Creation Myth Writing Assignment
Creation myths are not just stories where something gets created; they are explanations of how life came to exist, how the world was formed. A myth has been defined as "a story embodying and declaring a pattern of relationship between humanity, other forms of life, and the environment" (R. J. Stewart). As such, myths and creation accounts and stories help to provide a unifying framework for the people who believe, either literally or figuratively, in this shared account. It is not a falsehood or an unscientific lie; rather, it is a poetic and shared vision.
There are a lot of components that go into an interesting myth: the cosmogony (the process of how the world was actually created), the characters involved, how they interact with each other, the environment, where it all takes place, the positive and negative and their implications, etc. Some of these mythic elements that derive from the Oral Tradition are: 1) The use of repetition for emphasis and ease of recall; 2) The use of poetic devices such as alliteration, personification, metaphor and simile, and symbolism; 3) A concern with numbers, often times repeated; 4) The power of "The Word" (Logos) and the subsequent use of concrete nouns to label important elements (both human and non-human). And I think we can all admit that some of the myths sound pretty strange and outrageous, but that’s okay. After all, explaining how life is created is not easy.
In this assignment you will be a creator and you will be creating your own myth: a creation myth. It’s your turn to describe how the world came into existence. You can create our world in any way you like, but try to remember some of the traditional elements of a creation myth. Will there be good and evil? Will there be action? Will it be “real,” or outrageous? Do you have a cosmological plan? Will you create just the world, or will you add creatures? And don’t cheat and say that aliens dropped us here; you have to create (even if that means creating aliens).
Some ideas for you if you are really stuck:
· how cats got their tails
· how the sun came into being
· why the moon disappears once a month
· why giraffes have long necks
· why there is dew on the grass in the summer
· why dogs bark instead of chirp
· why penguins can't fly
· why trees grow vertically instead of horizontally
· why people h...