Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Poverty of Cause in Mythological Narrative

William Hansen
Folklore
Vol. 120, No. 3 (December 2009), pp. 241-252
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40646529
Page Count: 12
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Poverty of Cause in Mythological Narrative
Preview not available

Abstract

Many myths recount how a single trivial action (for example, a simple misunderstanding) had cosmic consequences for the human race (for example, the entry of death into the world). Such "poverty-of-cause" narratives are reflective neither of a supposed primitive mentality, as earlier theorists suggested, nor of a widespread folk-idea of the so-called Butterfly Effect. Rather, the disproportion arises from the confluence of two general characteristics of traditional aetiological narrative, namely, the treatment of causation as local and immediate, and the portrayal of protagonists as representative of the species.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[241]
    [241]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
242
    242
  • Thumbnail: Page 
243
    243
  • Thumbnail: Page 
244
    244
  • Thumbnail: Page 
245
    245
  • Thumbnail: Page 
246
    246
  • Thumbnail: Page 
247
    247
  • Thumbnail: Page 
248
    248
  • Thumbnail: Page 
249
    249
  • Thumbnail: Page 
250
    250
  • Thumbnail: Page 
251
    251
  • Thumbnail: Page 
252
    252