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How to Read Literature like a Professor Ch. 9 - 12

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Duy VI

on 16 August 2013

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Transcript of How to Read Literature like a Professor Ch. 9 - 12

How to Read Literture Like a Professor Chapter 9 - 12
Examples from Other Literature
Chapter 9: It's Greek to Me
A myth is a body of story that matters, and can be Shakespearean, Biblical, and/or folk/fairytale.
Thesis Statement:
All three of these mythologies work as sources of material, of correspondences, of depth for the modern writer, and provided they’re recognizable to the reader, they enrich and enhance the reading experience.
Of the three, biblical myth probably covers the greatest range of human situations, encompassing all ages of life including the next life, all relationships whether personal or governmental, and all phases of the individual’s experience, physical, sexual, psychological, spiritual.
Classical myth can overt subject matter for poems and paintings and operas and novels.
Because writers and readers share knowledge of a big portion of mythology, when writers use it, we readers recognize it.
The explanation that myths are stories, takes the shape of stories that are deeply ingrained in our group memory, that shape our culture and are in turn shaped by it, that constitute a way of seeing by which we read the world and, ultimately, ourselves.
Every community has its own body of story that matters.
Because writers and readers share knowledge of the story, or the mythology, when writers use it, we readers recognize it sometimes to its full extent, and sometimes only dimly.
Something Interesting
Foster, Thomas C. "Chapter 9, It's Greek to Me." How to Read Literature like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading between the Lines. New York: Quill, 2003. 39-43. Print.
Foster, Thomas C. "Chapter 9, It's Greek to Me." How to Read Literature like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading between the Lines. New York: Quill, 2003. 39-43. Print.
"The Color Purple" by Alice Walker
The main character Nettie, struggles with her faith throughout the book, and how she should deal with her abusive father and husband. Throughout her struggles, she remains faithful to her husband and family, with the help of Sug. Nettie's determination to remain faithful and have faith resembles Penelope.
"The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway
The main character, Jake Barnes, struggles throughout the book to find himself. He does things like swimming in the ocean on the coast, to bull fighting in Spain to try and spark something within himself. This is much like Homer and his quest to find himself.
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.
*The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald,
Gatsby and Daisy's reunion begins in the middle of a downpour which provokes an awkward 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's 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.
Weather is never just weather.
It's never just rain.
It's More Than Just Rain or Snow....
Examples from other Literature
...More Than It’s Gonna Hurt You:
Concerning Violence
Chapter 11
Violence can be Symbolic, Thematic, Biblical, Shakespearean, Romantic, Allegorical, or Transcendent. An act of violence varies from reality to literature. If you were punched in the arm by someone, it is probably an act of aggression, whereas in literature, it could be a metaphor for something else.
Basic "situational" violence is any type of violence in which there is a guilty party. Even if it is not a direct group, there is still someone/something to blame.

Ex: shootings, stabbings, drownings, poisonings, bombings, hit-and-run accidents, starvation, etc.

"Authorial" violence: Death and suffering authors introduce into their work in the interest of plot advancement or thematic development. This is inevitable to the characters and the author, not their characters, is responsible.

Ex: heart disease, slow death/loss of abilities
Types of Violence
Characters Dying in Literature is to:
Make action happen
Cause plot complications
End plot complications
Put characters under stress
Example: Harry Potter
Voldemort has killed Harry's parents but has spared Harry his life in the process. This is symbolic as it shows Voldemort's power over Harry. This represents the first type of "situational" violence, in which Voldemort is the guilt party and makes the executive decision to kill them. In the event that his mom and dad died, action was added to the plot, plot complications were created, and put Harry under a large amount of stress.
Chapter 12: Is That a Symbol???
Duh It's a Symbol!
Allegories vs. Symbols
Allegory?....Why I no understand?
Most Literature is written with ambiguous meanings.
The main difference between the two is that allegories are explicit in their relation to the meaning.
One thing always stands for another on a "one-for-one" basis.
In John Bunyan's 1678 allegoric novel "The Pilgrim's Progress", the direct correlation of character's names and qualities paired with destinations and the events that occurred there convey the struggle of a devout Christian.
Other examples: Animal Farm, The Crucible, etc.......
Even Seemingly "clear-cut" symbols have different, however similar, understandings.
Almost anything, if analyzed properly could be a symbol.
Only Problem: Many only consider
meaning of symbols
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