Zeus and Stories Essay

Submitted By crtheirault
Words: 932
Pages: 4

Stories and their Purpose Throughout time humans have developed the skill and art of story telling. Whether the purpose is for important information, ancient myths, or just for pure enjoyment, we have adopted this habit and it is part of our everyday lifestyle. When one looks back on the types of stories told and the history that has been passed on through stories, they tend to ask the question why do we tell stories?
“Stories and Storytelling have come recently to command a new kind of attention. This interest does not stop with tales but extends to all kinds of narrative and recital, indeed to narrativity itself as distinct from other kinds of discourse. We have long known what a large role fabling, saga, and epic have played in various cultures but we have new reason for scrutinizing it. On the one hand it begins to dawn on us that a story, a fiction, reveals more than we had thought. One can say that the story tells more than what the storyteller tells.” (Wilder 353)

In this quote by Amos Wilder from his writing known as “Story and Story-World”, he is carefully commenting on stories with the idea that the story essentially speaks for themselves. Not every story is told for the same purpose, but one thing that seems to remain a constant theme is that they all stand for a purpose. Wilder points out that stories are not simply made up “but were somehow imposed on the narrator” (Wilder 353). His reasoning is that when someone is telling a story, it is fate and destiny that they tell that story and it is not just another individual creating a story within their imagination.
As we look back on the past, we recognize important and historical stories such as the Bible, The Torah, and even Aesop’s Fables. These stories have stood the test of time and are still passed down to this day, but why? Why do some stories pass from generation to generation while others simply fade away and disappear? When looking at stories from an academic standpoint with the question of what makes a good story, there really is no answer. Each story is unique and told for their own purpose depending on whom the audience is. Stories that involve topics such as love or tragedy could have an enormous effect on one individual due to personal experience, while another individual could be completely uninterested and unentertained. This simple fact is what makes stories and storytelling unique, to the point where in this day in age it could be considered an art.
“There is moreover, the interest in the end. Beyond the interest in what happened next and next there is the interest in how it came out. There is the interest, more or less conscious, in what the story means, in what the storyteller is getting at. Finally there is the interest in the art of telling, in the performance. Audiences appreciate virtuosity, mastery, and dramatic skill. One can recognize this in their tacit or murmured responses, their Oh’s and Ah’s or Get on with it! Or in their smiles and shudders.” (Wilder 355)

A story can be told for many reasons, but few would guess that some of the reasons are for pure enjoyment. As Wilder is stating, people are interested in the ending of a story or the climax, while the storyteller is interested in the reaction of the crowd. These are natural reactions/emotions that are prominent throughout the human race. Scholars look at stories and try to decipher why stories such as myths can still be around after