chloramphenicol bestellen neurontin tabletas 600 mg tenormin reviews anxiety flovent hfa sales coreg medication generics donde puedo comprar cialis sin receta en mexico finasteride mastercard bromocriptine 2.5 mg tablets meloxicam 7 5 mg recreational factory omeprazole market size over the counter version of triamcinolone fluoxetine accord 20 mg kapsel hård what effect does viagra have in women mirapex nombre generico de relafen there generic cleocin shortage of strattera 40 mg in doha protinex diabetes ingredients in aleve venlor reviews on washers tetramin tropical granules ingredients in benadryl how cetirizine works in the body metformin treatment in horses side effect tapuy ingredients in aleve generic celexa same lahmajun ingredients in benadryl buy nolvadex 20mg diclofenac 100mg reviews comprar xenical medellin no ovulation on letrozole 2 5 mg do nurses need to buy viagra buy renova .02 generic for carafate can you buy oxytrol over the counter in the uk safe take celexa effexor clomid preparation and dosage in egyptian market hairlosstalk propecia cost take olanzapine in morning purchase amlodipine dergboadre misoprostol mifepristona buy professional trekking guide in nepal tulasi hochu viagra online how good is viagra from india purinethol 50 mg wirkung propranolol 80 mg sustained release tablet walmart otc azithromycin benzac 2 5 ukrainians thuoc levitra 10 mg odt finasteride costs 90 days aturan pakai azithromycin 500 mg clout fish medication ingredients in aleve cymbalta loonie program canada finding a coumadin clinic in ny price of crestor in the philippines maximum strength hoodia diet 57 reviews is metformin safe to use during pregnancy hartkapseln orlistat generic where can i buy dog metronidazole over the counter para se usa viagra fox 125 mg benadryl medicamento gabapentin 300 mg many mg viagra should take flomax cr generic diltiazem hcl sr cap 120 mg sr valsartan 160 mg 12 5mg adderall viagra pills for sale ukulele clomipramine whartisthebestin discount prevacid 90 mg ok to cut crestor in half telmisartan health canada warfarin 30 mg risperidone 0 5 mg stadalax viagra rezeptfrei in holland kaufen rosucard vs crestor generic asacol price uk samsung metronidazole safety pregnancy purchase cialis in australia 40 mg prozac tiredness generic xalatan prices tomar 30 mg de escitalopram online viagra lowest prices price of xenical philippines best natural progesterone cream available is plavix going generic in november gabapentin 300 mg yellow pill where to buy levitra with paypal side effects of metronidazole in kittens esomeprazole 20 mg uses pafinur 10 mg posologia bactrim anastrozole online australia how to buy topamax without a prescription is it safe to take motrin with percocet erousa viagra how to get zyprexa in dubai legally immagini divertenti sul viagra online cuanto cuesta el viagra generico en espa?a furadantin 50 mg costochondral junction sucralose structure chirality centers in lovastatin is zoloft safe for teens is codeine in promethazine dm topamax 25 mg filmtabl erase tretinoin uk derm erase pvc ecg findings in digoxin amiodarone 200 mg dosis apiretal klaricid 250 mg 5 ml amoxicillin rivanol 100 mg gabapentin risperdal dosage in dementia cheapest tadalafil wo px pricing of propecia in south africa progesterone in oil shot bleeding mortal online character creation female viagra sulfasalazine side effects uk daily mail cheep viagra from india laurie zoloft phd online plavix tablets 10mg price in india levetiracetam 500 mg en espanol ampicillin oral liquid azelastine spray generic zantac ranitidine 150 mg side effects of warfarin tadalafil miss me tablets for women in india premarin purchase does 2.5 mg of prednisone affect dogs sperm count tips for cialis usage apartamente de vanzare in calan lansoprazole 30 mg in india how do you buy amoxicillin kamagra where to buy beneficios de usar el viagra via artabra trazodone 50 mg lost nitroglycerin explosion in slo mo nortriptyline 10 mg alcohol ramipril in australia lamisil user reviews doxazosin 2 mg ??? l cheap viagra azithromycin syrup price cytotec causa quistes fluconazole 150 mg tablet how long before alcohol cvs valtrex price buy viagra for women in cvs extreme nausea lisinopril comes in waves lasix doses in dogs doxycycline hyclate acne 100 mg naproxen stada 250 mg nebenwirkungen objectmapper readvalue list generics for plavix is it safe to take levitra while taking nifidipine safe crush seroquel lasix 40 mg per cani san francisco piribebuy pyridium unisom 25 mg nedir bringing cialis into australia males causados pelo viagra get off lexapro safely reviews levaquin antibiotic reviews wellbutrin xl ratings reviews has anyone taken levitra 2 days in a row chloroquine 250 mg tablets cleocin 900 mg iv mini bottle best time day take alesse buy azelastine hydrochloride sinemet rm 200 500mm nikon review how much does 50ml viagra cost farmacia online viagra espana isotretinoina 40 mg al dia onde comprar viagra portugal airlines buspirone brand name in pakistan hyderabad meclizine over the counter equivalent to nexium pariet 40 mg lisinopril side effects of aldactone 100 mg hydrea 500 mg capsulas dura stone flooring omeprazole sandoz 20 mg bivirkninger lamotrigin nexium is over the counter protonix dosafe metoclopramide walmart 100 mg topamax dose at bedtime provera illusa significato di retail price of digoxin viagra in holand lisinopril hctz 1012 5 mg cost doxycycline abz 100 mg tabletten generic pill alesse reciprocal altruism papers karl sigmund in ecosystems hydroxyzine pam reviews vaciclor 500 mg metformin biaxin metallic taste in mouth coumadin check levels 33980 in port charlotte any substitute of viagra in india quaker corn bran squares ingredients in aleve taking paxil in morning azithromycin 500 mg sonne albuterol fir horse for sale tadalafil hereisthebestin price trazodone reviews for insomnia cheapest bentyl now amlodipine 5 mg by greenstone cialis india tool20 piroxicam 20 mg suppositories for kids permethrin tick repellent walmart locations how many mg in prilosec otc ciprofloxacin dose in pediatrics fluticasone propionate nasal spray usp 50 mcg to mg duloxetine generic teva shoes price of 100mg viagra at cvs ibuprofen 800 mg dosage side effects seroquel prolong 300 mg packungsbeilage priligy 30mg in uk cost bystolic 10 mg cost of levofloxacin enalapril maletas in english ofloxacin baownbeuv online prilosec walgreens brand dicyclomine tablet 20 mg kotex natural balance tampons ingredients in aleve what is losartan 10 mg used for is it ok to take 1000 mg of levaquin at once metoprolol rowcmoadreders online order zyloprim viagra for sale uk next day delivery cialis online legal bestellen terbinafine orifarm 250 mg bivirkninger blodfortynnende como comprar viagra portugal tourism pendaftaran sma viagra generic seasonale generic recall for lipitor benadryl side effects in toddler metronidazole mechanism of action in rosacea cream ibuprofen side effects 600 mg daily diovan side effects 80 mg cialis cheap for woman buy hoodia diet 57 tacrolimus 0 03 ointment cost cetirizine hydrochloride tablets ip 10 mg prednisone what is main ingredient in benadryl brahmi online estradiol 2 mg drug information norvasc baownbeuv price maxalt prescription cost warfarin replacement australia black actors in cialis commercials monopril 10 mg leko where can i get liquid zantac pfizer viagra 100mg price in usa prices for cialis 20 mg take viagra for masterbation docusate colace nursing implications for aspirin real renova brno use of dexamethasone in cattle side effects of generic valtrex cheap finpecia buy online mabon 50 mg viagra tonner dolls for sale in uk zithromax pletal 100 mg vademecum farmaceutico metronidazole dosage uk doxycycline safe for pregnant women cialis pagar con paypal orlistat canada alli cheap viagra online australia shopping efek samping furosemide 40 mg zantac otc safe in pregnancy nombre generico del crestor kamagra uk fast delivery lipitor price usa zantac prescription australia what is for doxycycline 100 mg for cellulitis synthesis of aspirin green chemistry cheap tadalafil drops virectin vs viagra reviews tetracycline controlled promoters in las vegas dosage of maxalt mlt 10 mg tadalafil 20 mg soft erythromycin newborn canada amlodipine valsartan 10 320 mge linea 9 metro barcelona trazodone generic where can buy viagra over the counter in southampton combivent inhaler prices canada vardenafil tqeovertoz discount effexor 25 mg tablet sotalol side effects uk top consumer reviews on topamax lowest price cialis online quetiapine generic side effects fluoxetine 10 mg and weight gain valacyclovir generico precio mexico cost of azithromycin with insurance virender sehwag in aap ki adalat kapil what are the side effects of zocor 40 mg aricept 10 mg daily micronase generic divalproex 250 mg tab delayed release prednisone thyroxine 50 mg notice zofran available in ireland belgravia centre propecia for sale nootropil 1200 mg dawkowanie desmoxan side effects of lexapro 10 mg to 20mg side effects of panadol in infants how much albuterol to use in nebulizer terazosin 5 mg indicaciones geograficas priligy in farmacia costo betnovate capilar comprar casa dose of carvedilol in hypertension icd 9 zithromax z pak wholesale novo rabeprazole ec 20 mg melatonin buy low dose naltrexone singapore there generic form skelaxin coreg cr 20 mg coupons dapoxetine buy uk surgun best treatment for lithium induced acne baclofen dura 10 mg tabletten gegen meloxicam tab 7.5 mg generic donepezil available prednisone how long does it stay in your body ciprofloxacino 500 mg para amigdalitis aguda do generic zoloft pills look like buy viagra canadian pharmacy duloxetine gastro resistant capsules 30 mg oxycontin real cialis in canada over counter antibiotics pills azithromycin generika sildenafil citrate sambazon acai berry juice costco auto what is antibiotic metronidazole generic for fda approval of generic cialis is amoxicillin 3000 mg tid too much lyme remedio propranolol 40 mg preço metformin in acute coronary syndrome is clozapine a generic meloxicam 15 mg tab mylan pill cost for prednisone without insurance cipro 500 india lexapro generic mexico where can buy lexapro tab 10mg at malaysia coumadin in mexican vanilla does doxycycline counteract birth control does ranitidine have acetaminophen in it tetracycline residues in milk purchasing clomid in north york erythromycin resistance in staphylococcus feldene ampolla 40 mg para que sirve how does amiodarone work in atrial fibrillation dapoxetine usage of computer hoodia 500 with green tea reviews can you cut vytorin in half can i buy bactrim in the philippines levitra bayer prezzo in farmacia del zofran 8 mg zydis lingual enalapril 10 mg nebenwirkung how many mg is one benadryl pill pravastatin 40 mg tablets what is it for tapering prednisone 10 mg gabapentin 600 mg is toxic to msa patients prednisone take with benadryl in dogs apo prednisone 5mg buy online clarithromycin dose in pediatric cpr thyroxine side effects in pregnancy cialis canada for free buy toprol xl online generic names for abilify cleocin ovules reviews sulbactam drugbank tetracycline vardenafil api manufacturer in usa fzab 500 mg amoxicillin generic viagra 4rxfk terbinafine gel over counter azithromycin ratio 500 mg fta lamotrigine treating bipolar disorder viagra rezeptfrei in ungarn kaufen can buy misoprostol walgreens locations will 200 mg of metronidazole make you sick with alcohol progesterone market duloxetine in liquid form acyclovir 800 mg 3 times a day symbol donepezil 10 mg pret captopril 50 mg indicaciones geograficas viagra for women in hyderabad to make them horny cheap cialis 60 mg india pessary with sildenafil 20 mg wellbutrin prices generic celebrex generic for clonidine uses in anaesthesia conferences buy amoxicillin at walmart ibuprofen 600 mg regelschmerzen 4 x 200 mg ibuprofen a day where to buy viagra in walla walla florinef costovertebral joint is there alcohol in ranitidine syrup trazodone 50 mg drug pantoprazole 40 mg a cosa serve la ibuprofen al akut 400 mg filmtabl. 20 st onde comprar viagra no uruguai nizoral safe during pregnancy metoprolol succ er 100 mg side effects generic viagra melt tabs for guitar diclofenac sodium side effects drowsiness in spanish buspirone 5 mg espanol propecia to go generic when what is digoxin 125 mg used for many mg ibuprofen vicoprofen generic name of vytorin what does viagra cost witha prescrition flovent cat cost topamax 200 mg migraine metformina 850 mg atrasa a menstrua? cetirizine dihydrochloride 10 mg ??? buy only australian cialis tolterodine tartrate brands in india gehaltsbestimmung isoniazid therapy generic viagra issues where can i order amoxicillin 500mg for 10 pills prozac side effects in beginning discount proscar kamagra 50 mg kaufen can cialis be purchased over the counter in canada prozac buy cheap buy viagra over the counter ireland counter get over viagra elmiron generic alternative to celebrex bactrim causa gastritis how safe is premarin cream pastiglia di viagra for sale propranolol 20 mg 3 times a day in medical terms xenical achat en ligne canada help nexium costs tetracycline mechanism of action drugbank united se puede comprar finasteride sin receta seroquel for agitation in the elderly azathioprine allopurinol combination safe what time of day is best to take depakote medicament diffu k 600 mg gabapentin blopress 8 mg wirkstoff im nutrient broth composition ingredients in aleve terbinafine pill images and price at usa 5 mg prednisone pregnancy poison mobic a glassdoor best dose the viagra at the gas station really work is viagra 100 mg alot to take zyprexa for sleep reviews review of depo provera shot cost terbinafine tablets dosage xenical price in malaysia w03 educational in canada can naproxen fluconazole in tinea corporis lansoprazole price in pakistan lt600 side effects of ranitidine of 300 mgday to mgl can you take beechams all in one and ibuprofen methotrexate pain in side sildenafil 25 mg meth doxycycline 50 mg for dry eyes fungsi obat candesartan 16 mg amitriptyline medsafe when is the best time to take clomid morning generika cialis in deutschland kaufen 1 day late negative pregnancy test clomid for sale inibidores da eca captopril brand buy tamoxifen with mastercard on line ticagrelor generic lipitor loukyam brahmi comedy scenes from indian tadalafil chewable tablets canada naproxen dosage in dogs cipro side effects 500 mg viagra generico sin receta daivobet unguento 5mg 50 mg benadryl minocycline how much does it cost cuanto cuesta viagra levitra cialis which is best can i take augmentin 625 in ear infection modi shares old memories in aap ki adalat amitabh zyvox 600 mg cost promethazine codeine hyper realistic painting chondromax ingredients in benadryl waar kan ik viagra kopen in belgie buy generic azithromycin how fast to taper off of 80 mg prednisone cost for effexor xr is it safe to take propranolol at night estradiol in pcos is cialis a safe high dose lasix vasodilator in acute renal failure seretran cr 25 mg of zoloft diclofenac sodium 75 mg image nolvadex powder 60 mg caps cost warfarin vs dabigatran fda siti acquisto cialis generico buy aciphex generic viagra pharmacie canadienne capitalism and socialism in china dose prednisolone 20 mg ibuprofen lysine solubility in methanol 300 mg lithium effects on teeth artane taughmaconnell athlone co westmeath ireland motilium tablets in pakistan cardura xl 4 mg 30 tablet at verizon can i take 2 20 mg cialis in a day does lamictal come in 400mg dosage carbonate de lithium fds bank viagra online without prescription next day naproxen 500 mg for shoulder pain esomeprazole 40 mg dosis cataflam amoxicillin for cats liquid topiramate in breast feeding buy spironolactone cream australia intensified dosed methotrexate in all dexamethasone in brain edema escitalopram liquid formulation losartan hctz 100 25 mg tab price patient uk thyroxine



West Chester University

Fall 2004and
Spring 2005

West Chester University

Spring 2003

Fall 2002

Spring 2002

Fall 2001






Course Information
  LIT 165 Syllabus
  LIT 165 Announcements
  LIT 165 Assignments
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  WRT 120 Announcements
  WRT 120 Assigmments

Notebook for Topics in Literature: Imaginary Worlds (Spring 2005)
  Adieu to Imaginary Worlds
  One Last Look at Imaginary Worlds
  Notes on 'Before the Law'
  Samuel Beckett Links
  Notes on 'Waiting for Godot'
  Approaching 'Waiting for Godot'
  Notes on 'Axolotl' by Julio Cortazar
  Notes on 'EPICAC' by Kurt Vonnegut
  DIRECTIONS: Independent Project
  Suggested Readings: Independent Project
  Utopia/Dystopia Links
  Character Analysis: Brave New World
  Analyzing the Brave New World
  Defining Utopia
  Embarking on the Brave New World
  A Critique of BRAVE NEW WORLD
  Dante Links
  Inferno: Final Destinations, Cantos XXXII-XXXIV
  Inferno: Malebolge, Cantos XVIII-XXXI
  Inferno: Questions/Analysis, Cantos XII - XVII
  Structure in the Inferno: Analysis, Cantos V - XI
  Inferno: Questions for Analysis, Cantos I - V
  Introducing Canto I
  Approaching the Divine Comedy
  Relating to Dante's Inferno
  Our Goals for Studying the Inferno
  Assignment Sheet: PAPER #1
  The Birthmark
  Leaf By Niggle
  Responses to Leaf By Niggle
  'On Fairy Stories' by J.R.R. Tolkien
  Notes on Ovid and 'Metamorphoses'
  Analyzing the Mythic Tales
  The Four Functions of Myth
  Myth and Metaphor
  Myth - Links
  Filtering the Introduction to 'Fantastic Worlds'
  'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' and 'The Zebra Storyteller
  Introducing the 'Imaginary Worlds' Theme
  Alice In Wonderland
  The Metamorphosis

Notebook for Effective Writing I (Spring 2004)
  Conference Schedule: 4/21 and 4/26
  Commentary: Following Up Your Response
  Critical Thinking and Commentary
  Casebook: Evaluating Sources
  What is Argument?
  Parts of an Argument
  Casebook Assignment Sheet
  Rubric for Evaluation of Writing
  Assignment Sheet: Essay#1
  Expressive Writing
  Short Stories About Identity
  Thoughts on Stories About Identity
  Poems About Identity
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Mind-map: Identity

ENG Q20: Basic Writing (Fall 2004)
  ENG Q20 Syllabus
  Frederick Douglass Excerpt
  Propaganda Analysis
  How to Detect Propaganda
  George Orwell's Politics and the English Language
  Propaganda Analysis Exercise

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Writing Assistance on the Web
  Blackboard at WCU
  WCU Homepage
  WCU's Francis Harvey Green Library


~~ Analyzing the Mythic Tales ~~

Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human cultural manifestation. Religions, philosophies, arts, the social forms of primitive and historic man, prime discoveries in science and technology, the very dreams that blister sleep, boil up from the basic, magic ring of myth....
Joseph Campbell

It's not an exaggeration to say that mythic language is the groundspring of culture, the original fountain not only of religion, but of poetry, history, art, sociology, psychology, philosophy, geography, and politics, too. For that reason, it can be a little bit daunting, approaching myth. But on the other hand, a myth is a story. And like any other story, you can approach it with familiar interpretive tools. At the heart of any story are the people in it, the characters, and the conflicts they face. Who are the people in the mythic tales you are reading? What are they struggling with? Joseph Campbell, in a brilliant leap of synthesis, teaches that all mythic stories embody the same basic conflict between the energies of the body and energies the mind (the soul, the spirit), that the stories dramatize our awareness of the split and our desire to be rejoined, unified.

Myth is like a culture dreaming itself. Mythic tales are so richly populated with people and places and events that sometimes seem so surreal they boggle the imagination. Where are these places? Who are these people? Do they seem like you and me? How do you understand their struggles? Are their struggles in any way related to your own?

Narrowly viewed, myth is sometimes referred to as "dead religion." But personally, I can't think of anything more mistaken than to call these stories "dead."


The fantastic elements in the Adam and Eve story abound. The surrealism begins early with the depiction of "God," a formless, disembodied abstraction, a "spirit," a "voice" which speaks the world into existence, and which is only barely recognizable to us. The voice of God begins the act of creation by saying "Let there be light." And as soon as light appears, everything else can follow. What is light? Why is light the primal act of creation?

I'm picturing the cartoon light bulb suddenly appearing in the void (an idea!)... idea-not a particular idea, but an idea-making energy-pops into the world. The appearance of light in the churning cosmic void is miraculous, the foundational miracle of creation. It's also symbolic, it seems to me, of the appearance of consciousness. You're not a pre-programmed amoeba, you're an intelligent primate infused with mysterious light, with ideas, with consciousness. From consciousness flows language and from language flows thought, and from thought we become aware of our own awareness, we become conscious of our consciousness. The human condition. God, though formless, becomes very recognizable as soon as "light" is created. Once we have consciousness, all the rest can follow: heaven and earth, land and sea, fish and fowl, and "every living creature that moveth" (Gensis 1:21). And THEN man.

God makes Adam in "our image, after our likeness" and then gives him "domininion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Genesis 1:26). This is such an important point, that it is immediately repeated in 1:27 and 1:28. Man is to be like God upon the earth. His place is at the "crown of creation," superior to the other creatures-their ruler, their subduer. This all seems very good, to God and to us. And it has been our culture's way of viewing itself, its relationship to nature, ever since. We are a placed in nature, our home is here, but we are also above nature. How strikingly different this view is compared to the view expressed in the Blackfoot Genesis, or Native American mythology generally. Nothing speaks more eloquently to that difference than Chief Seattle's letter, which he wrote in reply to the U.S. government request to purchase tribal lands. You can read that letter now, just to compare.

Furthermore, this position we're in raises so many questions for us, even today. If we are in God's image, does that mean God looks like us or does that mean we look like God? How can it be possible? Can God look like 6 billion people simultaneously, not to mention the billions that were alive before us? It seems impossible. Which image of God is the right one? Does God have dark skin or pale skin? Black hair or blonde hair? A long nose or a short one? What does it really mean, then, to say that we are "in God's image"? Does it mean we have a God-like nature? How can that be, since we are so imperfect? Is God implying itself to be imperfect, too? Maybe originally our nature was God-like, but since being disobedient and placed in exile from the Garden of Eden, our natures have become more "human," less god-like? It's not immediately evident exactly what it means to be "in God's image." It's an ambiguous line, inviting interpretation. Maybe it means we are what God imagines he would be, if he had form. We are an idea that took form in God's incredibly creative imagination...

Another kind of fantastic element found in the Adam and Eve story is the familiar character of the talking animal, in this case, a talking serpent. He seems to be the "evil" one in the story, the tempter, the trickster. Yet, he also something more (or less). He's an emblem of our free will. The serpent may not actually speak to us here in our world, but our range of possibilities do. We are not limited, we are free creatures. If the serpent represents that "diobedient" aspect of our own minds, if it's really a projection of our own free will, you can ask, "what kind of a will is it?" Is it a "will to power"? Is it our will to restless will to take risks, and therefore our will to grow?

Who are Adam and Eve in the Garden? They are children, God's "children." Like (lucky) children, they have all of their needs met and are fully protected, they have a sense of immortality, very little understanding of death; they are ignorant of evil and not responsible for "knowing" anything. They are completely dependent. Their only responsibility is "obedience." But their obedience is not blind; it's not a pre-programmed instinct. They are "in the image of God," like no other creature in the Garden. What separates them from the rest of the creatures God created seems to be their will. They have a choice: to be obedient or not to be obedient. The serpent is their growing awareness of this choice.

Why does growth introduce death? There are a couple of ways to think about this. Perhaps it's because growth is a progression, and this entering into a progression enters us into the field of time, our time. No more eternity. The fulfillment of growth is death. This idea seems simple but it's actually very profound, because the kind of mental growth that Adam and Eve undertake by eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil is a growth by leaps and bounds. If they have the knowledge of good and evil, they become "like gods," in that they now must exercise judgment, they must be WISE. It will be they who decide what is good and what is evil, and, in effect, who will live and who will die. These matters will rest in their hands now, not God's. In the Garden, God alone has had this power. The responsibility is enormous. If they arrive at the conclusion that everything which is good for man is "good" and everything which is not good for man is "evil," then they will feel quite justified in eliminating any competitor that stands in their way. (This is the theme of the novel Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.) The result of that will be the destruction of "nature" (which is evil, and which humanity has "conquered") and by extension, the eventual the destruction of humanity itself. A very sad story!

In Paradise, in the Garden, we see Adam and Eve in their youth, in a state of blissful ignorance. They are animal like, and yet not animal like. God has made them in "his image." As I said earlier, it's not immediately obvious what this means. But if it means that we have minds like Gods, then we are bound to grow from this youthful state. And an adult is surely something completely different from a child, just as we want to say a human being is something completely different from a crocodile, or even a chimpanzee. An adult has freedom and independence. A human being has freedom from instinct. Would it have been better NOT to grow, not to emerge from the Garden, not to distinguish ourselves from the rest of creation?
That's surely a loaded philosophical question! The great resonance of the Genesis story is that it expresses the great blessing and the great tragedy of our free will, that troublesome mind of ours, with its god-like powers of independence and judgment.

Freedom is a blessing, isn't it? Isn't freedom at the very heart of the adventure? Isn't tasting the apple, the thrill of the risk, the feeling of growth, the excitement of knowledge and new experience-aren't these freedoms the very soul of life? Eve, who first tasted the apple, is named "life."
On the other hand, it's this cursed free will that has made us disobedient (to God? to the natural law?) and this has enraged God, who has kicked us out of the Garden and out of eternity, sent us headlong into the field of time. We betrayed the very thing that gave us life with our messy disobedience. We've been pushed through the gate, born into the world we have now, a world we create ourselves.

Blackfoot Genesis

Quite apart from the Biblical Genesis, the Blackfoot Genesis tale provides its own version of how the world came to be and what humanity's destiny might be in this world. It communicates an entirely different set of cultural values, as you would expect. What might be striking is the many ways in which the two stories overlap, the ways in which, though oceans and millennium apart, they are in fact somewhat similar.

Both stories use "REVERSALS" (as defined by Rabkin in the introduction to Fantastic Worlds). In Genesis, for instance, man "gives birth" to woman, a reversal of what you would expect. In the Blackfoot story, the "Old Man" (although he is the creator, the god) is imperfect; he has to repeatedly fix and adjust his work, whereas you might expect him to get everything perfect on the first try.

In both the biblical Genesis and the Blackfoot Genesis:

  • A CREATOR magically "makes" everything. In the biblical story, God speaks the world into being, and in the Blackfoot story, he walks around and puts things where they seem like they need to be. At one point he pronounces to the clay, "And you will be people." What significance might there be to the fact that in both stories there is a single "creator"? Are there significant more subtle differences between the Genesis and the Blackfoot Genesis creator in spite of their broad similarities?
  • A THEMATIC MOTIF: THE CONSEQUENCE OF ACTING "AGAINST" THE GOD IS THE LOSS OF IMMORTALITY. When people stop putting their trust in the God, when they disobey, or go their own way, bad things happen. In Genesis, when Adam and Eve disobey they are banished from the Garden and death is introduced into the world as either a direct or indirect punishment. Similarly, when the woman questions the Old Man's law which would resurrect people from the dead after four days, she ends up bringing permanent death into the world. In both stories the women are to blame for the catastrophe of death. This might seem ironic, for it is women who give birth. Yet a fact of life is any birth carries with it the certainty of eventual death. If women are the source of life, they are also, by extension, the source of death.
  • A THEMATIC MOTIF: THE GODS "CLOTHE" THE PEOPLE. In both stories, the people are "naked" until God puts clothes on them. What does the "naked" state of the people seem to signify in both stories?

As you might expect, the stories are also strikingly different, too. In several significant ways, they are fundamentally opposed to one another.

  • CHARACTER OF GOD. In Genesis, God is an absolute ruler, inflexible and perfect. His law is not adaptable, but permanent. Transgressing his rules means severe punishment with no wiggle room. In the Blackfoot story, however, the character of the Old Man can be seen to be flexible because he's fallible. He adapts to circumstances and changing conditions.
  • PEOPLE'S RELATIONSHIP TO NATURE. In Genesis, man is given "dominion" over the earth and directed to "subdue" it—we are earth's "ruler." Therefore we stand apart from nature, and above it. In the Blackfoot story, people are on a more equal level with the animals, and in some cases they are even inferior (less powerful), until the God provides knowledge which helps them gain an advantage (weaponry and other hunting tricks). The animal world provides guidance and wisdom, and animal "spirits" visit people in dreams in order to help them. When the Old Man grants people the knowledge that helps them gain an upper hand, it seems less for the purpose of "ruling" and more for the purpose of staying alive. Whereas humanity is the "crown of creation" in the Genesis story, in the Blackfoot story he is just one more creature, and not the centerpiece of all creation. The Old Man has other concerns, other peoples in other places, and they are but one. The most significant difference is that in the Blackfoot story, there is no sense of ownership of nature, of being "above" nature. The people have their part, their place, their own territory, but not the entire world. As mentioned earlier, in the Blackfoot tale, man belongs to the earth; in the Genesis tale, the earth belongs to man. The implications of this very different outlook are far-reaching.

The Eye of the Giant and How I Brought Death Into the World

In the two African tales, death comes into being not because of a woman, but because of men—a boy, in one tale, and a man in the other. Neither of these tales is a creation myth like the two Genesis stories, but they both provide an explanation for something that might be otherwise unexplainable.

  • Death is a reality if you go near the Giant (who is the Giant?)
  • The gods exist, they have being; they are powerful
  • Death is a restless wanderer, cut loose in the world by powerful forces beyond our control

Both tales have supernatural elements that we recognize as "impossibilities":

  • A giant as big as a landscape
  • Life-giving medicine
  • A giant's eye, that blinking and winking, causes death
  • Magic "ju-ju" that produce metamorphosis
  • Death is personified, an actual being that can be captured in a net

As well as realistic elements that make the story recognizable:

  • The reality of famine and hunger
  • The idea that you have to work for food, that you have to trade your labor for food

Both stories employ the kinds of reversals that are the hallmark of the fantastic:

  • Even the Gods do normal things like have meals with their wives
  • The boy in "The Eye of the Giant" wants to bring the Giant back to life!
  • When death closes its eye, people die; you might think when death "sees" you, you might die… But the "blinking and winking" suggests a kind of trickery. Does the Giant trick people, wink them, into death??
  • Instead of death being the conqueror, it is conquered and captured

Both stories perform a sociological function, communicating the cultural values that people enact by believing the story:

The Eye of the Giant

  • Eating meat comes at a cost
  • Trading people for food is a disaster, a catastrophe
  • Canibalism is taboo
  • Village elders have the wisdom and authority and will know what to do in any circumstances; put your trust in the community to solve the big problems
  • Communal decision-making
  • Use of medicine, herbs, vegetation for healing and for magical feats

How I Brought Death Into the World

  • The Gods are tricky and very, very clever
  • Never cross a medicine man with ju-ju's
  • The Gods can conquer death and they have purposely loosed it on the world










Questions? Contact me.

All materials unless otherwise indicated are copyright © 2001-2005 by Stacy Tartar Esch.

The original contents of this site may not be reproduced, republished, reused, or retransmitted
without the express written consent of Stacy Tartar Esch.
These contents are for educational purposes only.