Summerland

The Tales of Coyote: A Cultural, Mythological, and Literary Analysis of Chabon's Antagonist 10th Grade

The legends of Coyote go back hundreds of years, finding their beginnings in ancient Native American roots. In fact, the tales of Coyote have no real origin; many American Indian tribes have their own perspective of him. However, one of the most frequently occurring similarities that are found in any story about Coyote is that Coyote is always a male figure, clever even in the slightest of ways. Almost all of the time, Coyote has a bit of a mischievous atmosphere that follows him everywhere, which allows him to have the personality of a trickster, usually for entertainment purposes. In some older, and more traditional stories, to explain the ways of time and nature, Coyote is usually seen as a darker and more harsh of a character. An instance of this type of primitive genre is found in the tales of the Caddo tribe, who lived in the southeastern territory of North America ("Facts for Kids: Caddo Indians (Caddos)”). This myth is known as Coyote and the Origin of Death, and plays a deep yet surprising role in Michael Chabon's modern novel Summerland.

As one of their stories go, the chiefs were having a council about overpopulation, as it was a time before death. Everyone agreed on temporary death so that the overcrowding of land...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 923 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7317 literature essays, 2077 sample college application essays, 302 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in