How To Read Lit Like a Professor

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Last updated: May 10, 2019

Chapter 1
Every Trip Is A Quest, a quester, a place to go, a stated reason to go there, challenges and trials, and the real reason to go (self-knowledge)

Chapter 2
Nice To Eat With You: Acts of Communion

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Chapter 3
Nice To Eat You: Acts of Vampires, ghosts and vampires are never only about ghosts and vampires. Essentials are: an older figure representing corrupt, a young female, stripping away her youth, continuance of life in older figure, and death of the young female

Chapter 4
Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before? There is no such thing as a wholly original work of literature.

Chapter 5
When In Doubt It’s From Shakespeare

Chapter 6

Or The Bible, naming character is important

Chapter 7
Hanseldee and Greteldum, often fairytales/ kid literature is borrowed in other literary works

Chapter 8
It’s Greek To Me, myth is a body of story that matters, often parallels to greek myths/ literature is ironized

Chapter 9
Its More Than Just Rain or Snow, rain could mean completely opposite things in two different stories, rain can be washing something away (good or evil)

Chapter 10
Never Stand Next To The Hero, characters are not people, and hers make bad friends because they are unpredictable and unreliable

Chapter 11
…More Than it’s Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence, violence is most likely a symbolic action in the story

Chapter 12
Is That A Symbol? allegories only point to one thing, while symbols could represent many things, preexisting knowledge often controls the way we view symbols

Chapter 13
It’s All Political, nearly all writing is political at some level, almost all works are part of a social problem or the solution

Chapter 14
Yes, She’s A Christ Figure, Too, in agony, self-sacrificing, good with children, water, fishes, loaves, wine, 33, carpenter, humble modes of transportation, walked on water, arms outstretched, alone in wild, confrontation with devil, company of thieves, creates aphorisms o parables, buried, rose third day, 12 disciples, very forgiving, and came to redeem an unholy world

Chapter 15
Flights Of Fancy, flight is freedom, irony trumps everything

Chapter 16
It’s All About Sex…

Chapter 17
..

.Except Sex

Chapter 18
If She Comes Up It’s Baptism, symbolizing being reborn, or the washing of something (good or evil) away

Chapter 19
Geography Matters…

when writers send characters down south, it’s so that they can run amok

Chapter 20
…So Does Season, season and setting set the mood for the rest of the work

Chapter 21
Marked For Greatness, usually in stories deformities ad scars are significant

Chapter 22
He’s Blind For A Reason, You Know, usually the blind character has other heightened senses making him/her important to the development of the plot, if you want your audience to know something important about the character, introduce it early, before you need it

Chapter 23
It’s Never Just Heart Disease..

.And Rarely Just Illness, not all diseases are created equal, it should be picturesque, it should be mysterious in origin, and it should have strong symbolic or metaphorical possibilities

Chapter 24
Don’t Read With Your Eyes, try to find a reading position where you have sympathy for the characters, can this person be saved?

Chapter 25
It’s My Symbol and I’ll Cry If I Want To, use what you know, every work teaches us how to read it as we go along, you know more than you think you do

Chapter 26
Is He Serious? And Other Ironies, irony trumps everything, irony doesn’t work for everyone

Chapter 27
A Test Case, “A Garden Party” read carefully, use any strategies you’ve picked up from this book or else wear, employ no outside sources about the story, no peaking at the rest of this chapter, write down your results, so there’s no fudging. Neatness doesn’t count, nor spelling, just observations. Give the story carful thought and record your results, then bring them back here and we’ll compare notes

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