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Introduction: Folktales are a way for cultures to express their views on the way the world works. It is an escape from the everyday for some cultures, while for others it helps tell a story of why things are done the way they are. The best folktales always contain enough truth to actually make the story seem believable. One defining aspect of folktales is that there are many different versions of the same tale, each different version reflecting the views and beliefs of the storyteller. Folktales are unique because there is no right or wrong version of the tale, it is all about the views and beliefs of the storyteller. There are people in society today that view folktales as just tall tales, stories that have no place in a culture that is as advanced as we are. This view however, is both arrogant and ignorant; folktales provide us with a glimpse of the past. We can study folktales not only as fictional short stories, but as historical, and anthropological documents. Folktales shows values, beliefs, and customs which are highly important, even more so than some archaeological finds. This paper will show that folktales are not just some dying breed of dusty stories, but rather important stories that need to be preserved for future generations to enjoy and study.
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I decided on folktales, because I always enjoy reading about Casey Jones, the legendary train conductor. The second step is starting to find background information on folktales. What makes a short story a folktale? Folktales are short stories that contain exaggerated truths, to allow people to imagine a reality different from their own. Almost every folktale contains a moral message that reflects either a culture's values, or the storyteller’s personal views on
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