Paul Bunyan

According to my informant, Paul Bunyan is an American legend who hails from the lumbar camps of North America. Even his birth was legendary, as it took five storks to deliver him. From his birth, he grew exponentially, growing to enormous heights and proportions. As he grew up he accomplished a number of impressive feats. Notable adventures include carving out the Grand Canyon himself and creating the American Great Lakes. Paul Bunyan has a special companion, a blue ox named Babe who helps Bunyan level forests. According to my informant these stories are obvious exaggerations, however there is a humor to the absurdity of Paul Bunyan who defies the law of physics. 

This informant’s relationship to Paul Bunyan was through grade school. My informant’s middle school messaged Paul Bunyan to be a larger-than-life lumberjack who is said to have performed incredible feats. Paul Bunyan continues to be used as a reminder of the American spirit to my informant.

The legend of Paul Bunyan originates from the lumber camps in North America, similar to the alleged birth of the figure. The Red River Lumber Company is credited with the publication of Bunyan through advertising pamphlets. The publicity grew and the large persona of Bunyan eventually became a symbol for the grandeur and vastness of the American wilderness rather than a marketing tactic for a lumber company. The absurd feats of Paul Bunyan transcend human capability, symbolizing the limitless potential of America and its citizens. By embodying themes such as individualism, resourcefulness, and imagination, Paul Bunyan is a direct symbol for the triumphs which were pushed by American expansionism.