How to Read Literature Like a Professor – Foster

Topic: LifeCourage
Sample donated:
Last updated: April 28, 2019
1 – Every trip is a quest
a quester, a place to go, a stated reason to go there, challenges and trials, the real reason is never the stated reason – self knowledge

2 – Nice to eat with you: acts of communion
whenever people eat or drink, it’s communion, not religious, an act of sharing and peace

3 – Nice to eat you: acts of vampires
literal vampires: nasty old men, attractive but evil, takes the innocence of young girlssexual implications: a way to address sex indirectlysymbolic vampirism: selfishness, exploitation, refusal to respect others

4 – If it’s a square, it’s a sonnet
yay sonnets!

5 – Now, where have I seen her before?
Intertexuality: there is only one story

6 – When in doubt, it’s from Shakespeare…
Shakespeare is frequently echoed

7 – …Or the Bible
Biblical names and stories often draw connections with literary charactersGarden of EdenDavid and GoliathJonah

8 – Hanseldee and Greteldum
fantasy stories are used a lot

9 – It’s Greek to me
The Iliad and the Odyssey and Greek mythology is referenced all the time

10 – It’s more than just rain or snow
Rain: fertility and life, Noah and the flood, drowning is one of our greatest fears (rain is clean, restorative, destructive as well, rainbow, fog)Snow: negativity (cold, stark, inhospitable, death), positivity (clean, pure, playful), great unifier (snow falls on all – living or dead)

11 – More than it’s gonna hurt you: concerning violence
Character caused: shootings, stabbings, drownings, poisoningsdeath and suffering for which the characters are not responsible

12 – Is that a symbol?
Yes – there is never one definite meaning for something

13 – It’s all political
most stories have a political element

14 – Yes, she’s a Christ figure, too
Characteristics of a Christ-like figure: wounds in hands, feet, portrayed with arms outstretched, crown of thorns, in agony, self-sacrificing, good with children, good with loaves, fish, water, wine, humble modes of transportation, tempted by the devil, etc.

15 – Flights of fancy
Daedalus and Icarus – flew too close to the sunFlying was a temptation of ChristSymbolically: freedom, escape, spiritualityIrony trumps everything

16 – It’s all about sex…
female symbols: holy grail, chalice, bowls, rolling landscape, tunnels, empty vesselsmale symbols: blade, tall buildingscensored sex, can function on multiple levels, more intense than literal descriptions

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