King presents to us two different creation stories in “The Truth about Stories” — one regarding a peaceful story about cooperation, the other using an authoritative voice promoting competition. But which one of these is true? Which one should we believe? King uses dichotomies to show the difference between these two stories, and points out how the way these stories are told, and what is in these stories, influences what the reader or listener believes.
It is interesting to note that even the Bible has two different creation stories within it. The first one is told at the very beginning of the book and the second one is in Genesis 2.4-2.5. The first one sets out the seven days of creation, and how first God created the heavens and the earth, day and night. The next day he separated the waters and the third day he created dry land. Then came the stars, moon, and sun and then water creatures and birds. Finally on the sixth day land animals and humans were created. Then on the seventh day God rested.
In the second story, the days are no specified and the sequence of events is different. The heavens and the earth were created, and then man (but not woman). Then came the garden of evil, with the tree of knowledge that would soon spell doom for the man living in Eden. God tells man about the tree, and not to eat from it, then notices that Man is lonely, so he then makes Woman. Eventually they end up eating from the tree of knowledge and are banished out of Eden for their sins.
In this case, which story are we to trust? They both come from the same book, the same Bible. Both are told in a more authoritative voice. Which one is true?
Both stories are still different from King’s story regarding cooperation. Neither of the Bible stories are really about this — it’s just God creating everything and commanding things to be the way they are. Both are still told in an authoritative way vs. storytelling. But the point here is that there are even dichotomies within the same collection of stories that some believe to be true as a whole.
In the first story, all of creation is said to be good. Even within this story, dichotomies like heaven and earth and day and night are discussed. The second story is more harsh, particularly for humankind. The garden of Eden is a place of work and where things are off-limits. Furthermore, it is an unfair place, as Woman never knew that eating the fruit off the tree was bad. Furthermore, they would not have knowledge of what was good or bad (like that it was wrong to disobey God) without this knowledge from the tree. There is no such thing in the first story of creation. One may say one story follows from another, but the events in both stories are still different, as is the way the creation of humans is told.
King is trying to show us what we choose to believe, even if we would believe parts of the other story, we overall want to pick the one that makes sense to us and that we trust. We see these opposites being told and it shows that they could be the same story, but that every aspect of it is opposite to one another. But even stories in the same book show dichotomies, so we must be really careful with our biases in choosing what we believe, and be careful of any inconsistencies between stories. Dichotomies can show us what biases we have, and perhaps what we grew up believing, but it is important that we are careful of these things when reading or listening to stories.
Arnett, Autumn A. “Promoting Growth Mindset Means Checking Biases at the Door, Experts Say.” Education Dive. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2016.
“Two Creation Stories.” Bible Wonderings. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2016.
Genesis. Digital image. Biologos. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2016.
King, Thomas. The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota, 2005. Print.