Kalevala Discussion Questions

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Various political factions have re-interpreted the Kalevala to suit their own ideological purposes. What elements of the Kalevala lend themselves to a political interpretation? How could both the political left and right use the same work of literature as a rallying point? Can the Finnish political parties' use of the Kalevala be compared to the Nazi propagandists' use of Nibelungenlied mythology during the 1930s and 40s? Do you know of analogous situations in other countries, where a work of imaginative literature has been pressed into the service of ideology? Is this an appropriate use of literature?

The Kalevala was a source of ethnic pride for the Finns who were struggling for national independence and recognition. Later generations of Finns, however, used the Kalevala to advance the aggressive, militaristic cause of "Greater Finland." Using examples from current world events, assess the benefits and the dangers of ethnic...

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This section contains 550 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Kalevala Study Guide
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Epics for Students
Kalevala from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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