from The Navajo Origin Legend

Navajo

Retold by Washington Matthews


1. What is the time period and how does it affect the literary style?

The time period of the story was when the Native Americans lived before the English people did.They were the Navajo Native americans. It affected their literature because they did not have written literature. They told the myths verbally. Generations to genrations the story had been passed down.

2. What is the author's purpose in writing the selected piece?

The purpose of the story is to see how the Navajo people learned the creation of life. How they believed in their own beliefs. It shows that the Navajo people had their own belief system.

3. What literary techniques does the author employ in achieving his or her purpose?

The techniques are that the author symbolizes the literature. Like when he wrote “When the Mirage People had finished their walk the upper buckskin was lifted; the ears of corn had disappeared, a man and women lay their in their instead.” That meant that the men and women were created from the cornand the buckskin. The corn is the basic food element of the diet.

4. How is the literature characteristic of the time period?

In the time period the Navajo people only knew their religion and their literature. They did not know any other religion. Thats how they explain the creation of the human.It probably won't be the same exact word that the original Navajo people first told, but it is the same basic structure.

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Section 1
1. The Earth on Turtle's Back 2. When Grizzlies Walked Upright 3. from The Navajo Origin Legend 4. from The Iroquois Constitution
Section 2
1. A Journey Through Texas 2. Boulders Taller Than the Great Tower of Seville 3. from The interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano 4. Diamond Island: Alcatraz
Back to first page: Prose-Short Selections