Legends in Folklore
Legends are used as a source of folklore, providing historical information regarding the culture and views of a specific legend's native civilization. "The Vanishing Hitchhiker" is the most popular and well known American legend. The traditional tale type involves a young girl in a white dress picked up alongside of the road by a passerby. The unknown girl in white remains silent for the duration of her ride, thanks the driver, and quietly gets out at her destination. When the driver turns to look back, the girl has vanished. Often there a third character is included at the destination to add further suspicion to the girl's existence by informing the driver that they haven't seen anyone all night. "The Vanishing Hitchhiker" and stories like it, display the fears and anxieties that a particular social group has. For example, the hitchhiking tale speaks to America's fascination with the road and also the anxieties that are inherent to travel.
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Famous quotes containing the words folklore and/or legends:
“So, too, if, to our surprise, we should meet one of these morons whose remarks are so conspicuous a part of the folklore of the world of the radioremarks made without using either the tongue or the brain, spouted much like the spoutings of small whaleswe should recognize him as below the level of nature but not as below the level of the imagination.”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)
“Therefore our legends always come around to seeming legendary,
A path decorated with our comings and goings. Or so Ive been told.”
—John Ashbery (b. 1927)