The Power of Storytelling

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Throughout this paper I will explore the power of storytelling using the course lexicon and I will examine it in the context of two course texts. One of the texts that I will be referring to is by Doxtator, excerpts from Fluffs and Feathers and the second text I will be referring to is by Griffin, excerpts from Woman and Nature. The power of storytelling is a part of the mimetic world and because stories have so much power they can be used to help bring about dominant fantasies. Stories are told over and over again until they are reinforced and in this essay I will argue that the power of storytelling is a form of social control. In the excerpts from Fluffs and Feathers, Doxtator discusses the ideas of indianness and he talks about how people perceive First Nations people. The dominant fantasy of a First Nations person is someone that is spiritual, environmental, primitive, and in need of support. In the text by Doxtator it states “every culture creates images of how it sees itself and the rest of the world” (13). But how did the idea of indianness come about? The power of storytelling is a powerful tool because stories are rooted in people’s culture and it affects the way they see the mimetic world. Stories help people form dominant fantasies about things that they may not actually experience themselves. It would be impossible for all of Europe to travel to America and experience the new world. Therefore when the European travellers came to the Americas they would tell stories of their travels and their experiences so that other people could understand what they had experienced. First Nations people are often referred to as Indians however it is well known that they are only called Indians because when Columbus had reached hi... ... middle of paper ... ...stantly lately and once the current dominant fantasy ceases to work the alternative fantasy will replace it. In conclusion it is evident that the power of storytelling is a form of social control because many people look to the stories that are rooted in their culture and they use it to formulate their dominant fantasies and they also use stories to help them identify both others and themselves. Therefore the one who tells stories holds great power and the stories that he or she chooses to tell help reinforce certain dominant fantasies. Works Cited Doxtator, Deborah. Excerpts from Fluffs and Feathers: An Exhibit on the Symbols of Indianness, A Resource Guide. 1988. Revised edition. Brantford, Ontario: Woodland Cultural Centre, 1992. 12-14. Print. Griffin, Susan. Excerpts from Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her. Toronto: Harper & Row Perennial, 1978. 14 30
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