The book “Typical American” has many elements of myth intertwined between its pages. The story’s main struggle is reminiscent of a classic theme among Greek myth: a man following on a course in his life, and along the way he loses himself and must undergo an internal realization as to who he is and what he needs to accomplish. A symbolic instance of when Ralph was lost, trying to find himself is when he was out on his driver’s test and the instructor was basically telling him he had no shot at getting his license. “You’re never going to get your license. You know why? Because you don’t inspire confidence” ( Jen 130). Even though Ralph eventually did get his license, this was symbolic of a time when he was unsure of himself, and lost along the path he had chosen. Thi...
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...timeless realm, refuses to address them.” (Harris 360). This quote deals with the argument that Achilles (from Greek Mythology) could not have been more than twelve years old at the start of the Trojan War. The response to that argument is that myth transcends time, and while it may not always make sense in terms of concrete factual history, that was never the point. The point of myth was always to explain an unknown event or occurrence to an audience in the most entertaining way possible and the fact is that writers will continue to use the same tools our ancestors used to write myth, until the end of time.
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1994.
Harris, Stephen L. and Gloria Platzner. Classical Mythology. New York, NY:
Jen, Gish. Typical American. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1991.
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