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Anansi the Spider – Mythology Topic
Instructions – write a critical essay on the character Anansi the Spider in mythology (literature). The writing should exhibit thorough research and sophisticated treatment of the character, and theme or meaning of the story, along with context of Tricksters in mythology. As such, the primary idea to explore is the mythology of a trickster in connection with the character and how it is perceived in modern day life.
As it is written, ahe name Anansi comes from the Twi language, where Ananse means’spider.’ In the stories, he is also known as Kwaku Ananse. He’s a con artist who uses his shrewd intelligence to outwit those around him. Anansi the spider is a character from African folklore who is linked with cunning and knowledge, and who frequently defeats adversaries much larger than himself. Anansi embarks on a voyage in this fable, only to find himself in grave danger. One of his six kids detects danger and informs his brothers, who rush to their father’s aid. When Anansi is saved and safely returns home, he has difficulty deciding which of his sons deserves a prize for saving him. He seeks assistance from Nyame, the “God of All Things.” Anansi the Spider poses philosophical concerns regarding the nature of altruism and its connection to equality: he wants to give one of his kids a globe of light as a reward for saving his life, but he can’t decide which son is most deserving. The reciprocity norm mandates that one responds appropriately and proportionally to both the benefits and evils received, with the ultimate goal of producing stable, productive, fair, and dependable social interactions. Fairness can be defined as providing each person a proportional share of the pie. Fairness is an important feature of reciprocity, but it can be difficult to negotiate because people’s perceptions of what is “fair” are highly subjective. The problem is that what one person considers to be a fair and “proportional response” may be significantly different from what another person considers to be a fair and “proportional response.”