For this essay, you will be analyzing one creation myth and one punishment myth (from those we’ve discussed in class) through the lens of one function of myth from the Harris & Platzner

CLT 3378 Essay 1 Prompt

For this essay, you will be analyzing one creation myth and one punishment myth (from those we’ve discussed in class) through the lens of one function of myth from the Harris & Platzner reading. You may choose any of the myths, but you must choose one creation myth and one punishment myth. 

While creation myths are primarily etiological myths, myths often have multiple functions. Consider the different functions of myth we discussed in the first lecture—how do your chosen myths illustrate purposes or functions other than explaining origins? The functions you may write about are:

•        nature, ritual, Freudian theory, Jung’s archetypes, structuralism

•        NOTE: you may not write about etiology

It is your task to analyze your chosen myths through the lens of your chosen function.

You should explain how each of your chosen myths serves that function, using evidence (specific examples) from the assigned myth to support your argument. Then, you should consider how important or relevant that function is in each myth—would it be obvious to the ancient cultures that each myth originated in? Was this function the intended purpose of each myth, or was it more secondary to another function? You may discuss other functions briefly, if they are relevant to your argument (i.e., if you are arguing that your chosen function is not the prominent function in the story). Finally, compare each myth’s use of the function to each other—does each culture hold this function in similar regard? What do you make of this function based on the way in which it appears in both myths? Is it a useful way to view the myths?

Your structure may look something like this:

1.     Introduction

2.     Appearance of function in myth #1

3.     Importance/relevance of function in myth #1 4. Appearance of function in myth #2

5.     Importance/relevance of function in myth #2

6.     Comparison of myths’ use of the function

7.     Conclusion

Remember that this essay, like all essays, requires a thesis statement. Your thesis should be an argumentative statement that you successfully defend and support in your body paragraphs. 

•        Thesis statement example: “Though the function of ________ appears in both of these myths, it is clear that this function played a more central role in Myth #1 than Myth #2.” 

•        “Both Myth #1 and Myth #2 showcase elements of the _________ function of myth, with both cultures apparently valuing/utilizing/seeing ________ in their respective societies.”

Your paper should be 1200-1500 words in length—stick close to this word count. Papers that are significantly shorter or significantly longer than this will be penalized. Penalties for grammatical errors will also apply. You must include an introductory paragraph (with your thesis statement), as many body paragraphs as you need to make your arguments, and a concluding paragraph where you effectively wrap up your paper.

You must use the assigned readings for each myth that you have chosen, as well as the assigned chapter from Harris & Platzner. Significant penalties will apply for failure to use the assigned readings. You must provide specific examples from your chosen myths, with in-text citations that include the page number for each example you use (this counts for quotations as well as paraphrasing). You may not use any outside sources in this paper.

The paper should be in 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins. It should be submitted as a .doc or .docx. Include a header in the top left corner with your name, the course, and my name (Ms. Engstrom). You may use any citation style you prefer, just be consistent and include page numbers in the in-text citations. You must include a bibliography page. Remember that any examples or information you use from Lopez-Ruiz, Harris & Platzner, or Canvas readings should be cited appropriately with in-text citations and a

bibliographic entry.

If at any point you have questions, need help, or would like me to give feedback on your paper, please contact me immediately or come to office hours! I am here to help you.

This paper is due Sunday, May 26th on Canvas at 11:59pm.