Favorite Folktales from Around the World Characters

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Favorite Folktales from Around the World Summary & Study Guide Description

Favorite Folktales from Around the World Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Favorite Folktales from Around the World by Jane Yolen.

Catherineappears in Catherine, Sly Country Lass

Catherine is a very smart girl. There are many wives in the stories that either have no name or are there only to torment their husbands. Catherine is very smart and is able to outsmart the king. This is unique in fairy tales, myths and legends since often women were to be seen and not necessarily heard. However, Catherine is willing to speak out against her husband's judgments even though he is the king.

Catherine also seems to be kind and compassionate as is demonstrated when the man comes to her about losing his calf because his calf had cow tied to the man's cart when it gave birth. It is never stated but with the way that Catherine acts when her husband, the king, sends her home, it appears she may love him. She takes him with her when she goes home, saying that since she was able to take home the thing she liked the best, she chose him. This may also be simple cleverness on her part.

Catherine's father warned her about her husband becoming angry with her after a time. This may indicate that her father realized how independent his daughter was or the changing whims of a king. Despite his warning, Catherine does well for herself.

Finn MacCumhailappears in The Birth of Finn MacCumhail

Finn has an unusual story starting before he was born. Finn's father is prophesied to die when he marries and so refuses to marry until he finds a woman so beautiful that he does not care if he dies or not. The woman is a princess and her father, the king, has had it prophesied that he will lose his kingdom to his daughter's son. With all this information given about the main character's lineage, it is easy to see how he is a person of interest.

Finn is raised by his grandmother and she hides him well but also teaches him well. It appears that she realizes the struggles that Finn will have to face in regards to his grandfather, the king. Fin grows quickly and becomes strong and smart. His grandmother has so much faith in him that she ultimately sacrifices herself in order that Finn might live.

Fin faces several challenges, including a match with a one eyed giant. Although Finn has a lot of help from those around him, his grandmother and Bran, it is clear that he is quick-witted. In the end, Finn is able to complete his destiny and take what is rightfully his.

Glooscapappears in Glooscap and the Baby

Glooscap is a god in American Indian legend. He has bested everything and is sad that there is nothing else for him to pitted against. Ultimately Glooscap looses his battle to a baby since he can get no response out of the child.

Hadjiappears in What Happened to Hadji

Hadji is married but is not completely faithful to his wife. His wife is able to catch him and trick him into prison. She is able to save him from this fate and he realizes how smart his wife is.

Mr. Foxappears in Mr. Fox

Mr. Fox is the man that is courting Lady Mary. Mr. Fox is killed when Mary provides the hand of the lady that Mr. Fox killed.

Sednaappears in Sedna

Sedna is a beautiful young Eskimo girl who leaves to marry a man who claims to be rich. The man turns out to be a sky spirit and Sedna is cold and hungry with nothing to eat but fish. Sedna is killed by her father. The blood from her fingers produces the animals in the oceans. Sedna has her father and her dog brought to the bottom of the sea with her.

Anansiappears in Being Greedy Chokes Anansi

Anansi tricks people into saying the witch queen's name, Five, after which they fall dead and Anansi eats them. Anansi is tricked himself and eaten.

Lucyappears in The Pretty Girl in the Road

Lucy is the girl that is picked up by the traveler on a horse. When he goes to her house, he finds that the people did have a daughter but she died seven years earlier. The place he picked Lucy up was where her house had burned.

Djuhaappears in Djuha's Sleeve

Djuha is refused admittance to a dinner until he has on nicer clothes. Djuha realizes that they respect his clothes more than him.

Gohaappears in Goha On the Deathbed

Goha is dying and asks his wife to make herself up and dress in her nicest clothes. When she is done she sits by him and he explains that Death, it is said, takes the best. Goha hopes that upon seeing his wife made up in her finest, Death will take her and not Goha.

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