coyote and the fox/ fox and coyote and whale compare and contrast

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Trickster, Stupidity Pages: 2 (706 words) Published: January 26, 2014

Compare/Contrast Essay
Native American traditional stories, folktales, are stories passed down from generation to generation by story telling and performance. Native Americans emphasized the importance of living in harmony with the naturual world. They had complex religious beliefs, sophisticated poltical systems, and strong morals. Some of the stories are creation myths, tales of heroes, and tricksters. Trickster tales are stories that have animals or human characters who engage in deceit, violence, or magic. Often trickster tales are said to explain why the world is the way it is. "Coyote and the Buffalo" and "Fox and Coyote and Whale" are two trickster tales, retold by Mourning Dove, explaining how Coyote's action created changes in the world. In theses two trickster tales, Coyote, the main character shares some similarities in morals, character, and transformation . Yet there exsists differences in how these traits are presented.

One similarity between these two trickster tales is that they both have purposes to teach morals. The moral teaching in "Coyote and the Buffalo" is to not be greedy. An example would be when Coyote killed the cow for more food because he was tired of eating only the fat. As a result he gets the remains of the cow stolen and is left with nothing. In "Fox and Coyote and Whale", one of the morals is not to steal someone's wife. Whale steals Fox's wife and takes her to his lodge which leads Coyote and Fox's wife. Whale ends up getting his head chopped off and thrown into the ocean. They both teach morals, just in different ways.

One difference that these two trickster tale have is Coyote's character trait. For example, in "Coyote and the Buffalo", Coyote is portrayed as numbskull. Actions like kicking the Buffalo Bull's skull out of revenge, killing the cow Buffalo Bull gave him thinking Buffalo Bull will never know, and trusting a stranger with the little food he had left to take a nap, all make Coyote a numbskull. In "Fox and...
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