In Search of Meaning: The Modern Myth in Neil Gaiman's American Gods

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The purpose of this paper is to discover how the idea of the modern national identity and the process of identity creation is explored through mythology in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. I argue that Gaiman uses mythological tales and gods in order to illustrate the concept of national identity, as it is theorized by Stuart Hall, and through the book’s protagonist, Shadow Moon, the author examines the identity creating process and the identity crisis of modern individuals, living in a Western society. By deploying Ragnarök, the Norse mythological tale of the death of all the gods, Gaiman acknowledges the chaos of modern society. American Gods also delves into the question of modern and pre-modern societies, reflecting on both cultural structures and the effect they have on the male protagonist’s identity creating process.

Neil Gaiman, Fantasy, British, Identity, American Gods, Mythology