Myth-Lit <—- Link to my chart.

My graph was character based. Each was separated into an action dealing with a character or done by the character.



Growth in a myth is used to highlight the structure of a myth. The growth is a description of how certain elements of a myth are repeated and added on to (“growing”) in order to emphasize the structure. We can make the inference that the item most stressed is most important and that the quantity is proportional to how relevant it is to the story. In Rumpelstiltskin based on Professor Ferguson’s chart (, we see that the two categories, contracting and producing are more important because there are three instances for each, whereas the other two categories cheating and rejoicing are less important events relatively. Contracting and producing can also be seen as opposites of one another and it is interesting to see how the dynamic between the two ideas is created and used in the story. In the chart I created above, it is character based (and perhaps not how Levi Strauss intended for the chart to be organized) and we can tell from it that the character of the Manikin and the game the Queen played were central to the story. The Manikin provided the driving force in the story, whereas the name game was the crucial deciding factor as to whether or not the Queen could keep her child.

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  1. Kevin L. Ferguson Said,

    November 11, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

    I wonder about the two middle columns–are there only one instance of each of these mythemes? Is the idea that marriage and birth are unique events that only happen once in the story? I always thought of the manikin’s magic production of gold as kind of like birth, or his contract with the daughter as kind of like a marriage . . .

  2. mchan Said,

    November 12, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

    That’s a good point! Would it be okay to use mythemes more than once per category? Would the manikin splitting himself in two be seen as a birth of some sort too?

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