Marchen – American

“John Henry was a fabulous man that worked in the rail road system. He was always very efficient and a nice guy. One day, the company he used to work for bought a new machine that could make tunnels and built railroads faster than any man. He thought he was able to beat the machine and decided to challenge it. The challenge started the next day and room, boom, room, both the machine and John Henry were head to head. At the end, John Henry had 3 stakes left; he hit one, bam!, then the other, bam! and finally the last one. Then he dropped dead, however he won, YAY!!! He beat the machine”

Lindsey told me that she learned about this story when she was in third grade. They used to have a story time in her school and teacher or students would tell the kids random stories that they knew. She told me that she and her classmates loved this specific story. The reason is that it is really exciting, there is competition and the kids could somewhat imagine what was going on in their heads. Lindsey told me that she thinks that the story has a meaning behind it; she believes that one has to try their best at everything they do, no matter what the situation is. Lindsey told me that the story is perform generally for small kids in order to guide them and persist that if your heart is set on some goal, you should follow it until the end. Although John Henry died at the end, he still beat the machine and was looked at as legend.

I agree with Lindsey’s interpretation if the story. I believe that John Henry’s story tells kids that they should try to attempt anything that they have set their hearts for, even thought it may seem impossible. In this situation, nobody thought that John could actually beat the machine, however he still fought hard and at the end he came out as the winner. I think that this story is perfect to tell kids that they need to follow their opinions. If told to adults, it would still push the lesson but I think it would be harder for an adult to value John’s actions. This story is great to get kids thinking that they can do whatever they want to.