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Must myths be literally true to be valuable?

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Myths often explain the origins of evil, suffering, death, and what sustains life. Must myths be literally true to be valuable? Explain why or why not.

"Tribal societies around the world have creation myths that teach their people how the world and all that is in the world came into existence. Most of these creation myths are not based in truth. However, they provide a worldview through which to experience life and give a semblance of order and continuity in spite of change and unforeseen and uncontrollable events."

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Myths don't necessarily have to be true to be valuable. Myths are valuable for giving courage during times of hardship. They can also be a good way to teach the beliefs and values that are central to the society to the next generation. The Spartans held to the mythology of Stoicism. This belief allowed them to endure severe privation and face suffering with courage and determination. During the exploration of the New World the myth of the "noble savage" and the comparison of the New World to paradise aided in ...

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This solution examines the impact of myths. Do myths have to be true in order to have value? Over 300 words of original text along with sources for further research.

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American Literature I

(See attached file for full problem description)

The following are a number of reading selections from various authors as well as a number of questions which correspond to those readings. When you answer the question, be sure to write down the question number and copy the question. Take your time and give complete answers. Continue to "react" to the material!
Note: Please wait until you have completed questions 1- 8 before you submit the Unit 1 assignment to your instructor for grading. Click on the Quick Tour button on the course homepage to review the instructions before emailing your assignments and/or click on the Assignment Dropbox icon on the study guide homepage when you are ready.
Washington Irving, 1783 - 1859

Reading Assignment
pp. 626-627, pp. 637-650 Rip Van Winkle
pp. 650-671 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Written Assignment
Answer the following questions on Washington Irving:
1. "Rip Van Winkle" has been called the first American short story. What makes "Rip Van Winkle" an amusing story? What does Irving satirize in the new America to which Rip returns? Like much satirical fiction, account for the fact that this is popular as a children's story.

2. To what extent does "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" exhibit elements of legend, folklore, and the tall tale? Is Ichabod Crane a caricature? What is the significance of his being a schoolmaster? His wooing of Katrina? His return to Connecticut? How just is the complaint that Irving weakened his story of the supernatural by introducing satire and humor?
James Fenimore Cooper, 1789 - 1851

Reading Assignment
pp. 685-687, pp. 688-690 Preface to the Leather-Stocking Tales
pp. 708-714 (Chapter XXII) The Pioneers
Written Assignment
Answer the following question on James Fenimore Cooper:
3. Compare and contrast the two writings. Show how they introduce and summarize basic themes about man and nature. Discuss Cooper's use of elevated and literary language in the two chapters.
William Cullen Bryant, 1794 - 1878

Reading Assignment
pp. 714-715, pp. 716-717 Thanatopsis
Written Assignment
Answer the following question on William Cullen Bryant:
4. Bryant revised "Thanatopsis" adding an introduction (lines 1-17) and the conclusion (lines 66-81), see footnote #1, p. 716. What effect does this change have on the poem compared to its original form?
Edgar Allen Poe, 1809 - 1849

Reading Assignment
pp. 731-733, pp. 739-742 The Raven
pp. 771-785 The Fall of the House of Usher
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Answer the following questions on Edgar Allen Poe:
5. What actually happens in "The Raven"? What does the narrator think happens? Does the narrator go mad? If so, where in the poem is it evident that he has gone mad?

6. In his review of Hawthorne's "Twice Told Tales," Poe stated that the author of a tale should first select the effect he wishes to achieve and "If his very initial sentence tend not to the outbringing of this effect, then he has failed in his first step." Examine the first sentence and the first paragraph of "The Fall of the House of Usher." Discuss the effect on the reader of references to the isolation of the narrator, the tarn, the presence of decay, the vapor, the gray walls, the dark evening gloom, the low clouds, and the vacant windows.

7. Discuss the assertion that Roderick Usher is the distillation of Poe's isolated, dreamy, and introspective heroes. Can Usher be considered a tragic hero struggling against an overwhelming fate?
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 - 1882

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pp. 819-820, pp. 849-862 The American Scholar
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Answer the following question on Ralph Waldo Emerson:
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Henry David Thoreau, 1817 - 1862

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pp. 1340-1341, pp. 1342-1358 Civil Disobedience
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Answer the following questions on Henry David Thoreau:
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10. Discuss the significance of Thoreau's observations that:

a. "I have travelled a good deal in Concord; and everywhere in shops, and offices, and fields, the inhabitants have appeared to me to be doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways."

b. "Actually, the laboring man has not leisure for a true integrity day by day; he cannot afford to sustain the manliest relations to men; his labor would be depreciated in the market."

c. "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 - 1882

Reading Assignment
pp. 1539-1540, pp. 1541-1542 The Arsenal at Springfield
Written Assignment
Answer the following question on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
11. Longfellow considered "The Arsenal at Springfield" to be a peace poem, his contribution to the growing peace movements in America and Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century. Discuss the optimistic forecast of the last two stanzas of "The Arsenal at Springfield." Is it meant to be accurate or merely heart warming?
Note: Now is the time to send in your answers to Unit 3. Be sure you have answered all parts

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