American Myths

19 Oct

Throughout American culture, there are thousands of stories that have been told through numerous mediums. In modern America, we pass stories via written word, visual interpretation, and word of mouth. One common thing that appears in almost all stories is food. In American stories, one food consistently show is turkey. It is involved in many ceremonial meals and is depicted as the most important part of the meal on many occasions. Turkey is certainly one of the most consistently seen foods in all of America’s folklore.

In many stories, turkey is the main course for large sit-down dinners. If a character is bringing over a future spouse, husband or wife, the major dinner confrontation always includes some large, extravagant meal. Many times, this meal is centered around a giant turkey. In some stories the turkey can actually be involved in major story altering events. An example of a story like this can be seen in many TV shows in which a character, often a mother figure, is preparing a large meal for family or friends and through some misfortune the turkey burns, causing the character to have an explosion of emotion, often breaking down. Additionally, turkey is almost always the main course for large dinners in holiday stories, specifically movies. Family meals are important in American culture, especially during holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. When these feasts are depicted, they often include turkey, the staple of American feasts.

American stories feature turkey because turkey is what the land originally provided to Americans. This can be seen in many other cultures, an example of which would be rice in Asian story telling. The presence of food in these stories is merely another piece of the setting of the story. It is just another factor used to indicate what the environment is really like.


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