Questions and answers to G. Longfellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha”

When the mythology of the Indians of North America developed? What is its peculiarity?

The mythology of the Indians of North America reflects the complex processes of tribal migration, the influence of sedentary and nomadic tribes, agricultural and hunting tribes on each other. Among them, the Iroquois tribes were the most important. In myths, all the phenomena of nature were endowed with magical power. Almost all tribes have myths about the creation of the world. Man in them, acquiring wonderful talismans and relics, becomes invulnerable to the forces of evil.

Who is Hiawatha?

Hiawatha in the mythology of the Iroquois is the legendary leader and prophet. He gave his people a written language. Hiawatha opposed the tribal feuds, because of which he had to overcome the resistance of the evil deity, the cannibal Atotarcho. The life of Hiawatha is full of storms and tribulations; he is a man of great will and great state wisdom.

What is the depiction of Hiawatha

from the American poet G. Longfellow in the poem “The Song of Hiawatha”? What mission did the Great Spirit of Gitchi Manito lay on Hiawatha?

In the chapter “The Pipe of Peace” Gitchi Manito addresses the warring tribes with an appeal to stop the bloodshed and stop mutual enmity. The great Spirit entrusted to Hiawatha the mission to establish peace and harmony among the Indian tribes. The Great Spirit made a huge pipe and lit it. Smoke flowed over people. Gitchi Manito told people that they make a tube of peace from this beautiful stone and never again lift a tomahawk or a knife against each other.

What myths about the prophet and teacher of Manabozo were laid Longfellow in the basis of the poem about Hiawatha?

When creating the image of Hiawatha, the poet used the myths about Manabozo, endowing his hero with the amazing qualities of this prophet. One of the legends is the basis of the chapter “Hiawatha and the Pearl Feather”. Manabozo fights the Pearl Feather, who once killed his grandfather, and triumphs over a monster who lived among a gloomy quagmire guarded

by fiery serpents. In the legend it is said that at a critical moment the woodpecker helps Manabozo, saying that the enemy has a vulnerable place: it is necessary to aim at a bunch of hair on the crown of the head.

What was the purpose of the poet, embodied in the image of Hiawatha traits and Manabozo, and other mythological heroes?

The main idea of ​​the poem: man – the highest creation of nature. It can not be surpassed by either intelligence or wisdom. He always wins in the fight against the evil forces of nature – villains and wizards. Hiawatha in Longfellow’s poem is a person embodying honesty, justice, wisdom, but also a deity, a hero of folk legends, possessing the supernatural, magical power that he draws for the good of his people.

In Hiawatha, the poet reflected the freedom of the Indians, their courage and courage, humanity and love of peace.

Tell us about the creation of the “Song of Hiawatha”. What is the basis of the plot?

The poem appeared in 1855. The basis of her story was laid folklore of American Indians. Longfellow believed that the legends and legends preserved since that time are full of deep moral sense. The author himself formulated his understanding of the poem so: the tales of Hiawatha are a collection of stories about “a man of marvelous origin who was sent to clear rivers, forests and fishing grounds and teach the peoples to the peaceful arts.” Of the individual stories grows a holistic mythological system of representations of the Indians about the universe and man. “Song of Hiawatha” allowed the reader to compare this epic with the already known European and to learn a different vision of the world with other beliefs and ideas. Europeans understood not only the difference, but also the kinship of such different cultures.

The poem serves to preserve knowledge about the world, the culture of the people. The author’s goal is to preserve a different culture for the European in its unique charm and at the same time make it accessible, understandable and close to the reader.

How does the author paint Hiawatha? What are the qualities of a hero?

In the center of the poem is the image of the national hero of the Indian Hiawatha. Hiawatha is a historical person, he lived in the XV century, came from the Indian tribe onondaga and fought for the freedom of his people. At the same time it is a collective image. In the legends of the Indians, the hero, fighting for the happiness of his people, appears under different names. Hiawatha cares about people: he teaches them crafts, writing, healing, helps to tame animals, reveals the benefits of plants, fights and conquers monsters – the Great Bear and the Great Sturgeon, fights for peace and puts an end to the bloody conflicts between the tribes.

What helps us to understand the character of the hero? Find in the text the artistic means that help to present the image of Hiawatha more vividly.

The image of Hiawatha is made up of his speeches, actions and actions. The hero helps people and fearlessly protects them. He is bold and resolute. He is a brave warrior and at the same time a fierce defender of the world.

Epithets: fearless, noble, brave, hospitable, reasonable.


And, like coal, the
wrath of Hiawatha flared up.


He has forgotten the bitterness of anger;
So in Hiawatha’s heart, an angry heart was beating.

Imaginary expressions:

And the son of sorrow was born,
tender passion and sadness, the
Divine mystery – Hiawatha. Think about what mythological characters you can compare Hiawatha. Justify your answer. What feats of these heroes resemble feats of Hiawatha?

The exploits and image of Hiawatha resemble the images of mythological heroes – Hercules, Perseus, Theses, Anteus. The battle with terrible monsters, helping people, accomplishing feats for the good of people – all this unites the characters of myths and epics of different peoples.

Remember, with whom the epic heroes fought, the heroes of Russian folk tales. Who helped them? Who helps Hiawatha?

Russian heroes and heroes of folk tales fought with Nightingale the robber, Idol of the pagan, Serpent Gorynych, Koshcheev the Immortal, Baba Yaga. They were helped by animals, magic objects – a carpet-plane, boots-speed skis. Hiawatha is helped by animals, a boat without oars.

Try to explain the similarity of Russian folklore images and stories with images and stories from Indian legends.

G. Longfellow’s work is based on a mythological plot. It reflected the fabulous elements typical of Russian folklore: the hero’s test, transformation, magic objects, magic numbers, hyperbole. Ancient people described the world and told their children about it. To do this, each people came up with their myths, which were passed from mouth to mouth. Therefore, myths and tales of different peoples are similar to each other.

What role does the world of nature play in the “Songs of Hiawatha”?

The ancient man thought that everything in the world lives his life and is controlled by a mighty force. He still did not know the laws of nature and thought that all phenomena are controlled by deities or spirits. These ideas about the world are reflected in the “Song of Hiawatha”.

Mythological ideas of the Indians were formed in the unity of man and the world around him. The world of nature is inseparable from the world of man. Only because of nature there is a person, nature gives him life and at the same time it can be hostile, to resist people – Hiawatha fights Bear and Sturgeon and wins.

Almost all tribes have myths about the creation of the world, about the four elements. In the Indian epic, one of the central mythological motifs is the motive for the creation of the world.

The creation of the universe is associated with its animation. It is no accident that the basis for many tales is the reception of animation. The creation of the world is also an arrangement. Hiawatha is sent to clear rivers, forests and fishing grounds.

What is the significance of the image of the singer in the poem? In what works did you meet the images of the singers who lead the narrative?

With the images of the singers, on whose behalf the story is narrated, we met in epics, songs, and author’s works. This Boyan in the “Lay of Igor’s Host,” the guslyars in “The Song of the Merchant Kalashnikov…” M. Yu. Lermontov. They are the bearers of the people’s epic consciousness. With the help of such images, the authors convey the popular perception of what is happening.

Why did Longfellow call his work a song? Find in the text the artistic features characteristic of the song genre.

The song is one of the oldest forms of lyric poetry, which reflects historical events, mythological and legendary representations of people, the heroic deeds of great ancestors. The people compose a song when they feel compassion for the hero. The song tells about real or legendary events. The poet has the opportunity, with the help of this form, to create the illusion of an objective attitude towards the heroes, because the characters are shown as if by the eyes of the people.

Bunin noted the “rare beauty of artistic images and paintings” of the poem. Prove this statement.

The work is full of picturesque and poetic lines. It resurrects before us the beauty of the virgin forests and prairies, the charm of folk traditions, recreates the whole characters of primitive people. Numerous epithets, metaphors, comparisons contribute to the creation of vivid and poetic pictures.

If you read works about the life of the Indians F. Cooper, M. Reed and other writers, then try to compare these books with the “Song of Hiawatha”.

By the time of the creation of the “Song of Hiawatha” many novels have been devoted to the lives of the redskins of America – the novels of F. Cooper, M. Reed, and others. Often, the Indians in them act as conditional characters, only animating the adventure story. Longfellow set himself another task: he wanted to recreate the almost vanished world of American antiquity, convey the sense of the lost unity of man and nature, the sense of organic life. Describing the world of nature, the poet refers to folklore imagery, unusual metaphors, which reflect the worldview of Native Americans.

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Questions and answers to G. Longfellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha”