Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-23-2021

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Peter Reed

Second Advisor

Jason Solinger

Third Advisor

Kathryn McKeee

Relational Format



This project seeks to investigate and discuss the changes and variations that have occurred to the mythology of David Crockett over the course of time. Initially appearing as a literary character in 1833, the likeness of Crockett has appeared in a myriad of different texts including: biographies, almanacs, plays, dime novels, comics, television shows, and films. The project attempts to discern how these different iterations of medium and genre altered the mythology of David Crockett. In order to methodologically understand these changes, this project makes use of W.T. Lhamon’s concept known as the Lore Cycle. Lhamon identified that lore diffuses through culture cyclically: the nascent stages of a lore occur as a construct of basic capital, but over time is assumed and promulgated by industrial capital. Overall, this project identified three distinct lore cycles that pertain to Crockett: the first begins during Crockett’s lifetime, the second occurs after Crockett’s death and continues through the nineteenth century, and the last cycle identified occurs in the twentieth century. The initial lore cycle produces a mythology that promotes the ideals of American Exceptionalism. Crockett’s story bolsters early American myths in order to create a sense of unified identity. The second cycle relies upon these underlying myths in order to modify Crockett’s mythology into a social and economic regulator. Finally, the last cycle identified utilizes Crockett as a means of instilling conservative ideals. Fully assumed by corporate entities, Crockett’s likeness is utilized to restore order in a tumultuous century.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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