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Foundations of Mythology

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Foundations of Mythology

Jessica warren

HUM/ 105

February 21, 2017

Daria Woodside

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Foundations of Mythology

        The word “myth” is popularly used to describe the unknown or the unexplainable. A myth is recognized in different ways depending on your way of living, culture, and overall values. Many of today’s myths are used mostly in old tales and stories past down for generations. Some of these myths are based on the truth and some are exaggerated. It is basically like a story that a random person was to tell you about something that had happened to them that was seen as to be farfetched, in reality no one knows if it actually happened or not. In today’s modern world, we live based on actual facts and knowledge. For example, if someone told you that they had seen a ghost, it would be hard to believe what they are saying to be true because you were not actually present to witness the events that took place. While the word myth can be used in various scenarios and academic backgrounds, its main idea is to perceive other cultures and the way that they think. Within the academic background, a myth is noted as an event based on actual facts and over time, it has been changed through the different views of cultures and society in an effort to answer questions about humanity. My definition, based on my lifestyle, is an old tale that has been changed through generations to teach something of value and importance, but has lacked real evidence of occurrences due to no recorded details.

Many cultures share most of the same mythological tales and stories even though they may come from different backgrounds and ways of life. Some of these myths are recognized in history, such as the lost city of Atlantis, or mythological creatures such as mermaids and centaurs. These myth address similarities because each culture wants to know the same question- why does mankind exist and how did we get here? Who are we? There are many stories of how the world came to be and how we got here. Myths across many different cultures have similar ideas. In fact, some myths are exactly the same story with only different names for the gods or beings, yet they still explain the same details of

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how something in the world works.  In my personal culture, I was taught that God created mankind and the Earth that we live on but to the Chinese, their ancient goddess Nuwa created mankind and repaired the pillar of heaven. Although, both of these stories have the same similarities, they are both myths because of the lack of recoded evidence and the way the stories have changed over time. There is really no rhyme or reason to the cultural perception of a myth. Modern day science and religious myths do not have a variable that distinguishes one myth from the other. Even researches have not found a clear difference in one type of myth from the other. This just goes to show the similarities of the human mind, regardless of our cultures, race, experiences, and surroundings of day to day life.

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