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Mythology In American Mythology

Powerful Essays
American Mythology’s serve the duty of creating a tale with a range of aspects in order to create a form of entertainment, but what elements exactly make these stories a form of art? These works have a history dating back to the early periods where telling stories were a way of communicating on safer grounds and being able to be understood universally. In its pure form, an American Mythology is a body or collection of myths belonging to a people that highlights the nation’s values and ideals, celebrates its heroes and paying homage to defining events. Mythologies in general have contributed, on a grand spectrum, to the American history of storytelling. It is used to present a message or theme and set of traditions to the general public by masking…show more content…
Rip Van Winkle’s journey to the Kaatskills was one that helped shaped the American mythology, but the myth came to be because of the surreal happenings that followed. “He found the gully up which he and his companion had ascended the preceding evening, but to his astonishment a mountain stream was now foaming down it… at length he reached to where the ravine had open through the cliffs, to the amphitheater, but no traces of such opening remained, the rocks presented a high impenetrable wall over which the torrent came tumbling down in a sheet of feathery foam” (Irving 335-345). The already addressed magical scenery of the Kaatskill Mountains is now seen as a mystical place when what Van Winkle once recalls to be there vanish, the night having been removed from the world’s history and the day appearing to have never even occurred. The consequence of this is his story becoming branded as folklore and a tale amongst the townspeople, and no one believing him due to the lack of evidence that suggests otherwise. “The very village seemed altered: it was larger and more populous. There were rows of houses which he had never seen before, and those which had been his familiar haunts and had disappeared. Strange names were over the doors, strange faces at the windows- everything was strange. His mind now began to misgive him, that both he and the world around him were bewitched” (Irving 384-387). Van Winkle awoke, seemingly unchanged mentally, in a world that became so advanced he couldn’t comprehend the growth that had taken place and the advancement that occurred in 20 years. The consequence of this is Van Winkle not being known by nearly anyone, his life having been almost non-documented and his utter existence was put on the line, this creating a disdain between who Winkle thought he was and he identity. This was
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