English in American Gods

Why is the book called American Gods, do you think?

What do gods require according to the film?

What do we expect of stories about gods? What do we not expect? (Think about words like ”high” and ”low”).

Give examples of clichés in the film.

Explain gallows humor

Explain good samaritan

Explain ”constipated air”

Explain ”sky is falling”

What’s the origin of the word ”berserk”?

Explain panache

Freedom, journey, creativity, and pattern

Are old myths and gods still powerful? What are modern myths and gods? Why do you term them gods? What purpose does a story pattern like the Hero’s Journey serve?

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26 reaktioner till “English in American Gods”

  1. The phrase ”The sky is falling!” is commonly used as another term for ”The disaster is imminent”, ”The world is being destroyed”. It’s most usually used in semi-sarcastical meanings as ”Can you bring me my coffee from the table?” ”Why don’t you get your coffee yourself, it’s not like the sky’s falling.” This meaning that, why don’t you get your own coffee, you shouldn’t be in such a hurry the world isn’t going under.

    Gillad av 1 person

  2. Gallows humor means that you take your jokes to the extreme for example when someone says:
    ”I wanna kill myself”

    they’re not meaning it in a literal way. Just in a twisted joke kind of way.
    That is gallows humor (joking about death)


    1. 1.
      The book/movie is called ”American gods” because of the strive for power between the gods in america
      pretty much tells it all, doesn’t it?

      The gods need attention, power, worshipers and sacrifice. Though it seems like
      sacrifice is the most needed part for the gods
      I think the gods seem a little bit off, the scene with the black lady ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) shows that the gods
      gain power from human death/sacrifice.
      4. Always surviving from death, when the main character is dying you know he is gonna survive cause he is the main character. Feels like a unnecessary scene when you know he/she is gonna survive….

      5. samitarian is a holy citizen in samaria. So i guess he is saying he is holy…

      6. Hard to breathe after a ptsd/trumatic event.

      7. Overly dramatic sentence that means that the doomsday is not upon us.
      so why would anyone be in a hurry?

      8. Fiercly warriors also known as vikings that fight with raw power. Berzerk is also a
      spell in WoW 🙂

      9. panache personality means that you’re seeking attention/confident


  3. There are many misconceptions on what berserk meant to the people inhabiting Scandinavia or ”Vikings” as the people living in the south called them. Today we often refer to a berserk or a berserker as someone who charges into a crowd of enemies with no concern or feel of threat for their own life.

    If we go back in time this is not at all what berserker meant. Back then berserker meant ”bear shirt”. Northern lords would have one or several men in their company called berserkers who would fight duels for them. The lords would often let their berserker or champion wear a bear skin which is why the word for a champion in old Norse is a berserker.


  4. Gallows humor is a phrase used when people make comments or jokes that are in some way dark or controversial. It´s a way for people to see or express the funny or comical way in things that aren´t constituted humorous. In some way the jokes can be offensive and not really inappropriate. But it´s a way to shine light on something that is hard to deal with. These can for example from past events like war or terrorism attacks.


  5. Gallows humor is when you make a joke about something that normally wouldn’t be considered a ”jokeable” subject. For example rasist or just pain out dark jokes that might offend some (because people are fragile like thin glass in later years).


  6. The good Samaritan is referring to a story in the bible, Parable of the good samaritan. The story is about a man who is betean and striped from his cloths and dying alongside the road. some ”good” people walk by and ignore him then one person, a samaritan helps him. Samaritans were look down on and seen as bad people. so the moral of the story is that we should help each other even though we may not know one another and have mercy.


  7. ”Constipated air” refers to the feeling one might get in an awkward situation, when the ”air” (referring to air space, as in the space in which one can lay ones words.) is ful of unspoken words. For example, if one person is angry at another, they might contain the anger within, but their body language still extrudes this anger into the atmosphere, in which random pedestrians might catch a whiff of this anger. As long as the words remain unspoken, the air will be ”constipated”.


  8. Gallows humor is a type humor that is about very serious and painful things. Humor that makes war, murder, disease and crime appear in a more silly and less serious way. For some people it is a way to cope in helpless situations. There are many recorded cases of people making jokes about their impending death. For example James French, before his death by electric chair he said ”How’s this for a headline? ‘French Fries’.”.


  9. The good Samaritan is a story from the bible, telling us about a man who got robbed of everything he had and was beaten and left to die on the side of the road. A priest and a Levite comes by, but ignores him. Later comes a samaritan, his people was seen as bad and looked down on, but he stays to help the man with his wounds. He then helps him to an inn and there he recovers and pays for the stay.


  10. ”Good Samaritan” basically means a person, regardless of his/her background or ethnicity, who would help anybody who is in the need of help, let it be a person or animal, allies or foes. A ”Good Samaritan” is somebody who we would go up to and say ”We need more people like you in this world”, sadly.
    Such people are usually rewarded, just like the Samaritan that has been mentioned in the Bible after he helped the injured jew that has been beaten up and left dead on the side of the road.


  11. Berserk – Originated back from the Old Norse words ber-serkr, which translates to ”bear-shirt”.

    ”Bear-shirt” have a connection to the Norsemen, otherwise known as Vikings in a more modern language. Vikings were bare chested while fighting which led to the use of ”ber” in the word ”ber-serkr”. Fighting with a bare skin or no armor became symbolic for the vikings and because of the though and brave way to fight, berserker became a word for ”champion” in old Norse.

    But there is no real answer about the origin in itself. Some have the belief of berserker meaning ”a warrior clothed in bearskin”. So there is no real answer for the origin of the term ”Berserk”, only conceptions.


  12. Gallows humor is humor about serious circumstances like pain or death. Jokes that treats things like death, sickness and other dark stuff in a satirical and lighthearted way can be considered as gallows humor.
    The good samaritan can be described as a person who helps someone in need even if they don’t like the person.
    Constipated air could be that the air feels heavy to breath or that something is imminent to happen.
    The sky is falling often refers to something disastrous.
    Berserk comes from old Norse words that translates to bear shirt. It was the name given to warriors who used bear pelts as clothing. It was often given to only a few warriors who were close to the chieftain.


  13. ”Constipated air” might mean that it’s getting hard to breath or that the air is still.
    ”The sky is falling” is as Colin said a way of sarcastically replying to a request or describing the end of the world.
    Berserk is a term that originates from norse language. it was used to describe warriors that entered a trance-like fury. it is theorized that they took drugs and drank alcohol to enter the trance.
    Gallows humor is a funny way to describe otherwise pretty much unpleasant situations.
    A good samaritan is someone that helps a stranger just because they want to help someone.
    Panache describes someone with a particularly flamboyant attitude or someone that is brave with a certain attraction towards them.


  14. Are old myths and gods still powerful?
    What are modern myths and gods?
    Why do we call them gods?

    The old myths and gods are very gruesome,and there are some very specific gods. If we take a look at the old story about Narcissus. Even though I feel that Narcissus had some thoughts of himself that were not okay. Because the humans work in a way were we want to appreciate ourselves and we want others to appreciate our presence and appreciate us as human beings. It teaches us not to be too selfconscious and think about other people. Thus the story of Narcissus teaches us a lesson even though it is a really old myth. As for all old myths, they usually have some hidden or plain message in them. So they affect us in a way that might change our view in different scenarios. Perhaps after reading Iliad and Odyssey you feel like everything you experience you must live to the max. Always give a 100%, just to make you feel fulfilled in what you do.

    Modern myths and gods are of course our own superheroes! Just as the ”old” gods did, they teach us a lesson about how to live your life. They are perfect human beings, they were earlier seen doing things nobody would. For instance there were comics were superheroes were punching Hitler. They are everything a human strives to be. That special individual who can change the world. Now we can all draw something from all superhero-comics and movies. We can all try to change our day in a positive way. We can all just do the dishes and cook the food. Just because that will make you a superhero to your wife perhaps.

    (This is my personal philosophical opinion)
    God is not someone or something. It just something absolute, perfect, divine and sacred. Nobody can actually be a god. Because being a god means you have no flaws. God can be explained as everything. Or nothing. Everybody is god, but nobody is. God exists as much as our free will does. Free will is actually a concept created by your own mind, because is it really you or your mind that is deciding what choices you make? Your mind is controlling you, but are you controlling your mind? God is simply something that can never be define because there is not a perfect defintion. Being religious means you believe in a higher power or a ”God”. Which to me is absolutely fine, I am a agnostic myself. I don’t know if there is a god, therefore I cannot define what a God is.


  15. 1. Gallows humor is a form of humor that treats normally serious subjects like war and death in a more silly or unserious matter. The style is usually used in hopeless situations when for example life-threatening or painful circumstances arrises as for example, when inmates were waiting to be hung.

    2. The good samaritian comes form the story about a man who has been beaten, striped of his clothes and been pretty much left for dead by the side of the road. Several people among who one of them was a priest pass him by when finally a stranger stop and helps him. Today it is not as a severe situation normally when people makes a reference to the good samaritian, it’s used when a stranger helps another stranger with a problem.

    3. The expression ”The sky is falling” is used when a disaster is imminent and is basically a way of saying the world is about to be destroyed. However it is more commonly used as a way of either trying to cheer someone up after some sort of defeat or to make a joke for example. ”Maybe you didn’t get an A on the test but at least the sky is not falling” or ”Unless the sky is falling you can clean your own dishes.”

    4. Usually when people say ”To go berserk” they normally mean that the person in question enters a rage or almost goes completely mad. The word however comes from the ”class” of champion norse warriors
    called berserkers who were some of the better warriors in the norse communities. These warriors would enter an almost trance-like fury which the characteristic of would then be referred to as ”To go berserk”.



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