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One of the things I’ve found most interesting while reading these myths is imagining how normal these stories were to the people telling them and listening to them. Logically I knew that these myths were familiar and normal sounding to the people of the cultures that the stories originate from but they seemed so confusing and, well, strange to me that I found it a bit hard to imagine that I would have been comfortable with those myths if I had been born in ancient Greece or Mesopotamia. It  wasn’t until we covered the chapter on Genesis that I really realized how deeply the tradition you’re born into can impact your perspective on a myth.

I wasn’t raised in a very religious family, I was never taken to church or taught to pray as a child though I was occasionally read parts of a children’s version of the Bible as a bedtime story. I’m not a religious person and so I really didn’t think that the Genesis story had much affect on me. However when we read the chapter on Genesis I was absolutely amazed. It never held any religious meaning to me but in my head Genesis was a very logical straightforward myth with a fairly consistent storyline. It seemed so simple and normal but normal really just depends on your perspective doesn’t it? After reading the analysis of it in the textbook and seeing it as a mash-up of different stories I realized that to someone unfamiliar with it, it was just as strange and choppy as the other myths we’d been reading. Having realized that I feel that I have a much better understanding of how these sometimes confusing and strange stories can seem so normal to the people who have been raised with them.

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3 thoughts on “A “Normal” Myth

  1. I agree with you that these myths do seem very strange to me as well and it does make me think about how your environment affects the easiness of believing one form of myth over another. I think this also might be affected by the switch between a myth containing one central god, and the polytheistic myths. Furthermore, I think the more supernatural the components of a myth, the harder it is for us to accept it as being ‘normal’. I think that the stories like those of Genesis are not as much of a stretch as they largely follow people who are just like the rest of us. In comparison, when looking at how the different Greek gods were born, there is less of a connection with what an average person does.

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  3. While these myths would have been less strange to the people of the cultures they were written in, I’m not so sure they would have considered ‘normal’ by everyone. Think of the stories we read in books and see on tv… do they all seem normal, or even all make sense to us? I think that while many people would have believed in and been very familiar with their mythologies, to others myth would have simply been stories, and stories that would not always have made sense.

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