Send the link below via email or IMCopy
Present to your audienceStart remote presentation
- Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
- People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
- This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
- A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
- Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article
Do you really want to delete this prezi?
Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.
Make your likes visible on Facebook?
Connect your Facebook account to Prezi and let your likes appear on your timeline.
You can change this under Settings & Account at any time.
How to Read Literature Like a Professor: If She Comes Up, It's Baptism
Transcript of How to Read Literature Like a Professor: If She Comes Up, It's Baptism
Foster notes that when characters get wet , its time to start paying attention. Water has a distinctive role in literature. Sometimes it's just water, but when characters become submersed it can mean more than they are just getting wet. Foster argues that writers employ lakes and water as a symbol of rebirth for the character, if he/she survives that is. Death by drowning is significant as well because it can symbolize that characters struggle in life. Foster cites the film Ordinary people (1976) by Judith Guest, in which two brothers are caught in a storm on a boat and one of them drowns. The surviving brother is, ironically, the weaker of the two and should have died while the other survives. The younger brother struggles with his new life because he doesn't think he should be alive. In this way the younger brother has been reborn, he is "alive all over again" he is not the same person as he was before the storm.
When characters enter the water, there
is sometimes a religious connection.
Baptisms are a spiritual cleansing, and
many characters who enter the water are cleansed in the same symbolic fashion.
Generally when writers baptize a character
they mean death of the old character, rebirth and new identity, usually for the better.
In song of Solomon by Toni Morrison the protagonist Milkman Dead gets wet three times, which symbolizes the three immersions of baptism, once for the father, then the son, then thrice for the holy ghost. He becomes a better man over the course of these three immersions.
Drowning has significance in baptisms as well.
In The River by Flannery O' Connor, a little boy goes down by the river where he saw people getting baptized, and in an attempt to connect with god, he drowns. Foster points that he did find god after all.
Conclusion How to Read Literature Like a Professor As for drowning there is a novel called Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich where a Vietnam war veteran, unable to assimilate into the regular world, drowns himself in a river. Foster argues that his drowning was significant because it symbolizes how he was drowning in real life. As well, He elected to go in, so his suicide relfleted his need to exert some control over his life, in his mode of death.