The Power Of Storytelling Essay

1449 words - 6 pages

Throughout this paper I will explore the power of storytelling using the course lexicon and I will examine it in the context of two course texts. One of the texts that I will be referring to is by Doxtator, excerpts from Fluffs and Feathers and the second text I will be referring to is by Griffin, excerpts from Woman and Nature. The power of storytelling is a part of the mimetic world and because stories have so much power they can be used to help bring about dominant fantasies. Stories are told over and over again until they are reinforced and in this essay I will argue that the power of storytelling is a form of social control.
In the excerpts from Fluffs and Feathers, Doxtator discusses the ideas of indianness and he talks about how people perceive First Nations people. The dominant fantasy of a First Nations person is someone that is spiritual, environmental, primitive, and in need of support. In the text by Doxtator it states “every culture creates images of how it sees itself and the rest of the world” (13). But how did the idea of indianness come about? The power of storytelling is a powerful tool because stories are rooted in people’s culture and it affects the way they see the mimetic world. Stories help people form dominant fantasies about things that they may not actually experience themselves. It would be impossible for all of Europe to travel to America and experience the new world. Therefore when the European travellers came to the Americas they would tell stories of their travels and their experiences so that other people could understand what they had experienced.
First Nations people are often referred to as Indians however it is well known that they are only called Indians because when Columbus had reached his destination, he had thought he had reached the Indies and so he named the people he met Indians. Although this is well known, First Nations people are still referred to as Indians. When someone discusses Indians or First Nations people they usually refer to movies, books, or stories that they have seen or heard of. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that the dominant fantasy of a First Nations person was defined by the Europeans and not by the First Nations people themselves. The stories that are told about the First Nations people do not accurately represent who they are. When the Europeans first came to the Americas there were two ways in which they could have perceived the First Nations people. They could have perceived the First Nations people as resourceful, successful in the absence of technology, one with nature, and they could have expressed other positive qualities. However, the Europeans perceived the First Nations people as savages, uncivilized, stupid, and in need of help. First Nations people use every part of an animal that they hunt and they are able to live in harmony with nature but certain characteristics such as these were overlooked by the Europeans. So the stories and images that many people...

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