What is a Tall Tale?
A Tall Tale is another type of
A Tall Tale
is a fictional story that
stretches the truth.
The heroes of tall tales are
"larger than life.“
Sometimes the heroes in a tall tale are fictional, or completely made up. Sometimes they are based on an actual person who really lived.
Through the telling of the story, these characters are given exaggerated characteristics.
They are bigger or stronger than real people and solve problems in a way that is hard to believe.
Tall tales were first told in America by the settlers who made their homes in the
American wilderness. In those days, people didn't have TV,
movies, or even many books, so they depended on storytelling for their entertainment. After a long day's work, people would gather together and tell one another unbelievable stories.
The tall tale heroes
were like regular people. They did the same type of
work as the settlers, except they did it with amazing speed, strength, or cleverness. Having these heroes helped give the settlers the courage to do their difficult and dangerous work.
Some classic tall tale heroes and sheroes are Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, Davy Crockett, Sally Ann Thunder, Ann Whirlwind Crockett, John Henry, Pecos Bill, and Slue-Foot Sue.
Four things all Tall Tales Have in Common
The main character has a regular job but is larger-than-life or superhuman in his or her abilities.
The character has a problem or problems that he or she solves in a funny way.
Details in the story are exaggerated beyond belief.
The characters use everyday language and are like common people in behavior.
Figurative Language Makes or Breaks the Tall Tale
• Characters in Tall Tales are “larger-than-life” so the figurative language used to describe them and their accomplishments must also be full of exaggerations.
• Tall Tales use hyperboles, similes, and metaphors.
Hyperbole• A type of figurative language that uses
• Used in Tall Tales to emphasize an important point
• Ex: The town where I grew up was so small, that I was the only one that lived there.
• Ex: It was so cold, even the polar bears were wearing jackets!
• An indirect comparison; two unlike things are compared, using “like” or “as”
• Example: She swam like a fish.
• Example: His face was as red as a beet.
• A direct comparison; a figure of speech in which one thing is spoke nor as though ti were something else.
• Example: Her eyes were deep, blue pools.
• Example: She is a red, red rose.