The Use of Animal Figures in Oral Narratives Essay

2582 Words Apr 28th, 2013 11 Pages
The Use of Animal Figures in Oral Narratives

Animals can be personified in a way that will convey messages to others through the use of stories or narratives. During one’s childhood, parents share stories that include animals to teach us different lessons. The Tortoise and the Hare is a common and popular story that most children often hear. The main plot of the story is centered on a race between the Tortoise and the Hare. Once the race begins, the Hare pulls far ahead of the Tortoise. He becomes so far ahead of the Tortoise that he stops to take a nap during the race. At the end of the story, the Hare wakes up to realize that he has lost to the Tortoise. The Hare does not give his all during the race because he knows that he is much
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Narratives also examined the social issues within Africa. Although African traditions explore the role of communities and the upkeep of human rights, traditions also bring attention to the existence of a creative power. This creative power is usually explored through objects (Kalu), specifically, the animal. Due to Africa’s animist religion, animals are very important within the culture. Africans believe that they are a part of nature. Thus they visualize every component of the world as if it is human so that it can be interpreted in a way that is understood (Finnegan). A North African story demonstrates the existence of a creative power through a giant serpent. This particular story also gives light to Africa’s animist religion when the reader sees a man bowing down to an animal. The story goes on to speak of a sailor who was the only one to survive a shipwreck and floated to an unknown island. On this island, “There was not anything which was not within it.” (Kalu) When the sailor goes to make his burning offering, he hears sounds of thunder and sees the trees shaking. As all this is occurring, the sailor tries to cover his face from any flying debris. Once he uncovered his face, the sailor sees a serpent. The sailor immediately falls on his belly. Here nature announces that the serpent is coming in a

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