Mystery of the Myth Essay

Mystery of the Myth Essay

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A myth is a popular term which is commonly misused by people. Many people have tried to explain what a myth is, but due its fictitious nature it is not easy to explain what it is. The aim of this essay is to discuss this term, myth and investigate it in a deeper sense by revealing the complexity of the term and exploring the different meanings of the word. This will be done by distinguishing the different notions of myths, comparing the different uses of myths by Roland’s use of myths to that of Barthes and concluding by explaining how myths relate to religion and ideology. Examples in this essay will be drawn from the X-Files episode entitled, Quagmire.
Colin Grant in his book, Myths we live by explains that there are two prominent senses of myths. There is the personal sense, and the academic approach. He goes on to define a myth as something that is false, naïve, passé and a matter for the uninformed and gullible. This may be accepted as the academic approach to the definition of myth. On a personal sense, myths can be defined as stories that have been handed down from generation to generation and as a result are believed to be the truth. Grant goes on to add that a myth is a falsehood that is exposed as soon as its mythic nature is recognized.
There are three approaches of myths; a journalistic myth, scholarly myth and a living myth (Preston, 2010). The journalistic approach to myth is that a myth is to be exposed which in turn presumes that we do not notice it or see that it is false (Preston, 2010). Two features of this approach. One is that a journalistic myth ignores the wide influences and allegiances that shape our vision of truth. In the X-Files episode, despite the fact that there are people who actually do believe t...


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...e (Preston, 2010). This definition is similar to that of a myth because myths vary between different groups of people and cultures. Different cultures have different myths that they believe. Isaac Newton depicted the universe as a great machine and when he encountered a problem with his calculations in the observed moments of the planets, he concluded that God steps in from time to time to readjust the orbits to keep things running smoothly (Grant, 1998). Some people, for example scientists believe that the world was created by an explosion while some think that God created the world.
In conclusion, the idea of a myth is really diverse. They can be interpreted according to the three different approaches. Different cultures are accustomed to the myths they grew up with, and naturally it is a continuous chain that is passed down from generation to generation.



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