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How to read literature like a professor

Chapters 16&17

Camille Mullins-lemieux

on 19 September 2011

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Transcript of How to read literature like a professor

How to read Literature like a professor Chapter
Its All About Sex Chapter
...Except the Sex Why did it start? It never really started out of nowhere... a man called Sigmund Freud just made us aware of it and found that society at large had sexual intentions all the time.
He thought that everything in the world was related to it so when he looked at Tall building he thought of Male sexuality or when he saw rolling hills he saw female sexuality. So what can have
sexual connotations? Sex does not have to look like sex
If an author wants to make something sexual The author can do it because anything can be sexual.
How old is this Idea? Sex in Literature has been around for a very long time.
For example, A Night in shining armor in search for the holy grail which is an empty vessel waiting to be filled.
Usually the search is started because the crops are failing or people are dying.
Usually the king is too old so he sends a younger knight with the royal Lance. It happened in Movies as well... In the 1935 there was a law passed where two people could not be lying dow horizontally near each other. Thats why when you look at old movies the couples always have two separate beds.
To make up for this Movie directors had to use other things to show what occurred such as looking at fluttering curtains or panning out to waves on a beach. Examples: Why don't authors
write about sex all the time? The author says that writing about sex is very difficult and un-fulfilling.
Described sex scenes are usually cliche as there are not many options left for description of the act unless one decides to describe "parts and movements in a haze of breathy metaphors and heroic adverbs" (144)
It is hard to write a soft-cored approach to a sex scene (like the one described above) without sounding quaint, squeamish, embarrassed or inept Why do writer's include
sex scenes? Usually when the writer writes about sex, he or she is really writing about something else.
Due to the fact that in the Victorian age and up until 1959 dirty literature was either banned or cursed, many author's also include sex scenes in order to feel the freedom of writing what they want.
"You just know that these scenes mean something more than what's going on in them. It's true in life as well, where sex can be pleasure, sacrifice, submission, rebellion, resignation, supplication, domination, enlightment, the whole works" (150). How are sex scenes more than just about the sex? In John Fowles' French Lieutenant's Woman, the only sex scene provided is between the two main characters in which the male character Charles fails to fulfill the deed successfully. Some argue that Fowels wanted to address the shortcomings of Victorian males, or the male sexual fallibility of desire, ridicule the hero, or highlight the comic or ironic incongruity between the brevity of sexual acts and it's consequences. However, the true meaning behind this scene is deeper. The female character, Sarah, Charles' partner, symbolizes the forbidden fruit and Charles' escape from his miserable life. She is viewed by Charles as symbol of freedom and autonomy and represents the future to him. "He carries not a woman but an entire constellation of possibilities into the bedroom"(146).
In Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet series of novels, a lot sex talk, reports of sex and scenes taking place immediately before or after sex appear frequently. The novels are mainly about politics and history. "Moreover, the sex that occurs is invariably tied up with something else: cover for espionage, personal sacrifice, psychological neediness, desire for power over someone else." (147) Also, the sex described in the novels never is described as a healthy and good-intentioned meeting of lovers.
In Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, he uses the main character Alex, who is a member of a gang and who specializes in theft, violence and rape, to deepen the meaning of the sex scenes in the novel. Burgess does that through emphasizing how Alex is more interested in the cries of pain and outrage than the very act of sex he performs, therefore developing his characterization and have readers find him revolting.
You get the point. The Grimms Fairy Tales In the grimms fairy tale stories such as Rapunzel and sleeping beauty it is never mentioned what happens when the prince comes but the princesses always gives birth to triplets or twins. Examples In House of the Spirits by Allende, the sex scenes are used to emphasize the characterization of characters such as Esteban Trueba to depict him as a revolting character.
In the Stranger by Camus, sex is only used to shoe the character Meursault's unattached-emotionally character. Despite the fact he engaged in the act with his partner, it turns out that when she asks him if he loves her he honestly answers no, even though he engaged in the act with her.
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