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How to Read Literature Like a Professor--Chapter 15: Flights of Fancy

AP English IV
by

Jacob Tucker

on 15 February 2013

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Transcript of How to Read Literature Like a Professor--Chapter 15: Flights of Fancy

Flight in Literature Christian, Carol, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. The Story of Frankenstein. London: Macmillan, 1975. Print. "How To Read Literature Like A Professor" Chapter 15--Flights Of Fancy Mary Shelly's Frankenstein Victor Frankenstein
Victor suffers from a great depression at the loss of his mother; he finds relief when he goes off to the University.
Victor abhors the abomination he has created; he runs from it not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well. This displays definitions of "flight" as it pertains to literal running-away and figurative transcendence. Victor's Monster
Victor's monster abhors his own existence. He struggles with his outward appearance and attempts to "fly" from his own pain by antagonizing Victor and making certain demands. Later in the story the monster also literally "flies" when he runs from Victor, causing the latter to give chase. Foster, Thomas C. How to Read Literature Like a Professor :. N.p.: n.p., 2003. Print. Flight in History Since the dawn of time, humankind has clearly been fascinated with flight. Most often, this fascination has been expressed through our literature.
Think carefully about all of the things you have read that actually involve flight. One of the most common superhero abilities is flight, some of the most powerful Greek myths involve flight (such as the tragic tale of Daedalus and Icarus), and even many of the most prominent religions like Christianity and Buddhism speak of literal hovering or flight.
Flight (though more often figurative than literal) is still present in many modern day works of literature. Some examples include: The Harry Potter Series, The Series of Unfortunate Events, and The Hunger Games. Literal vs. Figurative Flight Symbolism and Flight Flight As Running: One definition of "flight" means "to run away". This is a common form of flight seen in literary works.
Flights of Insanity: Characters in a story who suffer from permanent/ temporary insanity or who hold psychopathic tendencies could be said to have "flights of insanity".
Flights through Transcendence: Characters in a story who do not undergo literal flight but achieve some great realization (epiphany) are said to be transcendent. This level of comprehension is sometimes similar to the thematic elements of flight. Flight, in the context of a story, is typically highly symbolic. Since most modern texts tend to use more figurative forms of flight, flight can symbolize anything from epiphanies to insanity to freedom.
Despite figurative flight clearly holding more symbolism, however, literal flight can still be used to represent ideas such as freedom, happiness, or even divine (Holy) powers (typically seen in angellic characters).
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