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Literature Genres Traditional
Traditional Often, a traditional story is not the work of a single individual but of a collective, which modifies the story until it begins to settle into a form. Usually, the telling begins for a purpose such as to communicate beliefs, explain natural phenomena or to hand down values that are important to a culture. Sometimes, stories begin in pre-literate societies in which writing was not possible. Stories can also begin in cultures where writing is not common or was not available as a form of entertainment.
Folktales The previously unwritten stories, customs, sayings, and traditional beliefs passed down from generation to generation.
Fairy Tales Often take place in a magical land, ruled by royalty where the characters are either good or evil. Begins with “Once upon a time…” The story has monsters, magic, and or talking animals. Good vs Evil Ends with “…they lived happily ever after. ”
Myths Stories have gods and goddesses and often accounts for how something came to be. • Gods and Goddesses • Explains something that happens in nature by using gods • Good = rewarded • Bad = punished • Magic • Unusual creatures • Can teach a lesson
Legends An exaggerated story about something that may have been real at one time. • Every day people • Animals are often main character • Explains how or why something in nature came to be • Magic • Sometimes teaches a lesson
Stories set in the Wild West; the main character’s strengths, skills, or size have been exaggerated and the tone is funny. Tall Tales • Based on the life of a real person • Everyday people with superhuman abilities • Linked to a real historical time period • Problem solved in a humorous way • Exaggerated details • Tells about a person’s accomplishments
The study of Genre is not an exact science Some texts belong in more than one genre Romeo & Juliet is a drama, a tragedy and an Elizabethan play.