How to Read Literature like a Professor notes

Topics: ArtSymbolism

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Last updated: April 24, 2019

what are the 5 parts of a quest?
1) Quester2) place to go3) stated reason to go4) challenge and trials5) a real reason to go there

The act of breaking bread is a way of doing what?
showing peace and community

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What is Intertextuality?
Dialogue between old and new trials

What are the two types of violence
1) specific injury on one another or self 2) narrative violence

What is narrative violence
harm caused to a character not by fault of a specific person but just because thats how the author made it happen..

.. like a disease.

what is Symbolism?
Cannot be reduced to stand for only one thing. it must have a range of possible meaning & interpretation.

What is an Allegory?
something that can stand for only one thing on a one-to-one basis

What does it mean when literary creatures fly
that they are not human.

.. or represents freedom, falling, escape, return home, spiritual, or love.

what does it mean when a character is Baptized or immersed in water.
rebirth or old identity dying.

What does Drowning symbolize?
Character revelation, thematic development of violence, failure, guilt, plot complication, or denouement.

What is the importance of Geography in a story?
it is about humans inhabiting space and how that space inhabits them. it can be symbolic, plot, theme, or develop the character.

What does it mean when a character travels south?
it is so they can run amuk=direct raw encounters with subconscious

Where does traveling south represent?
swamps, crowds, fog, darkness, feuds, heat, unpleasantness, people, life, death

What is the meaning of blindness?
darkness (images of light and dark have everything to do with seeing and not seeing)

what does it mean if a character has heart issues?
Bad love, loneliness, cruelty, disloyalty, pederasty, cowardice, lack of determination.

what dos it mean when an author says don’t read with your eyes
have to read works in its context; take the work as it was intended (also read with perspective of the time and your own- it allows for more sympathy w/ the historical moment of the story)

What is irony?
The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect

what does “Irony Trumps all” mean?
ex; lets say there is a super strong character… in real life this person could probably take down any opponent, but in this book he is defeated… that is the irony.

and it is because of the irony he is defeated… therefor irony trumps all.

What is the real reason for a quest?
self-knowledge

What do meals represent?
life/mortality

What are some key points of communion?
1. sharing and peace2. not always holy3. personal activity/shared experience4.

indicates how characters are getting along5. enables characters to overcome some kind of internal obstacle

Why are we all vampires?
We suck away at other people’s force in one way or another.

What are some characteristics of a sonnet?
14 lines, two units and two units of meaning, shift between the two meanings Has 10 syllables in each line

Why are all works of writing unoriginal?
everything contains elements from somewhere else (not that the writer consciously copied the ideas, but the ideas themselves have become embedded in society’s cultural dialogue)

What does every writer reinvent in some way?
Shakesphere

What is a literary piece that has been copied for centuries?
The Bible

What is an archetype?
patterns (in characters or situations)

What are some biblical archetypes?
garden, serpent, plague, flood, parting of waters (metaphorical or literal), loaves, fishes, forty days, betrayal, denial, slavery and escape, fatted calves, milk and honey, tongues of flames, voices from whirlwinds, Apocalypse, four horsemen, fall from grace/loss of innocence, circle of life, the Prodigal Son, tension(s) between brothers

What are four human struggles?
1.

The need to protect one’s family2. The need to maintain one’s dignity3. The determination to remain faithful4. The struggle to return home

What is weather in a book (figuratively)?
a symbol

What does rain symbolize?
1. agent of new life and restoration2.

source of illness and death (think pneumonia)3. replenishment4. connects directly to Spring

What does spring symbolize?
1. season of renewal2. season of hope3.

season of new awakening(s)

What does a rainbow symbolize?
1. divine promise2. peace between heaven and earth3. stasis between God, humanity and nature

What does fog symbolize?
1. confusion2.

ethical, mental, physical hurdle to clarity

What does snow symbolize?
1. clean2. stark3. severe4. warm (insulation)… paradox5.

inhospitable6. inviting7. playful8. suffocating9. filthy10.

unifier

What is modernism?
the era around WWI and WWII in the 20th century

What is the narrative method?
tells the story from a personal POV (doesn’t have to be first person)

What is the mythic method?
uses established mythology as an outline for stories

What is political writing?
Writing that addresses the realities in its world, including human problems (both social and political), and expresses the rights of humanity and the wrongs of those in control(power).

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