In Linda Seger's essay, "Creating the Myth," she writes that myths are common stories at the root of our universal existence (par. 5). She continues to say that myths are "more than true" (par 6), because it is a story that connects and speaks to us all. In every myth there is a hero and there is a given pattern or process that all myth heroes follow.
When we meet the hero, it is usually in a laid back setting before a problem rears its head needing a solution. This sets up the hero to start the journey where s/he meets with others who will be of help. This is usually an unlikely source which causes the hero to step up and take on the challenge. The transformation begins as the hero goes through tests and obstacles which can be near "death experience" (Hero myth point 7). However, the hero emerges out of this and lays claim of the prize as the enemy/ rival is vanquished.
The story line behind "Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, is also a myth. First and foremost it is a story that connects and speaks to us. The hero, Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean spirited rich man. He does not think anything of Christmas and sees no reason why anyone else should be merry. This is seen in the conversation he has with his nephew who is happily married and the exact opposite of him.
Scrooge is visited by three ghosts after his dead partner appeared to him and warned him of his ways. He [Scrooge]initially wants to deal with all the three ghosts at once but this does not materialize. These unlikely visitors, the ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas of the future are his helpers. They show him what was, is and will happen in his life.
The challenges thrown at him are to visit his nephew for Christmas dinner, be helpful to his assistant Bob Crachit who has a crippled boy called Tiny Tim and five other children and generally use his wealth for the betterment of the society at large especially to help eradicate ignorance and want. Scrooge is so relieved when he wakes up to find himself on his bed with all the bed posts in place, the curtains and rings as well. He is determined to be a changed man and lives up to all the challenges having realized he has very limited time.
As I read other blogs, I am reminded of Stephen King's book "The Green Mile" which was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks (Paul Edgecomb). He was the boss of the death row at the Cold Mt. Penitentiary nick named "Green Mile." A level headed fellow who discovered the healing powers of inmate John Coffey.Coffey was on death row for a crime he had not committed, yet another inmate, William "Wild Bill" Wharton had done this crime. Coffey healed Edgecomb of Urinary Tract Infection, Melinda, the wardens wife, of brain tumor and sent this disease to an homophobic, mean and disliked officer Percy Wetmore who later shot Wharton. Edgecomb could not help Coffey who was ready to die because he was tired of the misery in the earth. He was electrocuted but Edgecomb was narrating the story at 104years- longevity after the healing, wondering when he was going to die!
Seger, Linda."Creating the Myth." Reading Pop Culture: A Portable Anthology. Ed. Jeff Ousborne. Boston:
Bedford St Martin's, 2013. 334-345
www.nytimes.com/.../The Green Mile. Ed. Janet Maslin .New York. Web 22 Jan. 2014