HOW TO READ LITERATURE LIKE A PROFESSOR: Terms

Topics: ArtSymbolism

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Last updated: April 25, 2019

Quest
5 points –> Quester, a place to go, a stated reason to go, challenges en route, and the “real” reason for going.

Meal Scenes
Acts of communion; people interacting with one another

Vampirism
protection of good vs. evil; exposes traits such as selfishness and exploitation

Psychological realism
plot driven by characters internal struggles

villanelle
poem that imitates French

Shakespeare’s popularity
produced many times over-vulnerable to reinterpretation

literary canon
books of relevance during a given time

“kiddie lit”
children’s stories which are easily relatable

The Four Great Struggles
w/ nature, w/ the divine, w/ humans, and w/ ourselves.

rain
first seen in bible – can represent fear and danger but also rebirth and a metaphorical washing away of sins

miasma
pollutions affecting the atmosphere, in literature its typically fog or something resembling it

narrative violence
appears both literal and authorial

authorial
authors, not characters, inflict death by introducing it into the plot

literal
symbolizes uncaring relationships we have with the universe

Symbolism vs. allegory
allegory is a direct replacement

Politics and literature
do not age well due to their lack of relevance

Flight of fancy
act of flying represents freedom, soul’s capability to fly

good words in literary studies
“always” and “never” – NOT GOOD WORDS IN LITERARY STUDIES

geography
shapes the behavior and culture of the characters

seasons/metaphor
summer resembles passion and love, winter resembles anger and hatred

physical marking (afflictions)
symbolizes character’s difference from others

heart disease
prime literary disease usually due to a character’s loneliness, cruelty, ‘bad love’, etc

illness in general
–> four aspects-Not all diseases are equal-should be picturesque-should be mysterious in origin-must have strong metaphorical or symbolic meaning

irony
trumps all else!

encoded sexuality
other objects/activities can stand in place of sex

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