Folktales of the American Frontier (Version 2.0)

Having examined fairy tales from the European tradition, we are now moving on to the folklore of America.  There are countless “tall tales” from far and wide in the fledgling United States, and the folktales of this country are simultaneously exceptional and unusual while also being discernibly connected to prior tales and traditions.  To examine these fascinating stories, you have two options:  1)  In response to the stories assigned for Wednesday (4/8), you should identify and choose a significant theme or image from a specific tale that you find to be particularly intriguing.  Then, I’d like you to do a little (research) reading into the historical time period in question and the issue in question as it relates to that age.  Next, move on to examine the issue as it appears in the story and offer a brief interpretive analysis of  just what the author seems to be doing by way of rendering that issue for the reader in this tale.  2)  The second option for this response is offered in the spirit of light-hearted fun that infuses these American “tall tales.”  For those of you with a creative spirit (and/or those who simply to try out something a little different), I’d like you to write a short “story” of a kind.  Specifically, put together a brief excerpt that presents another “story” featuring one of our three characters for Monday — Davy Crockett, Paul Bunyan, or Daniel Boone.  In your story, try to adopt the tone, diction, and narrative style of your chosen source, and then offer a tale that may somehow seem “authentic” in its representation of this character and type of story.  If you would additionally like to give us any overview of your thoughts and approach in writing your story, of course you may feel free to outline that for us as well.  Have some fun with this!!

22 thoughts on “Folktales of the American Frontier (Version 2.0)

  1. The adventures of Daniel Boone are tales of settlement in the west of America. While Boone did not go as far west as many other people after him, he certainly experienced the same hardships as those that would proceed him and then some. The time period from which The Adventures of Daniel Boone is based goes back to the mid-to-late 1700’s during the tension filled American Revolution. During this time, Daniel constantly faces the theme of hostility whilst trying to settle himself in Kentucky.
    Hostility for Boone began from his initial settling in the Kentucky region from the Native Americans. Boone’s first run in with these Native Americans saw his initial camp be raided, his capture and escape, and all of his group either being killed or scarred off. After his escape form the Natives the first time he was able to regroup with some of his men and his family. Upon this regrouping, Boone decides to build Boonsborough fort on the Ohio. This settlement is his great accomplishment as later it will save him and his men.
    The erection of Boonsborough does not sit well with the natives who constantly try and raid the fort. This continues until the natives, I refuse to call them “Indians” as this is very incorrect by the way, mobilize and capture Boone. Boone is taken 160 miles up the Ohio River to meet with the leaders of the natives. Here Boone realizes that this hostility also comes from that of the English as well. Here he escapes back down river after learning the great amassing force of both the natives and the English that is descending upon Boonsborough.
    This great force arrives and Boone is able to fend them off after false treaties and heavy fighting. Through more encounters, Boone eventually survives the siege on his fort. With Boonsborough defended, Boone focused lastly on the combined forces of the natives and the British in the surrounding land. This would continue until the end of the war where Boone recants that the treaty between the army and the natives was foreboding. This foreboding is Boone’s final hostility where the native who signed the treaty stated, “we have given you a fine land, but I believe you will have much trouble in settling it.”
    Through these hostilities, I believe that these tales were meant to truly show the hardships that it took to settle the land in this country. It was not just peaceful land grabbing, settlement was dirty, violent, and dark. I particularly enjoyed that this tale was more likely nonfiction as most of Boone’s tales are realistic. This is not to say that the tales from Davey Crockett weren’t realistic yet they seemed more farfetched.
    When it comes to what we can take from Daniel Boone, it’s a tale explaining settlement amidst some of the greatest hostilities that early American life provided. Daniel Boone seems to take a situation, no matter how hostile, and analyze it to work in his favor. Even with his luck and cunning, Boone is not perfect as he does experience failures through the loss of both his early camps and men defending them. Still, you can’t deny Boone’s persistence in trying to expand the reach of the fledgling United States of America.

  2. The tale I found most intriguing was the story of Paul Bunyan. As this course focuses deeply on mythology, I felt there were many references in Paul Bunyan that could be applied to several creation and origin stories we studied early on in the semester. Indeed, Paul Bunyan may even refer to the origin of the “tall tale” to refer to a character that is “larger than life”. I felt as though the story of Paul Bunyan was used to serve as a mythical metaphor to describe the creation of settlements in still undeveloped areas of North America.

    Paul was described as a boy who grew incredibly fast and incredibly large. His enormous size was used to explain the earthquakes and tidal waves that occurred due to him rocking in his crib at night and shaking the ground beneath him. Paul grows up to become a lumberjack with the strength of many men and after the winter of the “blue snow” falling from the skies, he acquires Babe, a blue ox he takes in after the snowfall. They travel all over the countryside together, setting up camps and establishing ties with people wherever they went. Paul and Babe are credited with many things in their folklore tale, such as clearing away the trees to allow the creation of North and South Dakota and allow farming to take place in these lands. Even with the ending of the story being so mysterious and unresolved when referring to the legacy of Paul Bunyan, his story relates to many mysteries surrounding mythology.

    In doing some research I came across references that the story of Paul Bunyan may have arisen around 1837, during Canada’s Papineau Rebellion. Many local French Canadians were rebelling against the English and the Queen of England at the time. Local loggers often joined in the fight of refusing to surrender to English troops who ordered them to stop their rebellious behaviors. Many loggers armed themselves with axes and large wooden forks fashioned into hooks. One of these loggers was mentioned to have been named Paull Bunyan. This specific logger reportedly charged at the English troops and slaughtered any of them who got in his way. For his actions, Paul was greatly respected and received much recognition from other loggers for protecting his land. This is one legend that features a historical background and from this information, readers can see how the author of the story attempts to make sense out of just who this mythical giant known as “Paul Bunyan” really was.

  3. When it comes time to cut down timber, what would take an entire season to cut, takes Paul Bunyan a day. However this season was different. As Paul and his men slept in through the early morning hours he was suddenly awakened, by Babe who would not go to sleep and was stomping around the camp chasing a pesky wolf. He found that he could not go back to sleep so decided to start cutting down timber early. He worked all the way up until the afternoon at which point he was acres ahead of what he normally cut. He soon ran into other lumberjacks who accused him of trespassing into their territory.
    While they were only half his size they were eager to challenge him for the land. Seeing their size he insisted that it would be unfair for all 20 men of their small stature to try to fight him so he proposed a hot cake eating competition. If he could out eat all 20 of the lumberjacks, they would leave the trees for him to cut, or he would leave them alone. He called all 7 Elmer’s to prepare a feast for their contest. They immediately came and helped Sour Dough Sam prepare 21 mountains of hot cakes. As the men sat down, Sour Dough Sam started the race. Each of the twenty lumberjacks ate speedily, taking down two cakes in one bite. But despite how fast they managed to eat, Paul was being fed 7 cakes in one bite 1 from the hand of each Elmer. As he finished his stack of hot cakes, he began to eat the stacks of the other 20 lumberjacks until there was not a single cake left.
    The lumberjacks could not believe their eyes, and accused Paul of tricking them. They wished to fight him and denied their defeat. But just as they stood up to attack the towering giant, Babe who was still in pursuit of the wolf came bouncing over the hill, and as the ground trembled under his feet, the lumberjacks grew terrified and ran as fast as their feet could carry them, occasionally falling over their bursting stomachs. From then on Paul Bunyan could cut down timber anywhere in the state of Maine without anyone bothering him.

  4. “Every day we experienced recent mischiefs. The barbarous savage nations of Shawanese, Cherokees, Wyandots, Tawas, Delawares, and several others near Detroit, united against us, and assembled their choicest warriors against us at old Chelicothe, to go on an expedition, in order to destroy us, and entirely depopulate the country”
    1) This image really resonated with me because it puts into perspective the type of violence that the Indians were reeking on American settlers in the late 1700’s. The tale of Daniel Boone explains how the men were willing to trade with the Indians along the riverside and that violence was not the only means of communication between the settlers and the natives. Daniel Boone was a pioneer to Western America and helped pave the path for other settlers to expand the land which ultimately became America today. The American Indians did not agree with the process of buying, selling, or owning property. They did however sign a treaty with the Government at the time, which stated the the settlers could hunt on their land among them but were not permitted to live alongside them. Although these events occurred almost sixty years prior to Andrew Jackson’s heinous Indian Removal Policy, better known as the Trail of Tears, perhaps it provides a little bit of motive behind his actions. Although I do not believe it amounts to any type of justification. Regardless I thought this specific quotation from The Adventures of Daniel Boone offered the sincere terror that American settlers felt toward the Indians. They were under the impression that the American Indians one and only goal was to entirely wipe out the pioneer population. Unfortunately for him the Indians had a vast knowledge about the land he was venturing into whereas this was all new frontier for him. I think this reflection of Daniel Boone, the invincible man, truly captures the genuine fear that American people in the early times felt about the Indians.

  5. The story of Paul Bunyan was by far the most intriguing folklore tall of all the readings. The story in all its wonder is perfectly exaggerated and offers insight as to what may have interested settlers in western America during the 1800s. With that said, I found it especially interesting that the story of Paul Bunyan takes place in the west and mid-west. Being that I have been to that area several times and spent much time there, this story strikes a chord with me. Also in mind is the image of Babe being buried with what is now known as Black Hills, South Dakota (which you should definitely see if you ever have to opportunity).

    In the text, it regales of how Paul and his trusty partner in crime “Babe” cleared forests together and created several camps and landmarks. Upon some of the places they cleared together was South Dakota. Toward the end of the story, Babe dies and is also buried in South Dakota. I was curious as to if there are any other stories of Babe and Paul in the Black Hills, being that there is already so much history that took place there. So as I did some research, it was made clear that the Black Hills formed because of the mound of dirt that it required to bury the majestic blue Ox. As I did more research I discovered more landmarks Paul Bunyan “created” and was pleasantly surprised. Some of these landmarks include the Grand Canyon, Bay of Fundy in Maine, Niagara Falls and the Mississippi and Missouri. These are all widely known places in America places that I have been to, so it surprised me that I never heard of these stories before.

    In that sense, the story of Paul Bunyan could be categorized as a creation myth. Bringing this idea forward ties it in with mythology, whether it draws from Greek mythology or perhaps Native American mythology which some western American settlers may have come across while takin their land. It was interesting to see that there were creation myths in a more modern time. A question that resonated while doing the research is whether these stories were created for an actual description of how things came to be, or if they were told simply for entertainment. All in all, the story truly captures the American feeling and allowed me to learn more about history.

  6. I believe that the tales of Paul Bunyan were the most interesting. These stories are perfect examples of American tall tales. Of course the stories are not true, but they are used as a source of entertainment. During this time period these stories were well known and used as a way for people to connect with one another. There are several comical elements, for example the story where the dog Sport was accidentally cut in half. He was then put back together, but upside-down so he would flip over when he would run. The stories are also used to explain things in nature. For example, the story where Paul dug out the Great Lakes so that his ox Babe would have enough drinking water. These types of stories are also seen in the Native American culture to explain certain aspects of nature. One final thing that I found interesting about Paul Bunyan is that there is no real end to his story. There are several different variations such as that he was last seen in Alaska, or that he hides in the woods so people don’t know he is there. This adds intrigue to the story and allows it to remain an interesting part of American tall tales.

  7. Paul Bunyan was a very interesting piece. Size was a major theme that played into the main characters of Paul and Babe and also the other axe men. The fact that mythology like this existing in a later point of history is interesting itself. Due to the way humans advanced over time, one would think that there wouldn’t be a need for these types of stories. While in the past stories like this would explain how the world was created, this story seems to be much more light-hearted and fun. Rather than trying to explain the unexplainable this story is used just as a fun thing to tell people. The size of the characters is just to make it more appealing and mysterious. To hear about an average sized man with an average sized ox wouldn’t be very interesting and it simply wouldn’t make a good story. But to add this massive size to the characters gives the story something more. It adds factors of wonder and grandeur and make the story worth listening to or reading. It spurs imagination and encourages more stories of the same nature.

  8. Paul Bunyan’s unending tenacity—despite his differences—is prevalent in various American folklore. By having this characteristic Paul Bunyan embodies the American ideal, especially in a time of development.
    To begin with, Paul is a huge baby! with and insatiable appetite. Because of his immense size, he caused earthquakes and tidal waves, thus, he was eventually exiled to the woods with his parents. Clearly, his differences caused many issues in the beginning, and it was not until later that those differences made him the greatest lumberjack to ever roam America.
    Other than the overarching theme of persistence, the theme of companionship comes into play when he discovers the Ox he would eventually name Babe. They are persistent and together, they clear forests and help further develop America. Paul and babe eventually settle the largest American camp, where Paul acquires seven Axemen named Elmer. Here, companionship comes up again, especially when the legend depicts that every Sunday they feast on hot cakes. It is also worth mentioning Paul’s valuable accountant friend, Inkslinger. At this camp, the men endure a war with fantastic insects that crave sugar. Another instance of tenacity. There are other various accounts of Paul’s persistence in settling America: i.e. clearing the forests of North/South Dakota for farmland.
    This persistence, in a profusion of different ways, has gone to inspire/influence many Americans. It is debated that the fabrication of Paul Bunyan was an advertising ploy to stimulate the lumber industry. Despite these perhaps dubious origins, it apparently worked! Paul Bunyan caught on and went to inspire many ambitious lumberjacks. As mentioned, America was still developing/expanding in the time Paul Bunyan’s stories came about. So for children (and adults!) hearing these tales of tenacity and comradery (and even adversity i.e. his rather, large, differences…) went on to inspire many Americans. Whether it was to chop down just one more tree, or to plunge into the new day to follow your ambitions, Paul Bunyan has in some way inspired countless Americans.

  9. Although Davy Crockett speaks like Hagrid from the Harry Potter series, the real David Crockett was actually an American frontiersman and politician of the late 18th and early 19th century who became a popular hero during the antebellum period. Born on the Tennessee frontier, Crockett served under Andrew Jackson, fought the Creek Indians in the War of 1812, and even worked in Congress. As if this wasn’t enough, Crockett also ensured his own legend by dying in the battle for Texan independence at the Alamo against Mexican forces. This mixture of kickass frontiersman and patriotic politician fascinated the American people. His narration in frontier vernacular, however, revealed the discrimination, cruelty, and prejudice of the frontier. When Crockett talks about the Native Americans, his tone and word choice illustrates the ideologies and perspectives people of the early American history had about Native Americans. David Crockett’s opinions about Native Americans come out in his folktales, portraying them as villains and influencing the children reading these folktales to believe the same beliefs American frontiersmen felt about them.

  10. One “tall tale” that I found to be very interesting, was the tale of the giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan. His life story is funny and exciting to read or listen to; I remember when I was younger teachers would always tell stories about the giant lumberjack that was amazing and great in everything that he did. They would also talk about how nice and pleasant he was to all the people that he surrounded himself with, even when they weren’t nice all.
    I am so motivated by the tale of Paul Bunyan “The Giant” that I have decided to make my own story about him, kind of like a different perspective on one of Paul many stories about growing up. The tale that I am choose from is the one entitled “Lucy, The Purple Cow”, which is one that I absolutely loved. So sit back and relax as I take you into this world, and bring new detail of this great “tall tale.”

    After Paul found out that he could make ice-cream with Lucy, The Purple Cow’s milk he desided that this was the perfect opportunity to host an all day ice-cream party. Everyone from East to West, high and low came to the party to enjoy the delicious taste of the sweet Purple ice-cream. Even on the day the Major of all things Sweet & Tasty made Paul Bunyan the Ambassador of Ice Cream and every year on the 4th of September ice-cream was given to everyone in the land.

  11. Around the time when Paul and Babe the Blue Ox were moving west from Maine, they made the Great Lakes. As told before, Paul dug the Great Lakes to provide drinking water for Babe. But Paul became quite thirsty himself. He would cup the water into his large hands and drank.

    One day, Babe the Blue Ox was feeling a little tricky. While Paul was sitting on the edge of Lake Ontario, Babe decided to run and bump into Paul. The water that he held was released. This created a huge waterfall that we now call the Niagara Falls.

    My inspiration in writing this short story was reading the other blog posts. The one that stood out to me was Rebecca Howard’s when she talked about the other landmarks that are associated with Paul Bunyan. When I saw that the Niagara Falls was one of the landmarks, I knew right away that I wanted to write a story about how the Niagara Falls came to be.

  12. The “tall tale” of Paul Bunyan, touched the hearts of lumberjack and labor forces for a long period of time, because of he abilities, larger then life motif, and the entertainment value that came along with these tales. It is debated that these exaggerated stories are originated from the Canadian/Northeast regions of North America during the Canadian Papineau Rebellion in the early 1800s. This is when the Canadian Rebels revolted against the new ruler of England. This is when a comradery from the local loggers emerged when they refused to surrender to the British troops. I would assume that is why this Paul Bunyan figure survived during this period of time. He was like a role model to these local labors and motivated them.
    I think Paul Bunyans story relates a lot to the early myth stories we looked at in relation to the origins north American territories. The formation of landscape and landmarks in states such as the Dakotas, Washington, and other western territories. I think the early settlers of these areas used Paul Bunyan to explain the creation of their lands and symbolize the hard work and strife that these early settlers went through. I found it interesting that some believe that when Babe the Blue OX died that Paul Bunyan buried in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This would be an origin tale for how these hills came to be. I think this was the purpose of these tall tales during this time.

  13. Reading the stories, I decided to write about Paul Bunyan. He was not your average baby that was born. He was large and birds had to carry him to his parents. He was a very intelligent boy, who always wanted to work. Paul Bunyan was a very strong person. His parents got him a cradle, and put it in the water of Main. He moved and water flooded towns.

    One day Paul Bunyan noticed that it was snowing outside. It was not the average snow though. This snow was blue. As Paul went outside he found a little baby ox, which he decided to keep and named him Babe.

    Reading this story, Babe and Paul Bunyan had the same characteristics of growing large, and being very strong. It was almost like they were meant for each other. Paul and Babe liked working, and they would always work together. They left Maine and headed to the west for more work. It is believed that Paul and Babe left there mark where ever they went.

    The theme of this story, I believe, is that no matter how strong/big you are, you could always use extra help. Paul got help from Babe, and from the lumberjack men to help with the camp. I believe this story ties in a lot with nature, and has a great part to do with this story.

  14. I thought the story of Davy Crockett was pretty interesting because up until now reading if I just thought he was the guy who was a hero in the frontier. So while doing some research about this “tall tale hero” I found out that he was a politician for some time. He was a congressman and a defender of the Alamo. Although he was involved with politics doesn’t mean he was the best at it. It is also applied that he was racist towards Native Americans considering them wild and savage. Some state that there are two versions of Davy Crockett, the realist one and the larger than life one that attracted journalists and writers. Stories published about the tale of Davy Crockett emphasized his good story telling skills and frontier language that made him a symbol of the west. So in my opinion the legend of Davy Crockett was just a symbol for what the “American” way or archetype of the times.

  15. 1) Although I found Paul Bunyan’s story to be very entertaining and a bit comical, the story of Daniel Boone is one that grabbed my attention for a number of reasons. First off, the way in which nature is described and cherished by Daniel is simply astounding as he has such a deep appreciation for mother nature and conveys it so well to the reader. Daniel lives in the moment when he is by himself, pays attention to all of the details, and is thankful for being in such a beautiful and giving place. It really seems to be on the precursor to transcendentalist ideology, and being that this story took place just several years before the transcendentalist movement gained popularity, it would be very fitting for the time period.
    Also, the story is very factual and has a very important place in our nation’s history, as he represented the struggles western settlers would endure for the next 100 years. Daniel explored Kentucky first before the American Revolution, but at the time Native Indian tribes were worrisome of the constant advancement of European settlers in their area. Daniel was one of many to experience just how the Indians dealt with new settlers on their hunting ground. Once the Revolution came, Indians saw it as a better opportunity to oust the settlers, add to that the British were recruiting Indian war parties to drive colonists out. Although the defense of his post was not by any stretch a pivotal point in the war, it displayed the perseverance of both Daniel Boone and the American Colonists.

  16. One day, while Paul Bunyan was cutting his way through the forests of the north, he saw something strange in those woods. Paul saw a government official standing in his way waving a notice of some kind. The official said the President made these trees federal property and no one was allowed to take them down, even that legendary lumberjack. Paul thought this was strange as he had the word of the President to cut down wherever he went making sure to only take those trees that needed cutting so new trees could grow. He walked away after this sitting on the stump of a great red wood thinking about what had happened. The next day he went back to check the official only to find he was no where to be found. Paul found, however, was that so-called protected grove was rotted away, poisoning the ground surrounding it. Paul had to rip those trees out and burn the ground but before he did, he found tracks leading away from the grove deeper into the rest of the forest. Paul followed those tracks all the way to a desolate stretch of desert to a lone cabin. In this cabin was the official but it was no official. It was in fact Death, taking the form of a government official to prevent Paul’s conservation of the grove and allow more trees to die. Paul, after seeing this, took his mighty ax and clove Death’s cabin straight into the ground. That very hole remains to this day in the South-West and known as Death Valley.

    While I did attempt to write this in the same diction as some of the original stories, if there was not some kind of dark twist somewhere it would not be a Bruce original creation.

  17. The tale of Daniel Boone is truley a tale of adventure. Boone is an iconic character Amin American folk stories and is know by ment for his exploits of being tough and I woodsman. The story of Daniel Boone begins with the rise of who he is going to become when he begins to go up west not making it exceptionally far; however, Boone lands himself in Kentucky which pans out to be a rather contested place by the native Americans. This is not the only thing shown throughout the story though you also learn the hardships of travel in a time before cars or trains, and the journey it took to reach somewhere. Through this story Boone also learns the that it’s not just the Indians that are attacking them but it’s them attacking the Indians and taking there land.
    This story is important because it truly highlights the time it was written in. The United states was still a very new and un searched. The times were also rough with constant attack from Indian tribes in villages. however we were doing the same to them and stealing there land and destroying there culture and heritage. This is a time where things like this were common and the United states was very new making this a truly cool early Americana tale.

  18. Humor is an obvious and unavoidable theme that presents itself throughout the entire tall tale of Paul Bunyan. The humor found in the story featuring the famous and oversized lumber jack, Paul Bunyan, is achieved through the use of exaggeration in the text. Because of the numerous overstated and embellished comparisons and explanations, it is clear that amplifications are a key component of the story. But what is their purpose?
    Paul Bunyan originated in the oral traditions of North American loggers but was later largely popularized in a 1916 promotional pamphlet for the Red River Lumber Company by William B. Laughead. From this, we can gather that Paul Bunyan and a compilation of oral tales which featured him were important to loggers as well as their families and communities. He was a uniting and nationalistic figure amongst areas which depending on the lumber industry and thus, a perfect character for a promotional pamphlet for a lumber company.
    The exaggerations throughout the story serves the purpose of making the readers or listeners laugh at the implausibility and absurdity of aspects within the tale. The humor within the tale seems to be included lightheartedly, maybe in an attempt to keep the spirit of lumber jacks high and create a unifying force amongst them. The story could have come about with the purpose of motivating the lumberjacks, as they probably looked up to Paul Bunyan from the time they were little kids until they grew up and took on the job of a lumberjack. I would relate it to a story of a war hero that is exaggerated and told amongst soldiers in a war in an unconscious attempt to raise moral and unite eachother.

  19. The stories of Davey Crocket were very interesting showing that tales of the early American settlements after the Revolutionary War had a strong sense of tall tales for entertainment. Just like early stories we read in the beginning of the semester where the hero of the story was probably a real person at one time, and over the years people have embellished them to a degree, these stories were also based off some real people. David Crocket was a pioneer, and a politician. He traveled through parts of America that were not part of the U.S. at the time. He was also a U.S. House of Representative for Tennessee for a while. A lot of his stories are pretty short in length like traditional fairy tales we have read. This really leads me to think that this time period, since these stories are happening relatively the same time the Grimm’s are publishing there book in Germany, that stories didn’t need to be very long for people to find them entertaining. This probably had a reason for their popularity, they weren’t that hard to remember and tell someone else.

  20. The one thing about the tall tale of Paul Bunyan is that strength and bigness, for a lack of a better term is prevalent and the key ingredient throughout the story. Paul is a giant lumberjack who has super human strength who is accompanied by his giant blue ox, Babe. Babe was not always giant however. When Paul found babe, it was just a teeny, tiny baby ox. But the ox grew to be as ginormous as Paul. The fact that the ox’s name is Babe is very ironic and i am sure the author included that irony for a reason.

    The stories of Paul Bunyan were published in 1910. That is the same time period as the Great Northern Railways were being created. The Company was definitely guilty of deforestation, especially in Washington state. Just where the Story of Paul Bunyan takes place. Paul and Babe wiped out acres and acres of forests at a rate similar to the railway company. Is this a coincidence? I think not. Authors tend to use real life problems and transform them into digestible short stories for children. They purposelessly do that to embed these key themes and problems in their tiny little brains at a young age. It is almost as if these children have no choice but to be presented these problems subliminally.

  21. The one story I really enjoyed was Paul Bunyan. I really enjoyed this because it was one of the first American creation myths around. Paul is one of the first stories that explains how certain things came to be in America. I really liked the “larger then life” or tall tale theme that they have going as well. In many ways Americans still have a larger then life attitude. Americans still wants to be the biggest, strongest, smartest, etc. countries in the world. We built some of the largest buildings, cities, and towns in the world. We also have some of the biggest people (intentional or not). So I feel that thing “tall tale” still holds a lot of value today.
    We had manifest destiny in this country, we wanted to be as big as we could. We fought for Texas and Alaska to be a part of us- to make the US larger. Paul Bunyan really explores that idea of bigger is better. This idea was current then and is still current now.

Comments are closed.