My blog was established in conjunction with my participation in FOLK-F121 "World's Arts and Cultures" at Indiana University, Fall 2007.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ch. 6 Reflection

As Chapter 6 of our textbook explains, there are many approaches to interpreting folklore. Many of these approaches may overlap each other, but they still have traits that are their own (Sims and Stephens p# 174). I actually really enjoyed reading this chapter, and have two favorite approaches to interpreting folklore.

The first process of interpreting folklore that I enjoy is structuralism. I really appreciate the flow of conversations, stories, jokes, riddles, etc, and how each can relate to each other, or be tweaked very slightly to tell another story. As the book says, structure is more than a plot; it includes characters with settings, actions, and words (Sims and Stephens p. #179). Like that, the structuralist approach does more than help describe or understand one aspect of a story (Sims and Stephens p. #179). After reading the section of structuralism, I came to realize and understand that words can have a completely different meaning and interpretation from story to story, or riddle to riddle. I suppose that this is one of my favorite ways of interpretation because I like the power of words, and much of the structuralist interpretation done my folklorists was geared toward verbal genres (Sims and Stephens p. #183).

The other form of interpretation that I like is psychoanalytic interpretation. I used to want to be a psychology major, so this form of interpretation was right down my alley. Psychoanalytical analysis involves the interpretation of symbolic meanings within texts that illuminate shared development and life experiences of all humans (Sims and Stephens p. #187). I love reading stories and fairytales that are made to symbolize topics much deeper than the actual story touches on. One big example for myself is the Chronicles of Narnia series. I love the religious symbolism that is behind the novels, but never talked about throughout them.

This is my response to Reflection Question for Chapter 6.
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Sims, Martha C., and Martine Stephens. Living Folklore An Introduction to the Study of People and Their Traditions. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 2005