According to Ray Knapp American Mythology refers to those stories that involve the United States of America and have ethical, cultural, emotional, and moral values. American mythology has the form of a narrative and broadly contributes towards the formation of the belief systems and values of the Americans. Knapp says that these American mythology narratives could have been true or false. However, the veracity that these narratives had could not be considered as the determining factor.
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Through these American mythologies, people acquired an understanding of their nation’s past and it also paved the way for their present. These narratives allowed a sense of tradition, culture, and importance to be instilled in the children of America. Knapp says that the American mythologies had some form of authenticity in them since they had the values of uncomplicated goodness in them. They are very simple to understand since they represented the small town and rural backgrounds instead of the sophisticated urban ones. Although they are less complex yet they had the aura of the unique American strain and came with reconciliation and completeness.
‘Oklahoma!’ is been considered by many as an important musical play for American musical history but it is even more important as American mythology. ‘Oklahoma!’ has played a very important historical role for America since through it the nation has been provided “with a strongly embodied sense of a central national myth” (Knapp,123 ). Knapp goes further to say that he also considers ‘Oklahoma!’ to be a “particular strand of American mythology its frontier brinkmanship” (Knapp, 123).
Thus, we can firmly say that ‘Oklahoma!’ does represent the American Mythology since it can carefully control the threshold in its sphere of influence to vigilantly broaden its horizon. Oklahoma! has been completely and wisely been able to show the people of America the absolute transformation of the nation to civilization from a state of wilderness, to a state from simply a territory, to a world superpower from a nation that was constantly at war. Since the basic aim of American mythology is to bring to the people of the nation face to face with the rich heritage of its past, ‘Oklahoma!’ fulfills its part as American mythology in a very beautiful manner.
Knapp, Raymond. The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.