Foundations of a NationAMERICAN FOLK AND TALL TALES
WHAT IS A FOLK TALE?• “Folk” are people• “Tales” are stories
KEY ELEMENTS:• 1) Oral Tradition• 2) Teach a lesson • XYZ behaviors/attitudes result in ABC consequences• 3) Archetypal characters • The liar, the thief, the clever child, the stepmother, etc.• 4) Dialect or slang (oral tradition)• 5) Repetitive structure (oral tradition)
THE BEGINNING• Many folk tales begin as a group’s attempt to explain and understand the world around them, both natural and spiritual.• All cultures have folk tales.
FOLK TALES VS. FAIRY TALES• Fairy tales usually contain an element of magic, whereas folk tales usually don’t.• Some folk tales are based on real people.• Some real people become folk heroes.
FOLK TALES VS. TALL TALESTall tales are uniquely American and have: 1) a larger-than-life main character (superhuman) who has a specific task 2) the problem is solved in a funny or outrageous way 3) details are exaggerated (larger than life) 4) characters who use everyday language (like folk tales)**Many tall tales are based on actual people or on a composite of actual people. Exaggeration is the major difference between folk tales and tall tales.