What Exactly is a Parable?

From an anthropology viewpoint, culture is defined as the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another. With that being said, as years pass by and decades change, American culture fluctuates as well, but past cultural ideals are never forgotten. Present ideals of behaviors and beliefs that are determined to be excellent, or a part of the twenty-first century have just added onto or improved past generations ideals of excellence. One large aspect of culture is literature.

Literature, being a form of art expression, allows humans to tell stories that not only entertain, but inform an audience. Stories vary not only in genres but in the type of literature they are presented in. One type of literature that presents short stories with the purpose of teaching moral lessons, are parables. Used within the twenty-first century and centuries prior, parables have been used by a wide spectrum of assemblages of humans, whether they were indigenous, people of the clergy, movie producers, or authors. Even though the stories may differ in genre and may be created during different cultural periods, all parables have the same purpose, to teach a lesson to an audience.

Specifically within this course the discussion of parables was brief. The focus was mainly on environmental parables and how stories that have been shared throughout a wide range of decades all have the same purpose. To pass along the message that humans and nature are not separate entities. Environmental parables not only teach humans to be cautious of actions that can be detrimental to nature, but the also are an effective source that creates a sense of urgency within people to find solutions to the environmental problems they had created in the first place.