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Chapter 2

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University of Toronto St. George
Claesson Welsh

Sep 17, 2010 Theories of Mythology Ctd. - School of thought of mythology come from anthropologists (ie Levi-Strauss) - Structuralism o Any field (lang, myth; any human produced system) is a complex system of interrelated elements, visible elements which belong to a deep underlying structure o Meaning does not exist in any single element but in underlying structure - Claude Levi-Strauss: Human thought and society as a constant o Human mind uses dualities Rawcooked, lifedeath, hotcold, hunterhunted o Humans attempt to bridge the divide bw binary opposites; and myth is one of the ways - Structuralists ignore historical importance; value of contemp changes o Another problem: no one has proven that the binary way of thought is universal o Only works best for preliterate societies o Can bring out underlying things that might be overlooked otherwise - Vladimir Propp: Russian Formalism o Before Levi-Strauss; 1910s to 1930s o Try to separate study of literature from related disciplines (ie psych) o Find pure literary scholarship o Found that Russian folktales had 31 constant functions in a fixed sequence; patterns always happen Going away; 14. hero gets a magical agent; 30, 31, hero gets punished, marries princess, gets the throne Can be helpful to break down somewhat Greek myths and hero sagas, but certain patters occur across diff myths - myth is a tradition
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