The Winnebago Trickster Cycle: The Four Characteristics Of Literature

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Literature can be defined as an expression that relies on four major characteristics: imagination, emotionally compelling capabilities, a written form, and worthiness of being passed down. While these may form the primary basis necessary for a writing or group of writings to be considered literature, not all literature expresses these characteristics in the same way. The concept of literature was established to allow readers to better understand what makes a writing worth taking the time to read. For example, some forms of literature are meant to express a particular groups origin by means of creative beginnings like the Iroquois and Navajo creation stories. Other forms of literature, such as the Winnebago Trickster Tales, might intend to…show more content…
The entirety of the Trickster Cycle can be viewed as a written, imaginative story created to "establish the order of the world that we know today." (Pg.100) In the Winnebago Trickster Cycle, we read the story of the Trickster as he wanders about the world. While traveling, Trickster meets a fox, a jay, and a nit; together they decide the best way to survive is to stay as one group. As the three of them travel, they realize as winter approaches they will need to find an ample food source. This is when Trickster comes up with the idea of fashioning a vagina from an elks liver to become a woman and marry the chief's son. When analyzing the first half of the story, we can already see the vast usage of ones imaginative qualities. Animals in this tales can both talk and reproduce with Trickster, a human, and fashioning a vagina from an elk's liver allowed Trickster to become a female capable of reproduction; however, we know that none of these things are physically possible in actuality. Thus, leaving the reader with a written story that is both immensely imaginative and interesting enough to incorporate important life

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