Native Americans’ Myths

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Myths have been used all over the world to explain culture, the beginning of something, geography, natural phenomenons, and much more. They are inspired by beginnings, change, cultures, and uncertainties of existential questions. Native Americans have been telling stories about their history and beliefs for years. In the myth “The Tsunami,” the author included many literary elements to convey meaning and bring richness and clarity to the story. Some literary elements that were present in this myth are symbols, the beginning of something, moral lessons through conflicts, biblical allusions, and shape shifting.

To begin, the scarlet seashell is a symbol for life and power of the ocean it was the king’s “prized possession” (Sallak,2).More common symbols in myths are colors, for example white means purity, purple is royalty, and red is danger, energy, and passion. As shown in “The Tsunami” Jack’s face turning “a glaring red like lava from a volcano” (Sallak,1) from fury was a symbol for energy and danger.

Another literary element is the beginning of something, this myth discusses the beginning of tsunamis and why they exist to “remind humans to never disrespect the ocean again” (Sallak,3). A moral lesson is also shown through the conflicts that occurred in “The Tsunami.” The trouble making kids, Jack and his friends who polluted the ocean for vengeance caused the destruction of the sacred seashell and almost killed a turtle. The turtle was “wrapped in trash with plastic tight around its neck” (Sallak,2). Readers could take this to heart and learn from this devastating act. Using elements like moral lessons through conflicts and beginnings are two reasons why this myth is successful.

In addition, the myth includes allusions. For instance, Brian separating the sea in half is a biblical allusion to Moses separating the red sea so the people could safely cross. Another allusion that is seen is to the popular movie “The Little Mermaid.” Brian’s trident alludes to Poseidon’s trident, that he uses to protect himself and the ocean. These allusions both lead to this myth being successful because the reader can connect to the story.

Shape shifting was also present in “The Tsunami” as Brian metamorphosed from a dolphin to a shark out of fury. This is very common in myths and occurred in a story that was read in class called “Coyote Finishes His Work.” The coyote changed his appearance to trick women and the Great Spirit metamorphosed into an old man. Therefore, since the very popular myth “Coyote Finishes His Work” and “The Tsunami” are so similar, it shows how “The Tsunami” is a strong representation of the literary movement.

By reading the text through a phychconytical lens, it is obvious that the author subconsciously described pollution so horribly because she strongly believes that pollution is destroying the oceans and every creature living in it. She makes this clear when she describes the negative side effects of pollution by writing how the turtle is dying from all the garbage surrounding it.

Overall, “The Tsunami” is an excellent representation of a myth because it includes many literary elements. The myth includes allusions from the bible and “The Little Mermaid”, symbols, shape shifting, the beginning of something, and moral lessons through conflicts. These elements provide more of an insight to how myths were written to explain Native Americans beliefs.


Cite this paper

Native Americans’ Myths. (2021, Jun 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/native-americans-myths/

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