Myths and Folklore in (or about) Early America

During the week leading up to this Blogpost, we will be covering a lot of ground in class as we begin Unit Two. We will be starting this work by exploring the folklore of the American frontier, then move on to consider the tragic realities of life for the millions who lived under the yoke of slavery and Jim Crow laws. As you will learn, race itself is essentially a “myth,” yet racism is a very unfortunate reality for many, even today, as Ta-Nehisi Coates makes very clear in Between the World and Me (the book that will be the centerpiece of this second unit). In your very first assigned reading this semester, Robert Brockway mentioned that myths were central to the cultures of the ancient world, but there are many stories or traditions from the “new world” that “have mythic overtones and intentions” – quasi-mythical premises that are seen in songs and stories, scientific studies, legal pronouncements, philosophical systems, historical theories, and political ideologies.

With this in mind, your task in this blogpost is twofold (and your write-up itself should be two separate parts):  1)  Compare/contrast the folktales of early America (featuring Davy Crockett, Paul Bunyan, and/or Daniel Boone) with the myths of the “old world” that have been our focus so far this semester.  What does such a comparison reveal about these early American tall tales, about early America itself, and/or about the history and development of myths all over the world?  2)  I recently heard a Stockton student reference the idea that there were “Irish slaves” in early America. In fact, this idea has been debunked and is, sadly, often cited in support of nationalist or even white supremacist causes. The fact of the matter is that, as historian Liam Hogan notes, “There is unanimous agreement, based on overwhelming evidence, that the Irish were never subjected to perpetual, hereditary slavey in the colonies based on notions of ‘race.’ “  What are some other “myths” or stories that influence the early years of America, for good or ill?  What kinds of “tall tales” fueled social injustices before, during, and after the founding of the United States.  And how do such far-fetched “myths” continue to cause problems for us today in the twenty-first century? 

23 thoughts on “Myths and Folklore in (or about) Early America

  1. Folktales of early America explain the heroics of white men compared to myths of the “old world” that explained a way of being. Folktales typically explained how land would come to be (Paul Bunyan making roads straight and chopping trees; or Davy Crockett with the Cherokees). Folktales glorified the actions of men, reaching their target audience of white men. Readings like Paul Bunyan basically put white men on a pedestal. Myths from the “old world” did not do this exactly. Myths would explain how a way of being came to and provided a reason for events (Zeus and his control over the sky explained the weather; creation myths told stories how the world began; Odyssey mentions and explains traditions). Myths had their own heroes that were put on their pedestal however they were put there because they had a greatness about them – they had saved people or ruled as a great king, etc.

    A “myth” that influenced the early years of America is that slavery was a long time ago. This story was used to influence people’s perspective on the situation as a whole. Allowing people to believe that slavery had happen a long time ago invalidates the hurt, pain, and trauma from it. In reality slavery was not all that long ago, about two or three generations ago. Myths like these continue to cause issues today because without the facts and all the true information, people learn and interpret situations without understanding the gravity of it. In regards to “slavery was a long time ago”, when people believe this is lessens the weight of what slaves had gone through, believing that it happened a long time ago makes it harder to relate or empathize with those that experienced or have any sort of situation like it. Believing myths likes these allows for people to stay ignorant.

  2. From looking at the early American folklore, we see they are usually about humans and are there to show how ‘great’ America’s history truly is. The tales of both Davy Crocket and Daniel Boone show White men who travel across America defeating the Natives and are meant to be seen as a great time period. The Greek myths on the other hand mention Gods or great beings who create mountains or make natural disasters. They include immortal beings, war, love, betrayal, and so on. The Greek myths are longer and include a more in-depth storyline. Although some early American folklore can include larger-than-life beings -such as Paul Bunyan- the mention of gods is limited due to the adoption of the Christian and Catholic religions. Few tales of folklore will mention Gods because it is mostly of war between the Natives for land.
    The mention of Irish slaves as a whole is a big myth that people will use against black people with no research behind it. There have been times where my black friends will tell me that someone said the N-word then stated “Irish were slaves too”. In general, these myths have always been around to counteract a black person’s statement. As someone who used to live in Arkansas – a state where the KKK is a strong force- there were Confederate flags hung everywhere. From neighbors’ homes to convenient stores there was always one around. The idea of heritage not hate is a big myth that I quickly came to dislike. The lost cause movement was the start of this idea so that the Confederate states would not have to feel guilty for fighting so hard to keep the slaves. The confederate flag is a sign of hate and should be seen as that not a part of some heritage that should be shameful to have.

  3. Early American myths tend to focus on the wild and exploration of the frontier. This is in contrast with the ancient myths we have studied in class, mainly because ideas of pioneering and exploration were less celebrated than stories of war heroes. However, many of these early American heroes were also celebrated for fighting off Native Americans. Similarly, when Ancient Greek were celebrated it was likely for fighting another ethnic group or cultural group. Although these Greeks could all be considered from the same “race” many Greek cities and states had different cultures and customs. The difference then, is that the foes of these American heroes are labeled with descriptive titles like the “red man” which single out the most important difference being appearance.

    Early American myths mostly portray American Indians as terroristic and violent in nature which is not a very accurate nor fair assessment to make. Though there may numerous occasions where pioneers might have been attacked by a Native war-party it is worth remembering that Europeans and later American settlers had committed countless atrocities against the native people of America. Even when the Native American people turned to violence (mostly as a last resort), it was to protect their homes and families from people who had unjustly removed them and their ancestors from their homelands time and time again.

  4. One of the things the myths of the ‘old world’ strives for is to tell the public about some kind of story. It strives to answer a question, forget about telling a story. How did the world come to be? How was the wind, fire, ice, water and earth created? Where did the stars come from? They had an explanation for mankind. Early American myths did not seem to want to tell about creation. American folktales begin with pride and construction of something new, from what was already had. It tells stories of great accomplishments and wonderful achievements. This is a mere story, not a way of life as some of the early myths could be a part of. Myths changed over time as to what they wanted to convey- since we know that myths used to tell all sorts of stories regarding the creation or the destruction, there was more of an entertainment element for these… elementary stories.

    One of the myths from the early years and starting of America would be the idea of the ‘American dream’. This, to me, is a mostly false myth spread by people in order to get more workers and population. The American dream fueled many different social and economical outcomes- even just looking back at the history and how everything began to rise and fall, we can see the way this idea progressed through Europe and even the world. I personally roll my eyes a lot about the history of this. It lead to a lot of hurt and hunger.

  5. Folktales from early America often focus on the exploration of the American frontier and how great America and the people in it are. Daniel Boone and Paul Bunyan are both supposed to be seen as great American men, both portrayed as driven and strong. In fact, these folktales put a lot of emphasis on strength and determination. Whereas in Norse myths like Beowulf they care more about power and glory, putting their lives on the line to earn respect. In Early American folktales they’re already given power and strength they don’t have to work for it. Paul Bunyan was born freakishly strong and both Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett were political figures turned fictitious tall tale heroes.

    A myth from early America that had a bad influence is the myth that not all slaves were treated badly. This is definitely a myth fueled by books and movies that show a very different version of slavery that made it seem not as bad as it actually was. I’m not saying that it didn’t happen at all, an example of this would be George Washington teaching his slaves to read and write and writing in his will that his slaves will be freed after his wife’s death. But this was extremely rare, and most people say this as a way to silence Black people when we talk about slavery. To almost minimize the severity of what slavery actually was. Thus leaving people willfully ignorant of all the horrible things our Black ancestors had to go through.

  6. The myths from early America and the “old world” are similar in some ways. For example in both, there is a main character that the author wants you to see as the hero. In the case of the early America myths we can now see that people like Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone weren’t actual heroes. They very much differ as well. In the early American myths, you see how the so-called heroes treated people like the Native Americans. They want you to look at them as heroes, but in reality they were selfish for what they did to settle America. The “old world” myths purpose was more to do with teaching people important things like the destruction that will take place if you disobey the gods or if you’re ignorant. By comparing these myths, it shows what kind of horrible selfish foundation America was built on.
    There are all kinds of myths that fly around when it comes to early America. They were made to make people think that America was started with peace and no evil when in reality that’s far from the truth. For example, the idea people have about Columbus. People think that he is a nice, do no wrong type of man that founded America. It’s often missed that he murdered, tortured, and raped Native Americans. Myths like these contribute to white people today thinking they have privilege over everyone else, in others words white privilege. By not talking about the evils that happened back then, tells people that it was okay to be selfish in the name of America and that isn’t ok.

  7. 1. When it comes to comparing myths we read earlier in class and early American folklore, there are a couple of things that stand out. With the myths, something noticeable to that most of the characters have obvious flaws that are portrayed in the story. Unlike in the folklores, the characters are more idolized, to show this we can compare and contrast the Epic of Gilgamesh and Davy Crockett. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, we see Gilgamesh as this arrogant stuck up man who, as the epic goes on, we can see slowly grow a heart and more humanistic. On the other hand, men in these folklore were see almost as God-like. In real, Davy Crockett, was not a good person who played part in the massacre of the Native Americans.

    2. One early myth we can look at that played a part in influencing America is that the troops at the Alamo were fighting to keep Texas and keep America free. When in reality they were not fighting for freedom at all, but we’re fighting for slavery. I feel like the issue with myths like this the fact that it tries to make it as us Americans being the good guys and not taking responsibility for what really happened.

  8. 1) The one thing that stood out most to me and is a big comparison between the “old world” myths and these folktales is that white people especially men are the only ones being featured in these stories. They are being told through their point of view and in most of them, it disregards any kind of minority. For example, we see how Othello is treated because he is a Black man. Although, he is the main character we still see the bias everyone holds against him as a person, friend, lover, son-in-law. He continues being treated as an outsider and is driven out of his place of power by a white man who does not agree with him being in power. In the folktales, we read about we see how the Native Americans are the outsiders and are forced out of their homes by a white man. They are painted to be “savages” while the white man continues to fight over their home and destroys them. Many of the myths are remarkably similar in that aspect, women in Greek myths are painted as dramatic or insane. However, when a white man does unspeakable things, he is portrayed as a hero just like the men in the folktales. This reveals that myths are to and for white men, it shows a foundation of the way society viewed and views minorities and how the while male has all the power.
    2) There are two myths I can think of that have fueled social injustices. Both are particularly important and have been a big part of American history. The first one is the myth of AIDS especially when it began. People did not have enough information on it so myths began to spread. Soon enough society had another excuse to bash gay men, they were considered the only carriers and it was speculated that you could get it from touching those who had it. People were not only scared of it but felt anger towards it; so many gay men lost their lives and had no way of treating this virus that took over their lives. On top of that people were too scared to treat them and to even risk being around them, they made HIV into an excuse for hating on gay people and those who had the virus. Another myth I thought of is how some people spread around that because of all the violence Black people have endured they now have a higher pain tolerance. Thinking like this makes our society an even more unsafe place for Black people, on top of the racism that is still very present people thinking this is true will lead them to think it is okay for them to hurt them because of the pain tolerance they have. Both myths continue to have an impact on our society, the way that people believe things about minorities adds to the hatred people in America feel towards them. It adds to the racism and homophobia that continues being present because we are not taught the raw truth of the past. We need to continue educating everyone and break these myths to continue progressing and make this a safe space for all minorities.

  9. Early American myths like Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett focused on painting this great picture of Early pioneering and exploration. The myths usually had some sort of white man doing a good deed or fighting Natives. These Early American myths were made to be relatable to the average white man at that point in time. Compared to the “old myths” that we discussed throughout Unit 1, those myths usually consisted of stories of how things came to be or stories about gods of great power, or stories about war and violence. Myths in the “old age” were a lot more creative in my opinion.

    An example of an early American myth the influenced America is that Christopher Columbus discovered America. This is a classic myth that was taught for many years, especially when I was younger. This myth gave the idea that something could be discovered even if it was already occupied, and that if you had the right amount of power you could take over other people’s native land. For a long time, people were okay with the fact that Columbus “discovered” America even though he did not discover it because it was already occupied by Native Americans. In the present time, the 21st century the truth about Columbus’s “discovery” is well known and a lots of his statues are now taken down.

  10. Early American myths such as, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, portray White men as if they were heroic and friendly, although in these specific examples, they were really just colonizers. To contrast, ancient Greek and Roman myths were honest about the Gods and Goddesses and didn’t make them out to be something better than they really were. This goes to show how our history in America is often sugarcoated for the sake of simplicity or just because they (the White men) thought they were right in what they did.

    One example is the myth of how the “Indians” and Christopher Columbus got along when he “discovered” America. As children, many of us were told this for whatever reason (simplicity, censorship, etc.) and believed it to be the truth until more recent years when social media, or our own teachers made us aware of the terrifying reality of the situation. The tale that “Indians” were “savages” just fueled years and years of racism and stereotypes about the Natives that still impacts them to this day. Many people still view them in that animalistic manner in which we were taught to see them.

  11. The difference between folktales of early America and the old world is that the old world was about how the world came to be. It was made to teach lessons about morals and what is right and wrong. Also, A lot of old stories included gods and a higher power to guide the main characters. On the other hand, folktales of early America depicted white “strong” leaders who basically took over native land. It is similar because characters in either folktale have some type of strength physically and not so much mentally. Through the comparison we learn how stories were told over time. At first it was to teach a lesson of morals and now in American folktales, it is more about covering up lies with strength and fighting for a “cause.”

    An early American tale that was ill was Christopher Columbus. He was said to have discovered America, but in reality he landed somewhere else and he and his men got rid of the many of the natives that were already there. Many kids were told he discovered the land until they grew up and learned that he just colonized the land. Many tales that fueled justice just highlighted figures that fought and took over another’s land . It then gets shown to future generations as heroic and as bravery. An example would be Davy Crockett. He wanted to move to Kentucky I believe and he and his men were fighting an army of natives almost every night because they trespassed their territory. Tales like this continue to serve problems because we don’t teach about the other side of the story. Usually we don’t find out about the struggles of the Natives and why protecting their land is so important besides them building their life there first.

  12. Early American myths/folktale focus on exploring the frontier and they glorified their conquests. These stories show the concept of white supremacy and were aimed to the young white men to give them idols. Myths from what is considered to be the “old world” gave stories of how the world came to be, but didn’t tend to show racial bias. The old myths told stories that had underlying messages that can only be found by the hero going through a hardship.

    A “myth” that some people have stated is that slaves weren’t treated extremely harsh and that some lived decent lives. This statement has been proven to be false on may grounds. The whole concept of slavery demoralized and stripped any sort of pride and dignity that the African-Americans had. The living conditions weren’t any better either. They were treated like they weren’t even humans before they even got to America. This can be linked to another myth that slavery and its’ injustices were long ago. Slavery itself wasn’t abolished until the mid 1800’s and the injustices can still be seen in today’s world. As slavery itself doesn’t affect anyone directly in our society, the past generations that endured hardships surrounding slavery/race issues have instilled their views and ideals upon the new generation, which in recent years, has given rise to many conflicts. For these conflicts will keep happening until the ignorant people get rid of the mentality that slavery wasn’t as bad as people make it seem and that slaves were given decent lives

  13. 1.) In discussion and when reading these myths from America versus the myths of the old world one thing that struck me was how much these myths focused in America on the greatest of a person to the extent in which they had almost no flaws. For Americans someone like Davy Crockett seemed to be this amazing person who could do nothing wrong and fought for the frontier and forged the way for the rest of America. Yet when reading these Greek and Roman myths we had these great leaders but often times they seemed to have their own conflicts and flaws to them. These myths from America painted the central character as almost have no flaws. People worship the central character in the American myths versus them worshipping a god such as Greek and Roman myths. There are some similarities as well though, some of the biggest similarities are how these heroes help the people they care about. They also seem to be amazing skilled and able bodied to complete tasks. These create larger than life pictures of what heroes must be as well.
    2.) One of the biggest myths that I can think of that influences America and the New World was that of Christopher Columbus and his “great” accomplishments. We can all acknowledge that Christopher Columbus was an explorer and conquered land that led to the colonization of the new world. Yet he was not the founder of America and he was the not first person to trek these lands. As children we are all led to believe that Christopher Columbus is this great heroic figure who founded America for all of us. Yet this is the furthest thing from the truth. He trampled upon people’s homes and treated the original inhabitants like they were animals. This shows that the basis of our history contains myths and feds them to young children.

  14. Both examples of myths are used to teach a lesson of the unknown. When we don’t understand something in our world, we try to rationalize it in different ways, this can include the creation of stories or myths. In early myths, some stories explain severe thunderstorms by saying they are caused by gods of thunder, to explain emotions or feelings, and other things like seasons. In the American Folktales, they try to rationalize the “unknown west” because, for the people who were uncertain of traveling west, the folktales gave people a strong figure to look up to and make the trip easier. A major difference between the myths is that in old myths there is more of an emphasis on a higher power or higher beings who control the world or have some effect on it. Compared to the American folktales, where the focus is more on a human character who pushes forward to be a symbol or leader for others.
    A myth or story that influenced early America is the belief that the Founding Fathers were inherently good people. Although they went through many hardships during the creation of this country they had a dark past. Many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners, even George Washington who is regarded as a high standing figure in our history, was contributing to such an event in history. Generally, when we learn of the Founding Fathers we only learn of their contributions to early America and are taught that they are patriotic men who fought hard for the freedom of the people but were slave owners.

  15. 1) Folktales and old-world myths all have the same general goal: to explain an origin, typically in an entertaining way. Most myths stem from theories and religions stating how the world came to be. Many folktales revolve around the concept of development of this world but on a slightly more realistic and relatable plane. An interesting difference between myths and folktales is the way in which they relate to the audience, Folktales are often based on real-life people, events, or concepts, myths, on the other hand, are usually focused on a divine being with no proof of actual existence. Considering that folktales came long after the “old world myths” in question, The shift in the realism of the popular stories says a lot about how society had changed. The myths are representative of a time of strict faith and little research. However, folktales come from a period of exploration and documentation of events. There was also less focus on religion and more on finding actual historical figures rather than divine ones to draw inspiration from.

    2) One of the first myths we are taught in school is that of Christopher Columbus. His myth is also one of the first to be debunked as we get older. When we are young we are told that he set sail for an unknown land, found America, and got along great with all of the natives. What we aren’t told is that he was actually looking for India, missed, found America, and didn’t even know it until some time later. He took advantage of the native people and treated them horribly, ultimately taking their land and resources. It is overwhelmingly common for young students in America to learn about these historical figures in the positive light of their accomplishments, but what we do not learn until much, much later, is the means and circumstances under which they succeeded. As we talked about in class the other day, even Abraham Lincoln’s “progressive thinking” was dramatized and exaggerated. Yes, his legislation may have been progressive but based on his speeches it was with reluctance and still with racist undertones. “Myths” like these, revolving around the accomplishments of historical figures, can create a lot of confusion about what was really going on in the past and how we got to where we are today. Without a good understanding of history and the progress we’ve made thus far, it is extremely difficult to continue that progress.

  16. 1. Early American myths differ greatly from the old world myths because unllike those myths they are not central to a religion or belief system. People in America new that Paul Bunyon did not exist but enjoyed the stories anyways for what they represented, where as we don’t know whether or not the Ancient Greeks fully believed in the myths about the gods. It is also obvious that these myths are written to portray white men, specifically the ones on the frontier in a very positive light. The intention was to make them heroes to the American people in an attempt to cover up the fact that what they were doing actually wasn’t so great.
    2. The myths show how Americans tried to justify treatment of the natives by claiming they were savages who attacked innocent settlers when this wasn’t the truth and it was the settlers being hostile to the natives by forcing them off their land. The Irish slavery myth also tries to do a similiar thing by stating that it wasn
    t just black people who were treated poorly in America or to silence their opinions about slavery. I think the biggest misconception is that the North was not racist while the South was racist. I see this a lot where people say things like ‘only the south was really that bad that’s why people came north.’ And while this is true to an extent there were still some Jim Crow laws in the North and there was definately still racism. Racism doesn’t end once you cross a border.

  17. 1). Similarly to myths of the “old world”, some aspects of American folktales could be seen as a creation myth. Paul Bunyan was stated to have filled Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes and create the Grand Canyon with his massive axe. This is similar to Norse mythology, where Odin and his two brothers create the world from Ymir’s corpse. A noticeable difference spotted was that American folktales were stories of pride rather than stories worshipping a divine figure from a religious aspect. Civilization in America had already existed with the Indigenous people making home there. These folktales centered around white men being seen as the creator, or going around defeating Natives in wars and being praised for it. When in reality, the Indigenous people of America were defending their home from white European colonizers and being villainized for it. Knowing that America was born through the genocide of the Native American people, reading these stories just feel heartless. With the “old world” myths, these stories were told out of a religious respect of the gods.

    2). A very common misconception is that slavery happened a long time ago, and that Black Americans should just “get over it”. This “myth” is used to downplay how evil the history of slavery truly was, and to make it seem like Black people are “over dramatic” and “living in the past”. Compared to many other countries, America’s founding was not that long ago. The Emancipation Proclamation was declared in 1863; only 158 years ago. Myths like these are incredibly hurtful because it erases the trauma (that can often be generational) seen within the Black community and makes it seem like what slaves went through was “not as bad” as Black people make it out to be.

  18. The folktales of early America with Davy Crocket, Paul Bunyan, and Daniel Boone were about these white men that traveled and discovered new land in America. WIth that being said most ealry American folktales and myths were based on exploration and starting a new civilization while myths of the “old world” were more on heros and gods with certain titles to their names. For example, Zeus was the king of all the gods, while Hera was the queen of the gods, as well as Athena who was the goddess of wisdom, and Poseidon who was the god of the sea. These are just some examples but each god and goddess had a huge role in the old world. They gave a reason for why the earth was the way it was and how it was created while the folktales of early America just fought Native Americans and discovered new land. Greek mythology never mentioned race but the ealy American folktales seemed to praise the white males.

    Growing up we were taught that Columbus was the first person to discover America and we even got a day off of school to celebrate him. The myth about him sailing across the deep blue sea and discovering America as it turns out was false and our day off has been taken away sadly. With that being said, the Vikings are now said to be the first people to discover America. However, people will also say that there were native people here way before the Vikings. As there is more and more research, we find that America has always been a land of immigrants and the reason why Columbus recieved all the credit was because he was the one who opened up America to Europe allowing them to take over the Western Hemisphere. I do not believe this myth causes problems today but it definitly can start a conversation because afterall it is nearly impossible to find out who truly was the first person to step foot on this land.

  19. 1. Old world myths and the early American myths are very different. Old world myths such as in Greek myth were used to explain why and how the world worked. They were also used to almost warm the people of what could happen if they don’t keep in line, but teaching lessons in the myths that dealt with the punishment of mortals. Early Early American myths are still used to explain how areas came to be, but they almost reach out to the young readers, which is what the audience the folktales seem to be made for. It can inspire the young readers, while still teaching them lessons but giving them someone to look up too.
    2. A myth that comes to mind that filed social injustice is Christopher Columbus. Growing up we sang songs in elementary school about him, watched movies, basically praised him. About how he discovered America and traveled so much for the place we now call home. Everyone looked up to him, it was only in late middle school/early high school when I was exposed to the true facts about Christopher Columbus. After seeing the way he treated the slaves and how nasty he was, it is embarrassing to think he was ever talked about in a good way. The myth presented to younger kids is protecting home from the harsh reality of social injustice but I think it is sending the wrong message for too long.

  20. 1) I think the old myths and the early American myths are very different. The old myths focused more on how the world worked and how it was created. Also they focus more on the aspects of gods and supernatural beings. While the American myths are used to explain how different ares came to be. They would go on these journeys and discovery different areas of land. These are also more focused on younger readers to give them a basic understanding of how things came to be, while adapting to the audience.
    2) I think that a common misconception is that slavery took place a long time ago when in reality it wasn’t that long ago. However a common myth that comes to mind is that Columbus discovered America. In school we used to watch videos about him, and learn about his story. He traveled all across America and how he did all of these “great” things. Later when we got older however, we can see all of the awful things he did and how he treated slaves. That being said this myth covers up all of the bad he did, and was sending the wrong message for many years.

  21. 1.) The folktales that we have been reviewing in class all focus on the topic of how the world used to be. Many of them such as the story of Paul Bunyan give “answers ” on how and why the world is what it is today. The myths/ folktales are the lessons that are sent down over time to explain why and how certain things had happen. We almost rely on them to answer questions that seem answerless. Without them we would not understand or know how to deal with where we stand today.
    2.)An early myth that we believed and thought of was the story of Christopher Columbus. we were thought to believe he was the first person to discover America. We also were thought to share the land with the Native Americans that lived there before. However, the concept missed is that we did not share the land we stole the land and pushed them out and called it our land. This part of the myth is skipped out on to make it look better for the Americans when really we rob the Native Americans from their land. The story that was taught to us at a young age and celebrated was really just one other way that we hide the horrors and failures of history to make ourselves look better.

  22. 1)During early America most folktales were derived of white men and their exploration of the world. For example Paul Bunyan and Davy Crocket. These folktales were targeted at a white audience in order to pierceve what they did was right. For example, taking the the land from the Native Americans and claiming it there own. Contrary to this, greek myths were derived of many central themes. Including love, power, and war. Greek myths also gave a meaning to how earth came to be. Everything had a purpose. Paul Bunyan and Davy crocket didnt make anything, they simply used what was already on earth. This reveals that America is self centered because they were trying to cover up something that was clearly wrong.

    2)A myth from early America that had a bad influence is how Christopher Columbus found America. As a child, we were taught to praise Christopher as if what he did was right. Christopher took advantage of the native Americans and stole their land. For years, we were taught that Christopher was the hero and the native Americans weren’t really anybody special. Many of these early American myths are made in order to justify their actions and children to perceive history in a different way during early development.

  23. 1) I believe the folktales of early America & the myths of the old world are similar in some ways because they both have characters that hold a huge amount of weight & responsibility in the world as we see it today.

    2) A myth that still shocks me to be spread around so easily is, racism was a thing of the past, & isn’t still currently happening. This is a myth to me, & others I’m sure, because if you couldn’t already tell, police brutality is still happening against black people. As well as many other social & discriminative injustices. The most startling part about this statement is that it stemmed from white people. Those of whom have no audacity to speak on how black people should feel on any given day.

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