Lorena Sosa World Literature 15 February 2013 Literary Analysis of Creation Myths Humanity all came from someone or something, the intriguing part is the question. In this world there are cultures and people that divide us and unite us as human beings. Yet, people all have an equal understanding/belief that we all have a beginning. These “beginnings” are often told using stories or myths, all focusing on the creation of people as a whole, and although they span the world they all contain similar elements. Most creation myths begin with some sort of void, an emptiness or chaos, and progress, to a birth.The Australian myth for instance, opens with a type of void or emptiness.
“In the beginning, the earth was bare plain… There was no life. ” This bareness and lack of life is the Australian’s void. Likewise the Chinese creation myth introduces Pan Gu through his birth from an egg.
“He took up a broadax and wielded it with all his might to crack open the egg. “Pan Gu’s cracking out of the egg represents birth in the Chinese creation myth. It is evident that void and birth are common elements in these creation myths. Another evident element in almost all creation myths is the element of duality.Duality means a dual state between two subjects. The use of duality in the Mande creation myth is between the earth and the sun.
“… he used two seeds.
.. placed them inside of a womb. These seeds transformed into fish. One.
.. fish, Pemba.
.. created Earth…
Pemba’s brother [Faro’s creation turned into the sun. ]” These fish were equal objects, not necessarily with equal purposes, but within a dual state. Another example of duality is in the Babylonian myth. “Apsu is the god of freshwater…
male fertility. Tiamat, wife of Apsu, is the goddess of the sea and thus chaos and threat. After comparing the two myths’ examples’ of duality, one can begin to get the idea that the element of duality could be a form of parents. It takes two to create something whole. The last elements that complete a creation myth are harmony and sin.
These two elements are very evident in the Mayan and again in the Chinese. An example of harmony plays a role in introducing ancestors. “With the help of Mountain Lion, Coyote, Parrot, and Crow they fashioned four new beings.
These four beings performed well and are the ancestors of the Quiche. ” It gives the impression that the element of human and nature combine to coexist.Though things may coexist, there will always be room for conflict or sins. “…
Fang was overcome with drink, Pan Gu jumped onto the king’s bed, bit off his head and ran back to his master with it. ” This sentence very bluntly shows the act of sin, with being drunk and murdering another. Harmony is in nearly every creation myth, yet sin tends to not be as evident in creation myths, perhaps because a story of creation does not necessarily call for sin. There is ample evidence that creation myths from different cultures and time periods have surprising similarities.
Creation myths from Australian, Chinese, Mande, Mayan, and Babylonian cultures, spanning five continents and thousands of years, possess congruent elements: void, birth, duality, harmony, and sin. This brings many more questions to mind, maybe this world was created by a god, or gods. Maybe the origin of humanity and all that is known is from something or someone people have yet to discover. Maybe in the future the explanations given, scientifically, and or religiously will be analyzed and compared to what people will learn.