Foundations of Mythology

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Foundations of Mythology Short Answers
HUM/105 – World Mythology
Dr. Mark Vander Meer

1. How is the word myth used popularly? For example, what does the statement, “It’s a myth” mean? In contrast, how is the word myth used in the academic context? After considering the definition in your textbooks and course materials, write a definition in your own words.

Instinctively, the word myth brings to mind fantastical stories of good and evil and the inevitable triumph of good. Reading the recommended materials for this class however, has brought me to a new, yet not formed direction of thinking.

Playing in the woods as a young boy with my two older sisters they would employ the boogey man scare, I would run home scared out of my wits, cry to mommy to save me and she would tell me “It’s just a myth, there is no such thing as the Boogey man” so I learned that a myth was what we called the story liars told. I live in this world of 2011, knowledge and facts are a way of life and I find myself encountering myths of a different nature, Applebee’s giving away free food, Apple giving away free products just copy and re-post. Seems if a story is documented in the least a scientists may be more likely to entertain and research the ideas unexplained in the story. However I think the best way to approach a myth is with an open but not naive’ mind. My simple definition of Myth: Folk tales, Entertaining narratives, Epic fantasy tales meant to teach or persuade, Subject based in real events but, embellished due to lack of recorded detail. Why do myths from different cultures around the world address such similar or universal themes? Think about how myths explain the unknown and the tribulations of mankind.

I think that most cultures have the same beliefs about morality and that we believe a higher power exists and that beyond that the similarities end. Differences between social and cultural details are what divide’s us on virtually all...
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