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An Insight To

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An Insight to World on the Turtle's Back

The creation of the world has come to question many scientists and religious believers alike. Mythology answers the beginning of time with unstructured elements and even abstract ideas. The "World on the Turtle's Back" by the Iroquois tribe shows an understanding with the old, Biblical theory of right and wrong, however in their culture, left isn't always evil. All mythology has a certain theme, which philosopher Joseph Campbell summarizes as instilling a sense of awe towards the mystery of the universe, explaining workings of natural world, validating social customs, and finally guiding people through trials of living. I think that you can agree with me when I say mythology is a search for the true answer to how we are standing here in this world today. >>theory>>

The human mind can be a mysterious, imaginative, and above all, an abstract place. The Iroquois' tribe story "World on the Turtle's Back" corresponds to Joseph Campbell's function to instill a certain sense of awe toward the mystery of the universe in interesting scenes. For example, if you tried to picture a pregnant woman falling from the sky onto a flock of birds, that would be impossible for a scientific-oriented mind to imagine. Another example is when the woman's daughter had a twin born out of her left armpit, and kills their mother. To picture skin rupturing and a baby guiding himself out of it would be like watching a vivid scene from a science-fiction movie. When they say, "from her curiosity, she fell out of the tree onto the turtle," that is another difficult image to visualize. When the woman fell onto the turtle's back, she needed a place to live because in the beginning the world was flooded with water. After many failed attempts with other animals, she "gave roots to muskrat" and "walked in the direction of the sun for the earth to grow." This part explains how the sun came to revolve around the world.

Explaining the workings of the natural world is the second part to Campbell's theory to a myth. As mentioned before, the Iroquois believed a woman fell from the sky, planted her roots in the ocean for the land to flourish, and walked in the direction of the sun. The fact that a pregnant woman created earth can be comprehendible because a woman's known to symbolize birth, creation, and life. In Joseph Campbell's Power to Myth, he states, "The woman is life, and the man is the servant to life." However, these credits contradict with popular belief in saying that "man created life" or "a man's word is his very honor." Religion, culture, and media expand on an old belief of always the male who holds the power, but this story objects to it. For instance, the left-handed twin, who shows deceitful and devious qualities, and the right-handed twin, who exhibits the righteous and trustworthy ones undyingly fight and compete with each other in every way possible. When they produce creatures to inhabit the world, they attempt to outdo the other, but in the end "The world the twins made was a balanced and orderly world, and this was good." This quote means that a proper food chain was made, thus creatures and man couldn't overpopulate or starve.

Third, social customs were validated and supported in "World on the Turtle's Back." Mainly today in the media, the public thirsts for scandalous and even graphic stories. We need more gore and horror in movies and videogames, more pedophiles, more cheaters in marriages, more scandal in celebrity life, and more war on terror. Face it, people love to sink their teeth into something juicy, "and strangely enough, the grandmother favored the left-handed twin," even though he killed their mother. Also today we have people who earn their money



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