Urban Legends Essay Research Paper A Sneaky

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Urban Legends Essay, Research Paper A Sneaky Blind Man I feel as though an Urban Legend is a story passed on by each generation, mostly being false, but having some truth to it, said Phil Donohue. As a boy, his older brothers told him many stories, at the time he thought they were true because he trusted them, now looking back he sees that they were just urban legends. Urban legends are tales with morals in them and are passed along, and maintained through ignorance and assumptions by the audience without any scientific proof (Morse 29). Compared to storytelling or telling a joke, legends tend to be longer, slower, and more serious. (Brunvand 321). They are usually set in contemporary times, taking place in shopping malls and coed dormitories and sometimes dealing with AIDS

and inner-city gangs. To keep up with the current time the legends continue to be updated with new details being often added and old ones dropped or modified. When dealing with why urban legends are told, how people believe them, and who creates them, legends become very complex. Usually, the legends include several different versions that people chose to believe as true without actual evidence concerning the story. The same story can have a number of forms, with different detail shifting depending on who tells it. As said by Jan Harold Brunvand, People say that they [urban legends] have a life of their own because they grow and change as if they were living as they are passed from person to person (Brunvand 98). For example, the urban legend called The Blind Man has many

different versions of the story that has changed throughout time. Some of the different versions do not even contain the same characters, or plots, but includes the same basic moral. The legend must be able to keep up with the current times. The storyteller usually drops and adds new facts to make the legend more convincing, depending on the audience (Brunvand 29). Some legends tend to localize, with the addition of details placing the event in a town nearby (Mikkelson). People try to tell legends to raise social concerns and fears, and to explain unusual and supernatural happenings. With cautionary tales, legends warns people against engaging in behaviors that put them in risk by saying it happened to others that did the same. In the case of The Boyfriends Murder, the moral of

the legend is implied to teenagers and youth in regards to avoid certain situations that may put them or those who with them in danger. Some help to confirm our belief that the world is not perfect with murderers, drug addicts, and people who do not care for others (Mikkelson). Robert Poolock, author of Good Luck, Mr. Gorsky, suggested that we are prone to accepting stories that do not directly contradict our personal experiences as being true because we have an underlying need to increase our understanding of the world in which we live. Some people find a certain urban legend believable because they help to confirm their personal worldview. For example, one that sees the world as being a place where strange and remarkable things are happening all around them might find the

strange urban legend they hear easier to believe than someone who perceives the world as being uneventful and ordinary. Many people can distinguish some stories as being an urban legend, because they are contradicted by their personal experiences and knowledge. A person might believe an urban legend more if the source they received it from has a trustworthy relationship with that person (The Blind Man). A few urban legends create hoaxes to cause alarm and concern by those who take enjoyment from doing so. People who have came across humorous or remarkable story and wishes to personalize it for themselves create some. Others are formed by people who think of remarkable situation or idea that they believe to entertain others or want to make a point about the story. In other cases a