Myths symbolize and embody the values of a culture. The preservation of myths in a society is essential, due to the world views and beliefs, to the survival of that culture. The origin of most myths is through ancient, oral traditions. Myth can answer origins, natural phenomena, and death; others describe the nature and function of divinities; while still others provide models of virtuous behavior by relating the adventures of heroes or the misfortunes of others. Folklore and legend are included in many myths and are necessary for the survival of some myths. They describe humans as an essential ingredient of the larger universe, and they impart a felling of awe for all that is mysterious and marvelous in life (Campbell, 1988).
In the American myth there is a man named Paul Bunyan, the lumberjack and his enormous axe which could level acres of trees with one swing. Paul's larger than life persona embodies all that is good in the development of great nations and the west.
It is said Paul cleared the forests from the northeastern United States to the Pacific Ocean. If not for Paul Bunyan, much of the west would remain wooded(Spencer, 2006).
As a child I read many books and heard many stories about Paul Bunyan, and I aspired to attain a status such as his. Unaware of the unachievable goal, my heart and sole was devoted to this feat. I grew up on a farm and the need for fire wood was always abundant. Almost daily I would go to gather fire wood and would chop and chop trying to attain a status of epic proportion like Paul. It always seemed out of my grasp, but in my mind, I never failed, but only grew stronger toward my goals. As I grew...