Chapter 4: How to Tell a Myth, Legend or Hero Tale



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Chapter 4: How to Tell a Myth, Legend or Hero Tale

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The following section (Story Exercises) does not require written answers. Reflect on the questions for Part A, however, and be ready to discuss them in class. When you are preparing your second story to tell, make use of the suggestions in Part B.
Story Exercises:


  1. You have told one story and are preparing to tell a second.




  1. Selecting the story: How did you pick your first story? How much time did you invest in finding a story that gave your delight?

  2. Relating to the story: How did you learn your first story? Will you try different strategies to learn the second one? Was the story a good match for you?

  3. Preparing to tell: How did you prepare yourself to stand in front of the audience? Was it effective for you? Will you keep the same strategy or will you try something different as you prepare your second story?

  4. The telling experience: What was your level of comfort as you told the story? What did you learn about yourself as a storyteller by telling your first story? What did the positive feedback you received from your classmates tell you about your emerging storytelling style?

B. You are preparing to your second story.




  1. Once you have selected the second story you want to tell, refer back to the “Getting Started” chapter and apply “Learning the Basics of the Story” and “Making a deeper personal connection to the story” to your myth, legend, or hero tale.
  2. Review the last section of this chapter and apply the suggestions to your story:


    1. What have you learned about the culture your story is from?

    2. Are there language issues you need to consider in preparing your story?

    3. Did you find more than one version of your story, and if so was that helpful?

    4. If you chose to tell a myth, what were the important metaphors and symbols in the story? How did they contribute to your understanding of the meaning of the story? What is meaning of the story for you?

  3. Tell the story as often as you can before it is time to present it in class. The more comfortable you are with the story, the more comfortable you will be in front of your audience.


Reflection:
1. What is the most important thing that you have learned in this chapter?

  1. What questions do you have? Is there a topic on which you need more information or further clarification?

3. The structure of the hero’s journey is based in the important transition points in human life. By the time we reach adulthood, we have all experienced at least one of these transitions, such as puberty, graduation, childbirth, or marriage. Reflect on the transitions in your own life and apply Joseph Bruchac’s four step process to your experience.


Study Questions:

  1. What is a myth and how does it relate to mythology?




  1. Why do the characters in myth and legend often seem familiar to us?




  1. What is a legend and what kinds of characters are they usually about?


  1. Why are myths and legends categorized as “true” stories?





  1. What are the three stages of a hero myth according to Joseph Campbell?




  1. What role do metaphor and symbol play in myths?




  1. How is story structured like a person’s life?




  1. List three ways to incorporate pacing into a story.




  1. List two ways of showing respect for the myth, legend, or hero-tale that you choose to tell.




  1. According to Olga Loya, who are the ancient and modern counterpoints of La Llorona?




  1. According to Emil Wolfgramm, what is the difference between plumbing and water?




  1. Why don’t Tongans need Hollywood?




  1. What advice does Emil offer literacy-based storytellers who wish to tell stories from oral cultures?


The Stories:

  1. This chapter contains several stories. Did one of the types (legend, myth, hero tale) of stories appeal to you more than the others?

  2. What was your favorite story and why?

  3. Once you have read the stories, pick your favorite and apply Bruchac’s four-step hero pattern to it.





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