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How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Breaking down the Chapers. =]

Kaitlin Jones

on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of How to Read Literature Like a Professor

by: Kaitlin Jones How to Read Literature Like a Professor Chapter 1 Quests Components-
A quester
A place to go
A stated reason to go there
Challenges and trials en route
A real reason to go there Traditional Quests: A Knight, A Dragon, A Holy Grail, A princess. Nontraditional Quests: Has all components of a traditional quest but not quite as obvious. The real reason is NEVER the stated reason! The Real Reason is ALWAYS self knowledge. Who is the quester? Usually young, inexperienced, immature, and sheltered. Chapter 2 Communion Apocryphal- Doubtful authenticity "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Purpose of Communion Religion: symbolically accepting Christ into our bodies so that he becomes apart of us. Literature: Sharing a moment to let the audience know if the characters are getting along, or not. "Code of the West" The only reason to give a character a serious hand up to give him the chance to get over it, he may fail, but he gets the chance. Chapter 3 Vampires Characteristics of vampires: sexy, alluring, dangerous, mysterious, beautiful, unmarried. What else is vampirism about? Seduction, temptation, danger, the striping of ones youth and virtue, Selfishness exploitation, a refusal to respect the autonomy of other people, and power. Purpose of... Ghost of Hamlets dad- To point out something is drastically wrong in Denmark's royal household. Marley's Ghost- Sometimes you need to hear it from someone else to believe it. Edward Hyde- Even a respectable man has a dark side its the dual nature of humans. The essentials of a vampire story- Older man representing a corrupt out worn values, a young preferably virginal female; a stripping away of her youth, energy, virtue; a continuance of the life force of the old male: the death or destruction of the young woman. Chapter 4 Sonnets Since when?
English Renaissance. Shape?
Square. Lines?
14. Syllables per line?
Ten syllables. Meter?
Suffix, some will have ten,others will not. 2 things a sonnet can do-
2 different units of information, a change or shift in the tone. Ghosts and Vampires are never only about Ghosts and Vampires. Petrarchan- uses a rhyme scheme that ties the first 8 lines, and then the last 6. Shakspearen- Divide up to 4 lines, which divides into three of 4 lines and one of a 2 line section. Couplet- Last 2 lines in Shakspearen. Quatrain- First 4 lines in shakespearean. She elects to repeat the same rhymes (abbaabba). Sestet- Last 6 lines of poem. Second ryhme scheme (equally uncommon) (cddcdc). Octave- First 8 lines of a poem. Becomes actual, united together a image, but seperation. Chapter 5 Connect the Dots There's no such thing as a wholly original work of literature. There's only one story. EVER! They just alter the order, or add to it. So the worst thig that occurs is that we're still reading the same story as if literary precursors weren't there. The limitations of intertecuality is that newer works cant have dialogue with older ones because it involves the older texts from refrences to extensive quotations. When people go mushroom hunting someone may tell you that you are near them, but you have to look hard to actually pick out mushrooms, just like a professor tells you when you are near something, you just have to find it in the text. ( You look everywhere for the mushrooms and just can't find them unless someone points them out.) The dialogue between old texts and new texts is called the 'aha factor' because we see the link between the old and the new and it is only one story. Chapter 6 Shakespeare... His nickname is THE Bard. A Bard is a poet so by saying he is THE Bard, it is saying he is THE poet. Everyone borrows old text like Shakespeare, like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, was just a way to copy Shakespeare's Hamlet. My Favorite Shakespearean phrases are: To be, or not to be, that is the question. Who steals my purse steals trash. Why do writers quote Shakespeare?

Because it makes them sound smarter.
It indicates that you've read him so your an educated person.
And Because it gives what you're saying a kind of authority. What does it have to do with intertextality?
Naturally none of this elusive to Shakespeare, who just happens to be such a towering figure that many great writers find themselves influenced by him. Chapter 7 If your not quoting Shakespeare you might as well quote the Bible. Pulp Fiction- His linguistic behavior suggests he knew about the Bible despite all his bad words. The Devil can quote scripture, so can writers! Beloved, Pale Rider, Araby, all of these examples used the Bible. What is the effect of using Biblical allusions ironically?

To illustrate a disparity or disruption ( ironic version of the holy text.) The significance of character names.

Because it has to point a finger back to recognition, it has to sound right for the character, but it also has to carry whatever message the writer wants to convey about the character of the story. Limitations for those not Biblical Scholars why or why not?

There is alot of people that refer back to the bible in texts, so if you are not familiar with the bible yes there is limitations to your reading capability and being able to understand those connections. Chapter 8 Children's Literary Allusions Classic Kid Books: Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White... etc. How did they do it?

Well there is only really 3 main choices...
The Bible
or Children Literature.

Yes Plain and simple..... That's it. Writers internalize the story completely. Fairy tales are a knowledge of source texts. you can use the story line just not as obvious.

Everyone grew up reading these fairy tales we just switch it up a bit, I mean come on do we ever get tired of reading the same book over again?
Yes so change a few character names and put a twist in the plot, make it a different setting. Ironic? DUH!


its the side effects of borrowing prior text like Fairy tales, The Bible, and Shakespeare. WHY ALWAYS WHY?! Mix Strangeness with familiarity. Chapter 9 Myth is a body of story that matters. What he means by myth- The shaping and sustaining power of story and symbol. Myth in general is story- the ability of story to explain ourselves to ourselves in ways of all subjects is all very highly useful. (Seeing the way we see the world and ourselves.) When we hear MYTH we think of 2,000 to 3,000 years ago we think of Greece and Rome. It's in our unconsciousness we scarcely notice. If we look all around at college mascots, school mascots anything really we seem to recognize the words; Spartans, Trojans, Sparta, its all apart of out everyday life; and that is what we dont notice. Classical Myth works into everything- poems, paintings, operas, and novels. What else?

Nobody's perfect and so its important that none of you Characters are. Ironized- in the modern world parelleles may be ironized ( turned on their head for purposes of irony.) Chapter 10 It's more than just Rain or Snow Why?
Every story needs a setting and weather helps that. Not the whole deal? Its NEVER just rain. NEVER JUST WEATHER. Like for example- the biblical tale Noah.

Lots of rain, major flood, ark, cubits, dole, olive branch, and a rainbow. Plot Device?

1) Rain forces men together in a very uncomfortable circumstance.
2) Atmospherics- Rain is more mysterious, murkier, more isolating than most other weather conditions.

Fog is good too! It's a misery factor. With a little rain and a bit of wind you can die of hypothermia on the 4th of July. We fear rain- we are land creatures and we fear drowning. If the writer needs a character to be cleansed symbolically, let him walk through the rain to get somewhere. Rain can be Cleansing, restorative, and representing some kind of sickness. Rain can also bring the world back to rain, rain brings spring.
Rain can bring rainbows- to symbolize divine peace between heaven and earth. Each weather piece represents many things!

SO CHECK THE WEATHER Interlude Does He Mean That? Does the writer really intend to do that?

Can anyone really have all that going on in his head at one time? The answer is YES. No one knows for certain why he is doing it but in general we make guesses. Writers who attemt to control every facet of their creative output and who intend virtually every effect in their work. Lateral thinking is what we're really discussing?

The way writers can keep their eye on the target. Chapter 11 Violence is one of the most personal and even intimate acts between human beings, but it can also be cultural and societal in its implications. Can be:
Transcendent Violence in real life just is. Let's think about two categories of violence in literature: the specific injury that authors cause characters to visit on one another or on themselves and the narrative violence that causes characters harm in general. 1st- shootings, stabbings, garrotings, drownings, poisons, bludgeonings, hit-and-run accidents, starvations; you name it. 2nd- authorial violence ( death and suffering authors introduce into their work in the interest of the plot advancement or theme development.) Which they(the authors), not the characters are responsible for. Is it fair to compare death by consumtion or heart disease and a stabbing. Sure, its different but the same. Different: no guilty party exists in the narrative (unless you count the author, who is present everywhere and nowhere.) Same: Does it really matter to the dead person? Or this: Writers kill off characters for the same set of reasons- to make action happen, to cause the plot complications, and end those complications, and to put characters under stress. And that's not enough reason for violence to exist?

With some exceptions and most prominent being mystery novels- deaths lack gravitas (no weight, no resonance, no sense of something larger at work. So where does this alleged weight come from?

Not alleges. Felt. We sense greater weight or depth in works when there is something happening beyond the surface. Chapter 12 Is that a Symbol? Sure it is. The problem with symbols:

People expect them to mean something- one something in particular (Maximum). So some symbols do have a relatively limited range of meanings, but in general a symbol can't be reduced to standing for only one thing. If they can it's not symbolism- its allegory.

Allegory works- things

Symbols don't generally work so neatly- it will involve a range of possible meanings and interpretations. Caves? drawings ancestors in caves-
we are not certain what anything symbols.
the only thing we are sure about caves is as a symbol it keeps its secrets. Pay attention to what you feel about the text it probably means something. Much what we think about literature we feel first.
Instincts. Chapter 13 It's All Political A Christmas Carol- Political belief hiding in his story of a wretched criticism miser who is saved by spiritual visitations. You can tell something is going on beyond the story. Scrooge in us and in society (Scrooge is representative). Political writing doesn't travel well, or age well. Political writing is everywhere- novels, plays, poems. Overtly political writing can be one dimensional, simplistic, reductionist, and dull. The political writing that people dislike is programmatic- pushing a single cause or concern or party position, or it's trend into a highly topical situation that doesn't transfer well out of its own specific time and place. People love "political" writing- writing that engages the realities of its world- that thinks about human problems. Including those in the social and political realm, that addresses the rights of persons and the wrongs of those in power can be interesting and hugely compelling. Edgar Allan Poe, super patriot? His writing was political. Pip Van Winkle, who's lazy and not a great provider for his family, goes hunting. Actual he's really just getting away from his ragging wife. He meets some odd characters playing ninepins with whom he drinks a little bit and falls asleep. When he makes up his dog is gone and his gun has rusted and fallen apart. He has white hair and a beard a mile long and very stiff joints. He makes his way back to town and finds out he's been asleep for twenty years and his wife is dead and everything has changed, including the signs at the hotel. And that's pretty much the story. Political? 1) What does it mean that Dame Van Winkle is dead?
2) How does that connect with the change of Georges on the hotel sign? So everything's better?
Definitely not,
But the things that really matter- freedom, self-determination is better. So is every literary work political- some political colleagues say yes- every work is either part of the social problem or part of the solution- most works must engage with their own specific period. Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Yes, She's a Christ Figure, Too We live in a Christian culture. Benighted- From the Old English "anyone darker than yourself" Institutinos of hugher learning can no longer blithely assume that everyone in the class is a Christian, and if they do, its at their own risk. No matter what your religous beliefs are- You should know something about the Old and New Testaments is essential. Christianity matters ALOT. Some of the features that make Christ who he is we generally recognize. List of Christ Features:
1) crucified, wounds in the hands, feet, side and head.
2) in agony
3) self-sacrificing
4) good with children
5) good with loaves, fishes, water, wine.
6) 33 years of age when last seen
7) employed as a carpenter
8) known to use humble mades of transportation (feet, or donkey)
9) believed to have walked on water
10) other portrayed with arms outstreched
11) known to have spent time alone in to wilderness
12) believed to have had a confirmination with the devil (tempted)
13) last seen in the company of thieves
14) creator of many aphorisms and povables
15) buried, but arose on the third day
16) had disciples, 12 at 1st, not all equally devoted.
17) very forgiving
18) came to redeem an unworthy world Examples: The Old Man and the Sea (1952) Christ Figures dont have to have all the marks on the list- dont have to have male or christian, dont even have to be good, just check all that apply. Humans cannot fly- true story.... If it flies- it isn't human
Birds fly
Bats fly
Insects Somethimes fly
Airplanes? Person in the air
1) a super hero
2) a ski jumper
3) crazy (redundant if also #2)
4) fictional
5) a circus act-cannon
6) suspended or wires
7) and angel
8) really symbolic Just because we can't fly doesn't mean we don't dream of it. So what does it mean when literary characters fly? It's spiritual- soul's can soar Flight is Freedom.
(doesn't always work out that way- but for a basic principle it is pretty sound)
Irony trumps everything Different Kinds of Freedom- Pilate: Can fly without ever leaving the ground. Fevvers: Find freedom even with limitations of her fishbowl world. As thrilled as we are by the prospect of flying, we are also frightened at the prospect of falling, and anything seems to defy the inevitability of a plummeting demise sets our imaginations working overtime. The act of falling from vast heights and surviving is miraculous- and as symbolically meaningful as the act of flight itself. These flights of fancy allow us, as readers, to take off, to let our imaginations take flight we can sail off with characters, freed of limitaions and mortgage rates; we can soar into interpretation and speculation Happy landings. It's All About Sex Ugly rumor- English professors have dirty minds. Flights of Fancy Humans cannot fly- true story...
If it flies it isn't human.
Birds fly
Insects sometimes fly.
Airplanes? Person in the air?
1) a super hero
2) a ski jumper
3) crazy (redundant if also #2)
4) fictional
5) a circus act (cannon)
6) suspended or wires
7) an angel
8) heavily symbolic Just because we can't fly doesn't mean we don't dream of it.
So what does it mean when literary characters fly?
Its spiritual- soul's can soar. Flight is Freedom
(doesn't always work out that way- but for a basic principle it is pretty sound) Irony trumps everything. Different Kinds of Freedom- Pilate- can fly without ever leaving the ground. Fevvers- Find the freedom even with limitation of her fishbowl world. As thrilled as we are by the prospect of flying, we are also frightened at the prospect of falling, and anything seems to defy the inevitability of a plummeting demise sets our imaginations working overtime. The act of falling from vast heights and surviving is miraculous- and as symbolically meaningful as the act of flight itself. These flights of fancy allow us, as readers, to take off, to let our imaginations take flight we can sail off with characters, freed of limitations of our tuition payments and mortgage rates; we can soar into interpretation and speculation.
Happy landings. So how did all this smutty thinking find its way into the world of literature? Blame it on Freud. He put it there. He found it and showed it to the rest of us with "The Interpretation of Dreams" (1900) He unlocked the sexual potential of subconscious tall buildings (male) polling landscapes (female) stairs (sex) Suddenly we discover that sex doesn't have to look like sex- Other objects and activities can stand for sexual organs and sex acts which is good landscapes can have sexual components. 20th century didn't invent sexual symbolism- Consider Grail Legends- A knight, usually a very yound one whose "man hood" is barely established, goes forth bearing his lance, which will certainly do until a phallic symbol comes a long. Knight searches for the emblem of pure-if untested- maleness in search of a chalice, the Holy Grail (female sexuality) (which once upon a time: the empty vessel, waiting to be filled. Usually knight rides out when community is going through hard times (crops are failing... etc.) Needs to restore firtility and order- aging king too old to search of fertility symbols perhaps he can no longer use his lance- so he sends the young man.
It isn't wild sex, but it's still sex. 1946- used to not show people "doing it" or having done it, or even talking about it. But they did do it and they enjoyed it. Sexiest Shots- waves breaking on the beach (somebody was getting lucky). Anything they could think of that wasn't sex- waves, curtains, campfires, fireworks, you name it.... Masturbation- not literally that would be icky- but symbolically fulfills the function of masturbation (sexual).
What could be clearer? Except Sex The act of sex itself is very limited in writing- just writing a "sex seen", the text would be really boring. The truth is that there wasn't the time when writers didn't deal with sex, they just avoided writing about the act itself. The further truth is that even when they write about sex, they're really writing about something else. If they write about sex and strictly sex- we have a word for that (Pornography). For the most part, even our sexiest writing doesn't have all that much sex in it. Famous for Bad Sex ( Evil Sex)-
A Clockwork Orange (1962) [Anthony Burgess] 15 year old leader of a gang who "rapes" girls, his play was to make violence and sex interesting.
Lolita (1958) [Vladimir] She was sheltered and as a sign of self control for herself, she screwed everybody. Sex can be- Pleasure, Sacrifice, Submission, Rebellion, Resignation, Supplication, Domination, Enlightenment, etc. What does it mean when a Character gets wet- drenched or dies drowning? Tossing Characters into the river is:
a) wish fulfillment
b) exorcism of primal fear
c) exploration of possible and not just
d) a handy solution to messy plot difficulty If they come back up its baptism. Sometimes people are "reborn" gets to start all over again. Symbolically- Baptism is the same way death and rebirth through the medium of water. Not every character gets to survive the water- often they don't want to.
Suicide? So when writers baptize a character they mean death, rebirth, new identity?

Yes, but Baptism can mean allot of things- rebirth is only one. Literal rebirth- surviving a deadly situation certainly a part of it, just as symbolic rebirth is the point of the sacrament of baptism- reborn as follower of Christ. So in a literary work does submersion in water always signify baptism?

Sometimes, though it may just signify birth, a new start, largely stripped of spiritual significance. So when a character drowns, what does that mean?

Oh, they die... If there's water in one of Iris Murdoen's books, somebody's going to drown.

Like baptism, drowning has plenty to tell us in a story. So when your character goes under the water, you have to hold your breath. Just, you know, till you see her come back up. Geography Matters... Where? Mountains, beaches, canoeing or sailing? Always ask- Where is this taking place? What does geography mean to a work of literature?

Where would they be without geography?

Geography- hills, etc. Stuff there like politics and it's history.

Geography- Rivers, hills, valleys, buttes, steppes, glaciers, swamps, mountains, prairies, chasms, seas, islands, people. Geography in literary is typically about humans inhabiting spaces (spaces that inhabit humans). Geography is setting but it's also ( or can be) psychology attitude, finance, industry- anything that place can forge in the people who live there. It can be revelatory of virtually any element in work. Theme? Sure
Symbol? Yeah
Plot? Duh! General Rule- Italy, Greece, Africa, Malaysia, Vietnam.
When writers send characters south- it's so they can run amok.
( because they are having direct raw encounters with the subcultures.) Effects can be tragic or comic. Geography is place and space and shape that brings us to ideas and psychology and history and dynamism. Its enough to make you need a map! ...So Does Season Shakespeare- Poem- invest it with a specificity and a continuity that force us to really see not only that thing he describes- the end of autumn and the coming of winter. But the thing he's really talking about, namely the speaker's standing on the edge of old age. Seasons mean something-
Spring- Childhood (youth)
Summer- Adulthood, romance, fulfillment, and passion
Autumn- Decline and middle age and tiredness, but also the harvest
Winter- Old age, resentment and death Deeply ingrained in our cultural experience that we don't have to stop and think about it. Sometimes season isn't mentioned specifically or immediately, this can make the matter a bit trickier. We read the Seasons without even being conscious about it. Seasons can work magic on us, so writers can work magic with seasons. Interlude It needs said again..... THERE IS ONLY ONE STORY.... Ever! Whats it about?
I don't know?...
Its not about anything.
Its about everything. Intertextuality- The familiarity in stories. Don't bother looking for the originals.
It goes way back to myths, stories ancient people told. Marked for Greatness Quasimodo- Was a Hunchback..
What does that mean? Well it signified something... For each Deformity and Scar, they all are very significant. Character differentiation Not always though- perhaps a scar is just a scar, a shot leg or hunchback merely just that. But more often then not physical markings by their very nature call attention to themselves and signify some psychological or thematic point the writer wants to make. So if a writer brings up a physical problem or handicap or deficiency he probably means something by it. Harry Potters Scar...
Yeah it means something,
And I'm not going to tell you. He's Blind for a Reason You Know.... So here's the usual set up: Blind people can's see a thing in the world, but usually they are able to see things in the spirit and divine world, can see the truth of what's actually happened, truth to which our hero is utterly oblivious. There are a lot of things that have to happen when a writer introduces a blind character into a story and even more in a play. It's beyond physical.. If you want your audience to know something important about your character or the work at large introduce it early, before you need it. More commonly the blind character will show up early in the story line. It's Never Just Heart Disease The Heart- Beside being the pump that keeps us alive, the heart is also the symbolic repository of emotion. Writers use it because we feel it, when we fall in love , we feel it in our hearts. When we lose a love we feel heart broken. When we are overwhelmed by strong emotion we feel our hearts are about to burst. Everybody knows this- so writers can use it as a social metaphor- heart disease is not just heart disease, its also (bad love, loneliness, cruelty, disloyalty, cowardice, lack of determination. Example- " The Man of Adamant" As a practical matter then we readers can play this two ways- If heart trouble shows up in a novel or play, we start looking for its signification, we usually don't have to hunt too hard. The other way around is if we see that the characters have difficulties of the heart, we won't be too surprised when emotional trouble becomes the physical ailment and the cardiac episode appears. Their choice of illness is quite telling: each of them elects to employ a fragile heart as a device to deceave the respective spouse, to be able to construct an elaborate personal fiction based on the heart disease, to announce to the world that he or she suffers from a "bad heart". ...And Rarely Just Illness "The sisters" (1914)- Priest Dying - No Hope
Wait a Priest with no hope?!
Pretty easy to recognize- in such a statement a host of possibilities for interpretive play, and indeed those possibilities are realized throughout the story. There are certain principles governing the use of disease in works of literature:
1) Not all diseases are created equal.
What makes a prime literary disease?
2) It should be picturesque- consider consumption. You can picture there side effects- the way they look.
3) It should be mysterious in origin- the awful disease sometimes swept through whole families, as it would when one member nursed a dying parent or sibling or child, coming into daily contact with contaminated droplets, phlegm, blood for an extended period.
4) It should have strong symbolic or metaphorical possibilities. Metaphor connected with small pox- you don't want to know it- Tuberculosis, on the other hand, was a wasting disease, both interms of the individual wasting away, growing thinner and thinner, and in terms of the waste of lives that here often barely under way Naturally, what gets encoded in a literary disease is largely up to the writer and the reader. What about AIDS? Every age has its special disease. Aids- Picturesque? Certainly not, but it shares that terrible dramatic wasting quality of consumption.
Mysterious? It was when it showed up and even now this virus that can mutate in infinite ways to thwart nearly any treatment eludes our efforts to corral it.
Symbolic? Most Definitely. AIDS is the mother lode of symbol and metaphor.
The cure is definitely worse than the disease, at least for literature, Don't Read with your Eyes. Some literature is confusing- we all have our own blind spots. To get the most out of reading- we have to try to take the work as they were intended to be taken. Don't Read with your eyes- Don't read from your position, you need to read from a different perspective. There are dangers in this- To much acceptance of the author's viewpoint can lead to difficulties. There are different values of different writers, and different times, so what was frowned upon then may not be now and vice-versa.... Professional reading- destruction- pushing skepticism and doubt to it's extreme, questioning nearly everything in the story or poem at hand, to deconstruct the work and show how the author is not really in charge of his materials. Goal- Of these deconstructive readings is to demonstrate how the work is controlled and reduced by the values and prejudices of its own time. ( Its limited a little). Moby-Dick. The Last of the Mohicans. The Ilaid- All that violence. A diet that is almost purely carnivorous. Blood sacrifices. Looting. Multiple gods. Concubines. Is He Serious? And other Ironies... Now hear this- Irony Trumps Everything. Consider Roads- Journey, quest, self-knowledge. But what if the road doesn't lead anywhere? or, rather, if the traveler chooses not to take the road. Without our ingrained expectations about roads, however, none of this works: our hapless duo becomes nothing more than two guys stranded in desolate country beside an avenue of escape they fail to take. And that makes all the difference. Irony? Yes, on a variety of levels.
1st- The entire play exists in what the late literary theorist Northrop Frye calls the "ironic mode".
We watch characters who are our equals, they possess a lower degree of autonomy, self- determination, or freewill than, ourselves. Whereas normally in literary works we watch characters who are our equals or even superiors in an ironic work we watch characters struggle futilely with forces we might be able to overcome. 2nd- The specific situation of the road offers another level of irony.
We in the audience can see the implication that eludes them (this is where our expectations concerning roads enter the equation). So much so that we may want to scream at them to walk up to the road to a new life. But of course they never do. You can crash your car into a billboard, but you are unhurt because the seat belt functions as designed- Then, before he can get it off, the billboard teeters, topples, and crushes him. It's a message? Seat belts save lives. Is the billboard the same as those other instances of irony?

Sure why not. Irony doesn't work for everyone- Irony trumps everything, so listen for irony. A Test Case 1st Question- What does the story signify?
What is Mansfield saying in the story? What do you see it as meaning?
"The Garden Party" shows the difference between social classes. It shows the narrow view of the different classes about the world. 2nd Question- How does it signify? What elements does Mansfield employ to cause the story to signify whatever it signifies? What elements, in other words, cause it to mean the tings you take it to mean?
Birds and Flight- Uses metaphor of birds and flight as a strategy to show how rich classes insulates themselves from lower classes. Must look from a Higher Prospect (flight) to understand. Ground Rules-
1) Read Carefully
2) Use any interpretative strategies you've picked up from this book or else where.
3) Employ no outside sources about the stoy.
4) No peeking at the rest of the chapter
5) Write down your results, so there's no fudging. Neatness doesn't count, nor spelling, just observations. Give the story careful thought and record your results, then bring them back here and we'll compare notes. How it should be- If we express the act of reading in scientific or religious terms all these student readings represent with varying degrees of specificity and depth, almost clinical analysis of the observable phenomena of the story. On the other Hand- Consider noumenal level of the story, its spiritual or essential level of being. What does the story really signify?
Many things- It offers a critique of the class system, a story of initiation into the adult world of sex and death, and amusing exanimation of family dynamics, and a touching, portrait of a child struggiling to establish herself as an independent entity in the face of nearly overwhelming parental influence.
What else could we ask of a simple little story? Star Wars- or any story of someone going somewhere and doing something, especially if the going and doing wasn't the characters idea in the first place. "The Dead" (1914) The wonderful story is centered around a dinner party on the Feast of the Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas. "An Echo from Willow-Wood"- The poem at first doesn't look square. true but that's how the eye will initially perceive it. Two meanings in two sections. In Hamlet- Eliot provides an instantly recognizable situation for his protagonist and adds an element of characterization that says more about his self- image than would a whole page of description. (A famous tragic hero). "Araby" (1914)- A lovely little gem about the loss of innocence. Another way of saying " loss of innocence" is really about Adam and Eve, the garden, the serpent, the forbidden fruit. Alice in Wonderland- The story she falls into a hole, that was the switch from reality to fantasy. The Odyssey- In the late twentieth century draw on a story that was passes along orally from the twelfth through the eighth century B.B. and not written down until later. The Rainbow- It has a certain amount of flood imagery, along with all the associations that imagery conveys. Absalom, Absalom- Absalom is a title from the Bible- Absalom is David's rebellious son who hangs himself- and plot and characters from Greek mythology. "Out, Out--" About a momentary lapse of attention and the terrible act of violence that ensues. A farm boy working with the buzz saw looks up at the call to dinner, and the saw, which has been full of menace as it "snarls and rattles" along the seizes of moment as if it has a mind of its own, to take off the boy's hand. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)- Twain sends Huck and the escaped slave Jim down the Mississippi on a raft. The river is a little bit of everything in the novel. At the beginning it floods, killing livestock and people, including Huck's father. Jim is using the river to escape to freedom, but his escape is paradoxical since it carries him deeper and deeper into slave territory. The river is both doanger and safety. "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1819)- He was creating an American consciousness in literature, a thing that hadn't existed prior to his time. Like Poe he sets himself up in popposition to European literary tradition, offering instead of a body of work that could only come from an American and that features and celebrates freedom from its former colonial power. The Old Man and the Sea (1952) a nearly perfect literary parable, so clear with symbols so available, that the Christian imagery is accessible to even beginning readers. Superman- actually flies which represents that he is nonhuman like, and almost Christ like. "One Mutual Friend" (1865) In which the two villains, Mr. Venus and Silas Wegg, are plotting evil. In fact, nature to the seated Mr. Venus, whose pegleg begins to rise from the floor until, at the moment of greatest excitement, it is Various family members could see this as either slapstick buffoonery. "The River" (1955)- In which a little boy, having watched baptisms joining people to God on a Sunday goes back to the river the next day to join God on his own. ( He Drowns). A Room with a View (1908)- for instance, Lucy Honeychurch travels to Florence, where she sheds much of her racially inherited stiffness while losing her heart to George Emerson, the freethinking son of an elderly radical, she finds freedom, which stems from the passionate, fiery nature of the Italian city. Hotel du Lac (1984)- Send her heroine off to a resort to recover from a romantic indiscretion and to meditate on the way youth and life have passed her by, which represents and happens during late September. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)-(One talker and one silent type). Your guy is going to have a certain amount of dialogue, and whatever type you decide on, audiences are going to hear echoes of some prior film, wheter you think those echoes are there or not, and that is intertextuality. "Araby"- The first line tells us that the street the young narrator lives on is blind...Hmmm That's weird.. Blinded by his own angry tears, Pulls the Blinds all the way down(blinded by love). The significance of blind, is evident or relevant in itself. The Wench Is Dead (1989)- His major problem is loneliness. None of his women work out, so when the time comes for him to collapse amid the spires of his beloved Oxford University, Dexter gives him a heart attack. To show that his heart was in a sense (broken). The Plague (1947)- He is not interested so much in the individual sufferer as he is in the communal aspect and the philosophical possibilities, in examining how a person confronts the wholesale devastation wrought by disease, the absurdly ransom nature of infection the despair felt by a doctor in the face of an unstoppable epidemic, the desire to act even while recognizing the pointlessness of action- so writers use illness when it is less central. Arrow of Heaven (1926)- In which a man is killed by an arrow, of the cause of death there is never a flicker of doubt. No one could have shot him but God. There is no way for a straight shot except from heaven. The uses to which arrows can be put and the meanings we attach to them, however, are not so stable.
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