will not leave himself behind. Lot’s wife, as noted in the text, perishes, because she does not trust and obey. These stories act as corrective tales to guide behavior.
Popular stories might include folk tales, fairy tales, or fables. For example, in Aesop’s “The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf,” popularly known as “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” the boy told the same lie three or four times about a wolf killing the sheep. When a wolf did threaten the lives of the sheep, no one believed him. Aesop reminds the reader, “There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth” (Blair, E., Aesop, & Silverman, D. 2004).
Blair, E., Aesop, & Silverman, D. (2004). The boy who cried wolf: a retelling of Aesop’s fable. Minneapolis, MN: Picture Window Books.
Think of a story in your life or your culture that is frequently told, or commonly known, and communicates a corrective lesson. Be sure to select a story or narrative, and not a popular slogan, phrase shared in your own family, etc.; the selection must be a story or narrative. Think of stories which you have read, or been told, as a child; even tales such as the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus would be suitable.
This writing Assignment should include the following:
- Once you have selected the story or narrative, please provide an explanation of the story. Do not include the entire story; rather, summarize the story in your own words.
- Describe the moral or lesson of this particular story. What should the reader/listener learn from this particular narrative? Is this lesson effective in guiding an individual’s actions or beliefs?
- Explain the value of narratives or storytelling. Why might communicating a lesson in story format (oral or written form) be different than providing a set of rules to follow?
Have fun with this Assignment! Feel free to choose a story or narrative passed down from generation to generation in your own family.