According to A Handbook to Literature, folk tales are short narratives passed down through oral tradition, with various tellers and groups modifying them, that they become stories of cumulative authorship (Holman 207), which means that no one person decided how the tales should be. A folk tale that I am familiar with is the story of King Arthur. King Arthur is represented as being a great man, leader and king and is an icon of good morality and the values of England, which is why the tale has continued to be told. King Arthur is a good role model to want to be like and that is why people love him. Another example of a folk tale is the story of Paul Bunyan, the giant lumberjack who goes around America and makes it the way it is like creating lakes in Minnesota. Paul Bunyan helped chop down trees which would have helped people expand and therefore he represents Manifest Destiny to the people who created him.
Folk tales are important to us because some of them have become ingrained to our thoughts and culture. Some have more influence than others for instance tales about King Arthur. The Legend of King Arthur has come to represent the values of English culture. People want to be like King Arthur because everyone agrees that he was a good king and a great man; he represents Christian values and English values. As a Christian, I would look up to King Arthur because he is humble and genuine. When we grow up hearing tales about somewhat common people, we like to feel like we can connect with them and be like them. Although they are modified over time, folk tales are important because they preserve some aspects of the history of a culture. By looking at folk tales, we can see what people in past generations and regions...
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...egends.” Myths and Legends of the World. Ed. John M. Wickersham. New York: MacMillan Reference USA, 2000. Student Resources in Context. Internet. 20 December 2013.
Bettelheim, Bruno. “The Child’s Need for Magic.” The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. New York: Vintages Books, 1976.
First Knight. Dir. Jerry Zucker. Perf. Sean Connery, Richard Gere, and Julia Ormond. Columbia Pictures, 1995. DVD.
“Folk Literature.” Encyclopædia Britannica 2009. Encyclopædia Britannica, Online School Edition. 12 November 2009. Internet. 16 December 2013.
Holman, C. Hugh, William Harmon, and William Flint Thrall. A Handbook to Literature. New York: MacMillan, 1986. Print.
Lang, Andrew. “King Arthur: Tales of the Round Table.” Internet Sacred Text Archive. John Bruno Hare, March 2003. 5 January 2014.
Richardi, Terry. Personal interview. 5 January 2014.
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