Analysis Of ' The Double Theft ' Essay

Analysis Of ' The Double Theft ' Essay

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In trying to determine is a story is an urban legend or not, there are several different topics examined within the contents of the story. One of these is regarding how long the story has been around, for stories that are modern are what we consider urban legends and not folktales. A tale that has been around for a significant period of time, but what we would still consider ‘modern’ is “The Double Theft” from The Criminal Mind chapter. In this story, the beginning sentence is, ‘This “true” story was told to me back in 1970 in Silver Spring, Maryland” (Harold, 308). In this, it actually lists the year that the author originally heard the rumor, giving it the credit of being recent enough to count as an urban legend.
Another story that fits the ‘modern’ time span is from the Human Nature chapter of the text. Known as the Trained Professor story set, one version of the story as told by a librarian from the University of California, took place in 1978 (Harold, 326). Given that this as well labels the exact year the story was told, it falls under the criteria of if it is recent enough.
The phrase ‘friend of a friend’ means that the original source of the story is both unreliable and distant enough that it allows some personal flexibility in conveying the story to someone else. As mentioned previously, the story known as “The Double Theft” also fits this standard, for in the second sentence the exact words, “This woman, a friend of my friend who told the story… “(Harold, 308). Not only does having the original source someone distantly related help for interpreting and exaggeration of the story, but it also keeps the teller from being held responsible. The story “Indecent Exposure” from the Criminal Minds chapter has another very clo...


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...True” Urban Legend chapter, a number of the stories have truth to them. A quite astonishing example of this is “The Unsolvable Math Problem” where a student thinking that he was turning his homework in late, apologized to his professor. However, the problems were classic ‘unsolvable’ examples that he had managed to solve (Harold, 452-453). Harold states a few clarifications regarding the specifics of the story, such as names, jobs, and involvements. One that’s less impressive is “The Pregnant Shoplifter” (451-452) event where a woman was accused of smuggling some item under her clothes, when in fact she was just swollen with child. She then goes to sue the company for a large sum of money. These details are clarified by information sent in by others, leading to the truth that a Ms. Nelson was indeed accused of shoplifting, and tried to press charges but to no avail.

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