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American Folklore: Myths, Legends, Fables, and Tall Tales

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Allison Blackwell

on 3 October 2013

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Transcript of American Folklore: Myths, Legends, Fables, and Tall Tales

American Folklore: Myths, Legends, Fables, and Tall Tales
What is it?
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, popular beliefs, fairy tales, myths, stories, tall tales, and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group.
Legends-traditional, historical tales of certain people, handed down first orally and later in written form.
Tall Tales
-A fundamental element of American folk literature.

-Contain unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual.

-Some such stories are exaggerations of actual events or people.

-Others are completely fictional tales set in a familiar setting, such as the American Old West
A Few Real (and Fake!) People Will Read About
Paul Bunyan

Johnny Appleseed

Pecos Bill

Annie Oakley

John Henry
Myths-anonymous early stories designed to explain mysteries of life, generally with larger-than-life characters.
The characters in tall tales are often extreme or have exaggerated qualities or talents.
Setting often plays an important role in tall tales because the story emerges from experiences of people who lived at a certain time and/or place (Old West).
Exaggerations based on real events.
Common Elements of Tall Tales
A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in:

I could sleep for a year
This book weighs a ton.
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