How Mosquitoes Came to Be: the Giant Lives on

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"How Mosquitoes Came To Be": The Giant Lives On

Ben Daily
Carolyn Kremers
English 213-002
February 10, 1997

Every time I read the Tlingit Legend, "How Mosquitoes Came To Be," there are certain questions that come to mind about where the legend came from and who wrote it. The legend was first published in 1883 and later found by Richard Erdoes, who included it in one of his publications, American Indian Myths and Legends. Why is the human race so selfish to think we can be the hunter and not the hunted. Although giants could be a dominant presence in our lives, humans prove that they will not be over-taken.

Each time I read the Tlingit legend, a new question would arise in my mind as to how this legend came to be and particularly, who wrote it? The first question I thought of was, is he the only giant on the planet? This was answered for me with the introduction of the giant's son. As I read on, something seemed puzzling to me, the fact that why humans are so selfish to think they are better than giants, let alone anything else. For instance, why is it okay for humans to kill a chicken, roast it and eat it, and a giant is bad to "kill humans, eat their flesh, and drink their blood"(11)? Later in the story we learn that the giant also liked to roast the hearts of humans. Another puzzling question I asked myself is, if the giant was stabbed by the human and "The monster screamed and fell down dead."(12), why did the giant still speak? I know this is a legend or maybe just a fictionous story, but if the giant is also a spirit then that would be helpful when reading the legend. I will analyze these questions in hopes of understanding the problems with humans and giants, which I might add is still being dealt with today with mosquitoes everywhere.

My first question, if this giant was the only one on the planet, seemed answered toward the end of the story with the introduction of the giant's son. When the human threatened the life of the boy...
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