Native American Myths And Legends

Native American Myths And Legends

Native American Myths and Legends



For this assignment, you will develop and argue for an interpretation based on the analysis, comparison, and contrast of two characters from two different texts. Find two characters that you think can be put into good parallel—there are many choices here—and analyze them, making sure to explore their similarities and differences. How are they alike? How are they unlike? Why is it useful to compare and contrast them? One of your characters must come from a novel on the syllabus (Ceremony or Indian Killer), and one must come from Native American Myths and Legends. In selecting your legendary character, you may choose a character that appears in one single story (e.g. Corn Mother, Uncegila, Hiawatha, etc.) or that appears in several stories (e.g. Coyote, Iktome, Old Woman). Remember that good analysis is a bit like dissection, so you need to examine the characters from many different angles and to focus on their component parts in order to understand them thoroughly. There is a wealth of material on which you can focus for comparative analysis, such as personality traits, background, environment, experiences, actions. Also remember that there are at least 3 classic sources of information about character: what a character does, what a character says, and what is said about him or her—either by other characters or by the narrator. You are not responsible for explaining all the similarities and differences in your paper, but it is probably best to survey as much as possible in preparing for it. In your paper, present and defend a thesis that articulates the most important similarities and differences between these characters. Use textual evidence (quotes) from the two texts to support your thesis. You also should explain, in either your introduction or your conclusion, what one gains by making this comparison, i.e. how does exploring these two characters together help you understand them better individually? Remember that the goal of this assignment is not just a catalogue of similarities and differences—you will perform that task in preparing for the paper. Nor should your paper just be two small papers rolled into one. Your task is to offer an integrated study that uses two characters to illuminate one another. Books needed to write essay: Richard Erdoes and Alfronso Ortiz, Eds. American Indian Myths and Legends Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony Sherman Alexie, Indian Killer

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