Week 1 – Assignment 

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Myth and Myth Theory
Incorporate the reading by Scalise Sugiyama and Sugiyama as well as the reading by Norenzayan, Atran, Faulkner, and Schaller. Scalise Sugiyama and Sugiyama propose that monster stories in oral traditions may serve as a means to promote survival in a vulnerable population. Analyze whether or not you agree with this proposal. According to Norenzayan et al. (2006), a certain number of counterintuitive elements in a story may make it particularly memorable and likely to be passed on. Compare and contrast how this intersects with the analysis presented by Scalise Sugiyama and Sugiyama.
Explain how storytelling has changed from oral to literate traditions and whether we still use monsters/supernatural story elements in the same way as foragers. Next, choose a modern myth or epic that is familiar to you. Options include (but are not limited to):

· Lord of the Rings

· Star Wars

· Harry Potter

· Game of Thrones

· X-Men

· Star Trek

· The Wizard of Oz

· Twilight

Analyze the story you chose and examine whether or not it fits with Norenzayan et al.’s (2006) analysis of a successful folktale, and whether or not the counter-intuitive/supernatural elements in this story seem related to survival or reproduction as suggested by Scalise Sugiyama and Sugiyama (2011).
The paper must be two to three pages in length

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