Excerpt from Spooky Massachusetts CITATION Ste92 \l 1033 (Zorn)Black magic is a horrific tale about the dealings of one, Mad Henry, who practices magic as a means to whatever ends he hopes to achieve. He is a Hermit that lives in solitude in a mansion at the edge of town. Rumours go round about him all through the town. Some people believe that he can use magical powers to make other peoples lives miserable. Yet other people think that he is one mad doctor that can breathe life back into corpses.
Then one year, a new family moves into town with a very beautiful daughter. Her name is Rachel. Mad Henry takes it upon himself to shower the beautiful maiden with gifts like necklaces of pearls, pots of daisies, and goblets of pure gold. Despite the many gifts she is given, the beautiful lady falls in love with another young handsome man from college, his name is Geoffrey. One week after meeting, the two elope leaving behind an angry, Mad Henry.
When they both return, they throw a big ball inviting everyone in town. While the ball goes on a loud shuttering sound of thunder and lightning are heard. Suddenly the double doors blow open and a whirl wind wheezes in. it brings with it the smell of dead people and rotten things. It is Mad Henry having arrived with an army of the dead, ready to claim his own. Geoffrey is captured and killed by the use of a silver blade. Mad Henry carries Rachel away leaving the crowd watching in fear, afraid to follow. The army of the dead follow faithfully behind him.
It is only later that both Rachel and Geoffreys fathers gather enough courage to collect some men in the town into a force to search the residence of Mad Henry only for them to find it empty and desolate.
The whole town remains quiet about it for a very long time until one day, a year later, Rachel re appears looking tired and frail, carrying the silver bladed knife in her hand. Her tongue had been cut out so she could not speak. Rachel dies in her sleep later that night ending the horrific tale.
This is a tale of North American decent. It highlights the culture of the North American people, for example burying their dead in the cemeteries, throwing balls by the rich and the mighty, and the fear for black
The story looks into the practice of black magic. Generally, the story suggests feelings of fear among people concerning mystery and the dead. Nobody wants to be associated with anything to do with the dead or with mysterious powers that they do not understand. People would like to play safe and not have anything to do with Mad Henry.
We also see Rachel, a young beautiful girl, who seemingly is ignorant or just has the courage to accept the gifts from Mad Henry. She is wooed by the Black Magician. However, in a twist of events, she is able to make a firm decision concerning who she loves when she decides to pick Geoffrey over Mad Henry. This is despite all the gifts she has received from him and despite the fact that she now knows that he practices evil magic and could ruin her life.
Again, in a seemingly twist of the events, the two new lovers decide to elope and leave the town. Maybe they elope in fear of what Mad Henry could do to them. However, not so long afterwards, they return and throw a ball in which everyone is invited. It could be taken to mean that Mad Henrys magic could have worked on them or that the two of them were simply ignorant. Then Mad Henry comes and unleashes his madness upon them, killing Geoffrey and taking away Rachel.
The story concludes on a positive note where Rachel emerges as the unsung hero that comes back having killed the monster that the whole town so feared. So contrary to the popular opinion about the way a hero should look like, even seem like, we fine the most beautiful lady in the town carrying the day as a hero.
The fairy of the Golden Arm
Fairies from England CITATION Nei92 \l 1033 (Philip)A man travels the whole land looking for a woman to marry. He finds none. Until one day, he comes across a beautiful woman that has an arm of gold. He quickly marries her thinking that he was the most fortunate man in the world. Though they live happily together, the man is founder of the golden arm than he is of the wife. Finally the woman dies. The husband is the saddest and the longest faced at the funeral.
He gets up in the middle of the night, digs up the corpse, cuts off the golden arm, and thinks that no one will ever know. The ghost of the woman later visits him to show him that she knows what he just did. The man is horrified and ashamed of his actions.
The story is more of a commentary about greed and the effects of it much more than it is a story of love. We see a man who travels the world looking for a wife. He finds a woman that has a golden arm in her body. Because of the mans greed, he falls in love more with the arm than he does with the lady herself. So he ends up living to wait for the day that she will die so that he can get the wealth that lies on her body. She dies and he pretends to be the most affected by her death only to dig up her body in the middle of the night and cut off her arm. The ghost of the lady appears to her in his sleep
Sipoi and the ogre
A story from Africa CITATION Gci03 \l 1033 (Mhlophe)This is a story in which a young lame boy from a village that was despised and disowned by all the villages around it emerges a legend after defeating a monster that bedevils the whole village. He is able to kill an ogre that has one eye in the middle of his head and that terrified the whole country by the simple use of his sling.
This story simply looks at disability in a different way and seeks to say disability is not inability and that the people we look down upon so much in life are sometimes that ones that provide the solutions to our problems.
In all the stories above we see the proverbial heros journey kind of narrative in which the main hero of the story is followed through until the end of the story CITATION Sue03 \l 1033 (Sue Turnbull). For example the greedy man who lands himself a wife with a golden arm, the black magician, and the young lame boy called Sipoi that manages to kill an ogre that terrifies the whole village.
All the stories seek to teach us one moral or another. For example, the fact that greed is bad, that black magic is detestable and needs to be looked down upon, although not to be feared because fearing it is not a way to defeat it and that disability is not inability.
All the stories try to solve a certain impending problem in the society. They all try to point out a certain menace that they think if left unchanged, might become a problem of some sort.
All the stories contain a certain character that acts against the norm, and goes against what is expected of him in doing that which the society deems impossible for example, in the story of the man that is seeking to find a wife for himself, a commentary about greed and the effects of it much more than it is a story of love. We see a man who travels the world looking for a wife. He finds a woman that has a golden arm in her body. Because of the mans greed, he falls in love more with the arm than he does with the lady herself. This is to say the rot in the society that does not allow us to love truly from the heart any more.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Bite Me: Narrative Structures + Buffy the Vampire Slayer. melbourne: Australian Centre for the Moving Image, 2003. Print.
Mhlophe, Gcina. Stories of Africa. johannesburge: university of natal press, 2003. Print.
Philip, Neil. The Penguin Book of English Folktales. City of Westminster, London: Penguin Books,, 1992. Print.
Sue Turnbull, Vyvyan Stranieri. Bite Me: Narrative Structures + Buffy the Vampire Slayer. melbourne: Australian Centre for the Moving Image, 2003. Print.
Zorn, Steven. Classic American Folk Tales. alabama: Running Press Book Publishers, 1992. Print.
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