Chernus: The Meaning Of Myth In American Culture

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Rereading America: Introduction
The Introductory Chapter defines what it means to be a critical thinker: someone who is an active learner with the ability to shape, rather than simply absorb information. To encourage students to practice critical thinking, the author uses myths as his chosen medium, particularly those found in American culture. He points out that the culture we live in shapes the way we think; he tells us what seems to true and what does not. While it simplifies our life, it also blinds us and that is what the author hopes to point out. He encourages his readers to engage in the text, explore connections and extend the critical context. "Good thinking, like good writing and good reading, is an intensely social activity.
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However, this perspective was psychological. I had never really thought about why we think the way we do. I had recognized the prevalence of stereotypes before, but never had I considered the way in which myths help us cope within our daily culture. They give us the ability to easily respond, which is exactly what Chernus refers to in her essay.
Chernus: The Meaning of Myth in American Culture
In short, Chernus attempts to validate and define the meaning of a myth. People always seek comfort; everyone wants to know what their ultimate purpose in life iis. Some seek solitude through religion, but Chernus attempts to point out that myths within American culture unknowingly shape our actions and attitudes towards everything. She forces her audience to question everything about life-and themselves.
“Fourth, a living myth gives the people who accept it a way to cope with the difficulties of life” (pp.1)
This quote really gives the word “myth” a definition. This quote summarized what Chernus is trying to say about American myths. Myths are an oversimplified story that serves to give people a sense of comfort because it always them to understand the meaning of life. This quote is the sparknotes of Chernus’
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