John Henry: American Hero or Tall Tale?
John Henry is known for being an American folk hero who raced against a steam powered drill and won and then died as a result. Many representations of John Henry's story suggest that this tale is merely a myth; however it is more than that. There is evidence to suggest that the race never took place at the Big Bend Tunnel because there is no historical proof that steam drills ever existed there. And no, it is not possible for a baby to be born weighing 33lbs, or to be born with a 20lbs hammer in his hand but if we look past this we can see Henry's actual influence. John Henry is an african american man who becomes a symbol for working class americans. He represents people fighting for work against technological advances. Even the most qualified and skilled workers were being put out of work because of technology. John Henry's story fights for these working class people and comes out as an american folk hero. So basically, what I am trying to get across is that John Henry is both a Tall Tale and an American Hero.