Myths are a blend of fantasy and reality. Myths are stories that are not literally true. If they were, archaeologists would have found at least one set of giant bones or at least a unicorn horn or two. At the same time, myths are not completely false. Although literally untrue, there is a stronger current of truth that lies beneath the surface words of a myth. This current of truth flows through the power of symbols, actions, and reactions that have a very deep meaning for all people, regardless of race or age and in many cases even the period of time in which they live. Myths tell stories, but the meanings of the stories and the effects they can have upon our daily lives can range from mundane to life changing. The level to which we are affected is, in many ways, due to our personal background and the amount of effort and attention we invest in a myth.
This book outlines some of the connections between myths and our everyday lives. Few people realize how commonplace mythical references are in our lives. Every time someone uses words like academy, cereal, and echo, myths have touched our daily lives. Whenever people purchase products like Nike shoes, Olympus cameras, or Saturn cars, they patronize companies with names derived from myths. This text aims to reveal many of these unrecognized references, and their impact.
Each entry begins with a retelling of the myth. Then, through the course of the entry, the myth's relationships with popular culture, psychology, literature, art, and words are explored. In addition to the entries, this text includes appendices that list the references to mythology in the calendar, solar system, words, biology, and companies.
In the retelling of myths in this book, the popular or most well-known version is commonly relayed in the entries. The well-known versions of classic Greek and Roman myths are often different from the original versions of the myths, because they were erroneously translated or altered to be more palatable to late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century Western values. In these cases, the original versions of the myths are described in the entry in addition to the more popular version of the myth.
In each entry, there is a description of the myth's influence on our modern culture. In this description, the myth is connected to modern aspects of our culture, such as a movie, word, or work of art. In some cases the connection may already be obvious to the reader, like in Disney's adaptation of the myth of Hercules. In other instances the relationship between the myth and the cultural aspect may not have been apparent until, upon reading the entry, the reader becomes initiated to the twists and turns the myth has taken to arrive into our modern culture.
Additional information regarding the influence of myths can be found in the appendixes. The reader may peruse the listing of brand names and common words that are associated with myths. Many elements in nature and in the solar system have...