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Hum 105 - the Foundations of Mythology

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Foundations of Mythology

Amber Williamson


June 13, 2016

Dr. Douzart

Foundations of Mythology

What is a myth? There is not just one adequate definition. Myths serve numerous diverse purposes depending on the culture. The first objective of a myth was to explain the unfathomable. Since the creation of civilization's existence, myths have operated as explanations for the essential secrecies of life. When we ask questions such as: Who made the world? What happens when we die? There is no right or wrong answer because each culture has their beliefs and opinions to respond to these questions. (Leonard & McClure, 2014)

There are stories or "myths" that were passed down throughout history that explains the answers to these questions. The statement, “It’s a myth” refers to something not being entirely accurate but is told to be true by others. It is kind of like telling a story about something that you did that was outrageous and could not possibly be true, but there is no way that anyone can deny that it happened. It would be considered a myth because we all know that it can't be true, but others claim that it is. (Leonard & McClure, 2014)

 The word myth in academic perspective is used a little differently. Myths are ancient narratives that attempt to answer the enduring and fundamental human questions. Much like the questions that explain the unfathomable. It is mostly used in stories telling a legend or a story with doubtful validity. My definition of a myth would be a mind-boggling tale that is told to children for a purpose that we honestly do not know if it is fictional or not.

During history, people everywhere wanted the answers to the simple questions of creation. These unanswered questions drove people to look into higher powers within their cultures. All religions in the world believe in different Gods, but in each culture, their God or Gods fulfills the same purpose to the individuals of the culture. This is an example of how myths from diverse in the world have such similar or universal themes. Another example would be people believing in Charles Darwin theory where humankind was created by evolution over time while other individuals trust in a higher power such as God of creating humankind (Landry, 2011). Even though there are different myths within all cultures, all of the higher powers are giving their representation of what they believe to be the truth to the unknown.


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