Height: Giants and Dwarves in Society’s Legends and Reality

Irish Tall Tales are often larger than life. In David Slattery’s article Tall tales for a tall people, he analyzes the Irish love of hyperbole. But, is there a truth to many of these ludicrously large figures? As a whole, Slattery says that the Irish are known to be “particularly adept at hyperbole”. However, these tales can sometimes be based in truth. The Irish High King, Brian Boru, was estimated to be eight feet tall. At his death, he was confirmed to be eight feet, four inches in height. Even though this was a rather large figure, smaller people are also subject to tall tales. One of Slattery’s neighbors told him that her house was undergoing repairs. She told the builder that she didn’t trust the attic to hold her weight. To prove her wrong, the builder proceeded to jump up and down on the floor. He told her it was “Solid s a rock, luv.” He then proceeded to fall through the floor, landing on a bed in the room below. He sheepishly replied “skirting boards need replacing, luv.” What is my view on all of this? Well, at six-foot-one, I’m no hobbit. In our society, height is often linked with health. The taller the person, the healthier the person. It’s no wonder we often link height with strength. Tall people can lead to the creation of even taller tales about them.

Sources:
Tall tales for a tall people
by DAVID SLATTERY on OCTOBER 22, 2012 in CONTEMPORARY CULTURE
http://popanth.com/article/tall-tales-for-a-tall-people/#sthash.BlJhYFEj.dpuf

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