Description The Final Cumulative Essay is due in Module 15. Considering a standard of 250 words per page, your essay should be approximately, 5 pages in length (or 1250 words). Choose three stories from three different cultures for compare and contrast. Only one of those cultures may be modern Euro-American. You will, therefore, need to explore other culture’s mythos: Native American, Australian Aborigine, African, Asian, etc. You can also travel far back in time to explore the mythic narratives of the ancient world. One way or another, get as far out as you can into the deep ocean of myth and legend! You can find your stories from various sources, your own personal library, a public library, or reputable online web sources: Wikipedia, blog entries, or popular websites are not considered authoritative. Your goal is to get as close to the origin source of your mythic material as possible. The stories should be concise, such as fairytales, legends, folk tales, ethnographic records, or religious texts, but they might be fragments of larger narratives as well. In your essay you will clearly analyze the plots, characters, and/or settings of these stories using the universal perspective, the cultural perspective, and the pedagogical/psychological perspective. You will also do independent research where you explore what scholars, mythologists, anthropologists, artists, psychologists, or other commentators have said about your topic and cite them in your essay, using MLA style. In the end, however, the essay is unique to you. The richness of this sort of comparison/contrast arises from developing a strong thesis or insight into the meaning of the tales and driving it home with cogent argument supported by solid research. What this requires is a nugget of insight. Before writing, you must utilize your synthesizing intelligence and get beneath the superficial features of your myths and penetrate towards their core. In that way, your discussion can significantly relate to what it means to be human––not merely a mechanical discussion of superficial elements. We will be developing your essay in stages throughout the semester, beginning with our first module where you find one mythic narrative from a particular culture in which you recognize a universal theme. Identify the theme, summarize the story and explain why you think it is interesting. Here is the skeleton key to your final essay, the three modes of analysis which, if effectively used, will guarantee a successful outcome to your discussion. These three modes, the cultural perspective, the universal perspective, and the pedagogical/psychological perspective, allow scholars to focus their analysis and interpretation in such a way as to unpack the meaning and function of myths across cultures worldwide. In comparing/contrasting your three mythic tales, you want to be certain to integrate all three perspectives into your discussion. Here is how they work: The cultural perspective compares myths to locate regional variations in the stories, variations that will almost always reflect the specific culture that produced the story. For example, a folktale from the rainforest of the Congo region of Africa will have motifs, characters, settings, and objects quite different from a folktale of the Plains Indians of North America due to the great differences in their geography and ecology, societal structures, spiritual beliefs, ancestry, etc. It is the job of anthropologists and ethnographers to research and collect data exploring these differences. The universal perspective compares myths to locate both a common deep structure and shared surface similarities. Because all stories reflect certain universal qualities of the human experience, it follows there will be archetypal forms, ideas, and concepts that are common among all tales. Psychologists and mythologists tend to explore these universal qualities. For example, the hero’s journey archetype of Joseph Campbell, a mythic form which he claims occurs among cultures worldwide. The pedagogical/psychological perspective looks at myths to determine what lessons they teach. Generally speaking, the stories passed down as an inheritance within cultures are created to teach certain lessons, such as how to conduct oneself towards the spiritual realm, dangers to be encountered, respect for the plants and animals that give life, and how to honor and nourish the structures and relationships of society that hold a culture together. Many mythic narratives also have a psychological message as well, which teach us about the nature of the human psyche and development. Jungian psychology, which explores the archetypes in human experience and the process of individuation (we will be covering this psychological approach during our course), is a particularly effective mode of analysis for mythic narrative as well as dreams. Note that these lessons can be both specific for the culture from which they emerged and universal in that they address themes common to all humanity. This explains how ancient Greek mythology, such as Odysseus’ adventures in The Odyssey, continues to be profoundly meaningful for us in the 21st century. So, think from all three perspectives as you analyze your tales: What makes them culturally unique? What makes them universal for all Humanity? What do they teach us about how to conduct our lives? Things to think about: The process of Jungian individuation The “initiatory” aspects of fairytale form and what do the stories initiate? Do the stories conform to the Campbellian monomythic form; the hero’s journey, and in what ways do they conform or veer from that pattern? Are Jungian archetypes present? What are they and how do they function in the mythic narrative. FINAL TIP: Choose one of your essays as the primary narrative (you have already done this in a previous assignment); then compare it to the other two, using these to examine psychological or pedagogical significances, as well as similarities and cultural particularities and differences in order to come up with a unique angle on the significance of the primary narrative or a specific motif found in all three.