Truth or Tall Tale


I wasn't sure what to think about John Henry but after listening to the ballad and reading the lyrics to all the versions of the ballad I found myself not as bored as I thought.  I enjoyed this far more than I thought it was a very interesting story/fable. I can see how it could be a fable but there has too be some truth to the story.  I feel that what makes it a fable is that John Henry won! I just don't think there is anyway for a man to beat a machine.


A lot of things about John Henry's tale make it a fable. Not only does the fact that he won make it a fable, but also the idea that he was born 33lbs and with a 20lbs hammer in his hand. Don't you think it's interesting that despite the "fable-like" exaggerations and qualities, one can still take away such a powerful message about the struggling working class America?

No matter which version you read or listen to, it always gives that same message of the working class struggle.

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This page contains a single entry by MaryJaneStano published on September 29, 2010 1:52 PM.

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