Revisiting Ray Hicks’s Hunting Tale

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Maako Shiratori (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Sandra Ballard

Abstract: This thesis analyzes “Ray and Jack Go Hunting” told by Ray Hicks, a storyteller in western North Carolina. Chapter 1 confirms that “Ray and Jack Go Hunting” differs from other traditional Jack Tales as the story is not an upside down comedy. Chapter 2 applies Genette’s narratology to “Ray and Jack Go Hunting” and discusses whether the story fits in the märchen genre. The research demonstrates that “Ray and Jack Go Hunting” has rather exceptional features as a European märchen. Chapter 3 uses Dell Hymes’s SPEAKING model to analyze the tale as a performance. The contexts of Ray’s storytelling act suggest the story functioned as entertainment – specifically, continuous absurd comedies, which tell lies as real stories. Chapter 4 applies Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of carnivalesque to the tale. It leads to the characteristics of “Ray and Jack Go Hunting” as a space to embrace every participant’s life without judging each other and to open a communication channel. Also, “Ray and Jack Go Hunting” has the structure of African American Tall Tales rather than European märchen. My further study will examine the possibility that Jack Tales, which folklorists consider as part of white Appalachian heritage, may have connections with other ethnic groups.

Additional Information

Shiratori, M. (2021). Revisiting Ray Hicks’s Hunting Tale. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2021
Jack Tale, Beech Mountain, Hicks family, oral traditions, märchen

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