Aphrodite (creative)

Apples, roses, hearts…
It’s the color of these,
the color of passion,
the color of love.
It’s the color of anger,
of excitement,
of danger.
Most of all,
it’s the color of Aphrodite
the goddess of love.

Aphrodite was the great Olympian goddess of beauty, love, pleasure and and procreation. She was depicted as a beautiful woman… Her attributes included a dove, apple, scallop shell and mirror. In classical sculpture and fresco she was often depicted nude. (Theoi)

“APHRODITE : Greek Goddess of Love & Beauty | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Venus.” APHRODITE : Greek Goddess of Love & Beauty | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Venus. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013


Social Criticism in Fairy Tales (synthesis)

Fairy tales are a good way to describe social issues because so many people see them. This has always been a common thing. These stories have to be about something, and usually they express something that it happening in the society in which they are being created. It’s a lot like paintings; art work always has its’ cultural influence. Great examples of this are the Disney movies. These fairy tales came from the stories that have been told for years, but even these have been changed so that they are more appropriate for children. And they still have the social criticism in their undertones.

Fairy tales basically shape the way we grow up. From the time we’re little, they’re how we learn what’s right and wrong. For example, “When the people of Hamelin refused to pay the Pied Piper what they had promised, he led the children of the village away with his magical music. This key moment in a familiar fairy tale carries many insights. It is, at once, a commentary on social values, a vivid example of family tragedy, and a bit of personal psychology. Folklore is compacted wisdom literature that yields more information with each reading” (FolkStory).

A great example of social criticism in a fairy tale is this play I went to. It was your standard Cinderella-like  love story. They were so in love, but it was never meant to be. However, the big-bad-monster, was named Mr.D, and at the end it comes out the Mr.D is a mouse, with big Mickey Mouse-like ears. This is referring to Disney’s hold on all things fairy tale…whether  its the stories themselves or the fame for them, Disney has it.



FolkStory:  Young, Jonathan. “Once Upon a Time.” . . . Fairy Tales Shape Our Lives. Inside Journal, Sept.-Oct. 1997. Web. 09 Dec. 2013.


Evolution of Fairy Tales (response)

Response to: http://listverse.com/2009/01/06/9-gruesome-fairy-tale-origins/

Fairy tales have always been around. Children have grown up with them for many generations. Fairy tales are meant to teach children the morals to abide by throughout their lives. However, they have changed a lot since the Grimm brothers first published them. For example, Disney has recreated many of the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales but they’ve changed them a lot. All of the gruesome parts are gone. Like in Cinderella, the Grimm brothers fairy tale says that the step sisters cut off parts of their feet trying to get the slippers to fit and doves peck their eyes out at Cinderella’s wedding. None of that is in Disney’s version.

Christianized Pagan Holidays (opinion)

In my not-so-expert opinion, it’s pretty easy to find pagan holidays that have been Christianized. If any research is done, it is obvious that the Christian religion is solely based on other religions and ideas. For example, the Christian religion is really founded on the idea that Jesus “died for our sins,” but Jesus died because the Jewish people thought that he was a threat to the imperial stability in Rome. He was put to death in a way common for thiefs and traitors of Rome: crucifixion. So it’s no surprising to learn that holidays like Christmas and Halloween were not originally Christian and were actually representative of something other than Jesus and all his so-called sacrifices.

Halloween started out as a pagan holiday, called “Samhain.” It was a festival celebrating the time of year that the ghosts could “mingle” with the living. It involved the sacrifice of animals, fruits and vegetables. But the Christian’s had made it their agenda to literally “wipe out” pagan holidays, because they were unable to convert all of the people to their religion. So they changed Samhain to Halloween. Christmas is another one. December 25th was the mid winter celebration of many people already, so the Christians just made their celebration of christmas on that day also.

Women’s Roles in Society (opinion)

Women’s roles in society in regards to myth, legend and forklore are vary throughout different regions. For example, in Greek Mythology, Mother Earth was respected at the goddess of all. But women in mythology are usually respected only for their ability to create life and support it, because that is something men were incapable of. Women were necessary to continue living. However, women were seen as weaker and usually only goddesses of things like love (Aphrodite), wisdom (Athena), and marraige (Hera); whereas men were gods of war (Ares), fire (Hephaestus) and the sea (Posiedon).

I think that women’s portrayal in forklore and mythology largely effected the way that women have been treated throughout history. Women have commonly been oppressed. Only within the last hundred years have women even become able to vote in our “modern” society. History throughout and all around the world shows that women were to be married young and have children young, because that’s what they’re good for. Men are meant to hunt, feed and protect their family and their people.

Dia de los Muertos (synthesis)

Dia de los Muertos is the day of the dead. It is a traditionally Mexican holiday, however it is celebrated all around the world. It is a day to remember those who we have lost.  “Día de los Muertos is a day to celebrate death” (Huffington Post). It takes place on November 1st and 2nd. It is thought to be similar to Halloween, but it’s actually pretty different.  “On Halloween, death is seen as something to be feared,” on the Day of the Dead it is celebrated (Huffington Post). In my spanish class, we’re going to see a play that is put on by a spanish couple in Southeast Portland every year (Milagro). We also make sugar skulls and have a big fiesta with a lot food, much like those cultures that celebrate Dia de los Muertos. I think it’s interesting that we don’t celebrate the day here. It’s such an intriguing thing to recognize and we don’t really have a day like that in the American culture. Halloween isn’t a day to remember those we’ve lost, it was originally a day to scare away the spirits and actually originated in Britain and Ireland with the pagans (History). Dia de los muertos is actually a beautiful celebration of life and love and family. Graves are visited, food is made and eaten and time is spent with loved ones. There is nothing like that in the American culture.


History: “Halloween.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.
Huffington Post: Benedetti, Ana. “5 Dia De Los Muertos Questions You Were Too Afraid To Ask.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 01 Nov. 2013. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.

Milagro: “CORRIDO CALAVERA.” CORRIDO CALAVERA. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2013.

How to read myth… (response)

This article was intriguing to me. I agreed with the author when he said: “By observing a number of recurrent themes in all myths, they concluded that the myths must have descended from a small handful of original ancestor myths.” This makes a lot of sense to me because I feel that mankind has a very strong trickle down effect when it comes to our customs, traditions and much of our lives. We have evolved into what we are today. So it makes sense to me that our stories have done so as well. I also think it’s interesting that this fits with the approach of the Grimm brothers. Most stories around the world have the same common themes, regardless of where they come from or how long they’ve been around

The picture that says: “I guess darkness serves a purpose: to show us that there is redemption through chaos. I believe in that I think that’s the basis of GREEK MYTHOLOGY.”  To me, this relates to when the author of the article said: “Other common themes include the world being destroyed by a great flood and the death and resurrection of a divine character to explain the changing seasons and the return of life to the land each spring.” The myths show the darkness of death and then the redemption of the ressurection of a new character.