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Family Myths and Stories: A Narrative Essay


Write a 6-8 page Narrative Essay based on your family stories and myths. Choose one of the guidelines below. Be sure to type, double-space, follow APA format, and submit electronically before class on the due date. Use the textbook to help inform your response.

1. Joseph Campbell “believes that the hero myth is actually written about every human being: we are all heroes struggling to accomplish our adventure. As human beings, we engage in a series of struggles to develop as individuals and to find our place in society. Beyond that, we long for wisdom: we want to understand the nature of the universe and significance of our role in it.” (Thury, 217)Interview a family member. Describe their heroic journey: a point in their lives where they faced a challenge, overcame a major obstacle, gained wisdom. Use Campbell’s theory to help formulate your questions—not every stage needs to be fulfilled. (See Elements of the Hero’s Quest, page 230). Do not embellish the story with fiction—for example, the person may have received “supernatural aid” in the form of religious faith. Be sure to allow this person to read your finished project. 

 2. “In “Deciphering a Meal,’ [Mary] Douglas first examines a fundamental human activity—eating—and describes the ritualistic activities she has observed among her family and compatriots in England…Like Levi-Strauss, Douglas advocates ‘decoding’ aspects of culture, in this case, meals, to discover their meaning for the culture that practices them.” (Thury, 554)“Douglas shows that ritual is at least as strong a means of cultural communication as language.” (Thury, 556)

Apply Levi-Strauss and Douglas’ theory to your own family rituals during meal time. Discuss the food you eat as a family, how you eat, and how food reflects important aspects of your community and culture. Refer to the theories of Douglas and Levi-Strauss to help organize your project

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