I’m teaching mythology for the first time in ages, and I stumbled upon this lovely quotation from Joseph Campbell. I’ll leave the unpacking to you.
[That’s] one of the main functions of myth. It’s what I call the pedagogical: to carry a person through the inevitable stages of a lifetime. And these are the same today as they were in the paleolithic caves: as a youngster you’re dependent on parents to teach you what life is, and what your relationship to other people has to be, and so forth; then you give up that dependent to become a self-responsible authority; and, finally, comes the stage of yielding: you realize that the world is in other hands. And the myth tells you what the values are in those stages in terms of the possibilities of your particular society. (32)
Source: An Open Life: Joseph Campbell in Conversation with Michael Toms