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How to Read Literature Like a Professor Chapter 10

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Madison Harper

on 17 September 2012

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Transcript of How to Read Literature Like a Professor Chapter 10

Madison Harper & Justin Mehling How To Read Literature Like a Professor
Chapter 10 Thesis Statement:
Main Points: *Weather is not simply a setting in literature, but also serves as a plot device.
*Rain can have a variety of different impacts on a story. For example it can symbolize everything from mystery to cleanliness.
*Rain can purify a character and when they emerge from the downpour they are less confused and transformed.
*However with rain also comes mud, which can cause the character to be more tainted than before.
*Rain is associated with spring, which is a time of restoration and more importantly, hope.
*Fog can add the misery factor, but also confusion among characters and situations.
*Snow is just as important and contradicting as rain. It can be clean, inviting, playful, or even warm (like an insulating blanket.)
*However it can also be stark, severe, inhospitable suffocating, and even filthy. Two examples of referenced literature:

*The Three Strangers written by Thomas Hardy
A condemned man, a hangman and the escapee's brother all converge on a shepherd's house during a christening on a dark and stormy night. The rain forces the three men together in a very uncomfortable circumstance. Without the rain, the plot would not have thickened because because the men would not have been forced to seek shelter. So in this case, the rain is not just rain. It is the element that forces the men into an awkward situation.
*The Song of Solomon written by Toni Morrison
The rain in this book acts as a cleansing. As in many other books, when a character is wanting to be cleansed, the author sends them for a walk in the rain. The character Hagar spends the day shopping and making herself look like someone she thinks the milkman wants. After spending all of her money to live up to this fantasy image she has, she is caught in a rainstorm. This rainstorm ruins her new clothes, her whole new look. The rain cleanses her and washes away the false ideal of beauty. Two examples from our own reading

*The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gatsby and Daisy's reunion begins in the middle of a downpour which provokes an awkward and melancholy situation. Their love reawakens just as the sun comes out which provides you with a false sense of hope that they might actually make it. Then Gatsby climatic confrontation with Tom occurs on the hottest day of the summer.
*Farewell to Arms written by Ernest Hemmingway
In this novel, rain plays a big part. It is representative of death. In the fall when the rains came the leaves all fell from the chestnut trees and the branches were bare and the trunks black with rain, and Catherine tells Henry that she sees them dead in the rain. Interesting Facts!
* Rain is not only symbolic, but it can also speak to us at our innermost being. "Rain prompts ancestral memories of the most profound sort. So water in great volumes speaks to us at a very basic level of our being." page 75
*Weather references, more specifically rain, are also very linked to the Bible.
"....Noah's flood, the big eraser that destroys but also allows a brand-new start" Also on page 75 Weather is never just weather.
It's never just rain. References :
Foster, Thomas.
New York, NY: Harper-Collins Publishers Inc, 2003.
74-81. Print.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. . New York : Charles
Scribner’s Sons, 1925. Print.
Hemmingway , Ernest. . Charles
Scribner’s Sons , 1929. Print.
Morrison, Toni . . Penguin Books, 1977.
Hardy, Thomas. Appeal Publishing
Company, 1922. Print.

How to Read Literature Like a Professor The Great Gatsby A Farewell to Arms Song of Solomon The Three Strangers. MC Questions

1. Rain can represent both mystery and what?
2. Rain is associated with springtime, which represents restoration and what?
3. Weather is not only the setting in the story but also the what? It's More Than Just Rain or Snow....
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