How to Read Like a Professor by: Thomas C. Foster

Category: Irony, Sonnet
Last Updated: 19 Apr 2023
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Table of contents

How to Read Like a Professor


How’d He Do That? Mostly in memory it affects the reading literature in way that the reader, recognizes similarities in another work of literature, like in romantic novels elude towards Shakes Spears’ play Romeo and Juliet. Also, recognizing the pattern makes it easier on the reader because with that understanding the complex undertone of the book; like when I was reading The Scarlett Letter, I saw the allusions and symbolism in other stories, and books. )

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Chapter 1: Every Trip Is a Quest (Except When It’s Not)

The five expects of a quest are:

  1. a questor;
  2. a place to go;
  3. a stated a reason to go there;
  4. challenges and trails getting throw the route and lastly
  5. a real reason to go there.

Little Red Riding Hood Tale

  • Little Red Riding Hood;
  • To Grandmothers House;
  • To bring grandma cookies and company;
  • the wolf tries to eat her and Grandma;
  • Little Red Riding Hood learns to trust her instincts and to never talk to strangers.

Chapter 2: Nice to Eat with You

Act of Communion In Charles Dickson’s novel, The Christmas Carol, when the Scrooge wake –up from his “dream” he went out and bought a swan for his poor assistants’ family for Christmas. By doing this it was kind of a peace offering, it showed that Scrooge turns a new leaf, and by doing so he was now accepted back into the community.

Chapter 4: If It’s a Square, It’s a Sonnet

Petrarchan sonnet: “Missing the Metros” by Charles Terryson-Tunner This sonnet shows this form of reading by demonstrating a sequence like: abba cdcd efefe; and towards the end like the traditional Petrarch Sonnet, the main point of the sonnet which is called the volta, towards the end of the sonnet. Shakespearian sonnet: “Sonnet LXXIII” With this Shakespearian Sonnet, this had 14 lines and was divided into three parts, with rhyme scheme like this: abab cdcd efef gg. The volta is usually at the end of the sonnet; like in this one, where in the end it makes impact because it makes reader think about how the death can be very near.

Indefinable Sonnets: “Ozymandias” In this sonnet it does not fit the standard Shakespearian sonnet or Pertarchan sonnet, though it has the same characteristic of a Shakespearian sonnet and volta similar to the Pertarchan sonnet. 5)Chapter 6: When In Doubt , It’s from Shakespeare… In the theme of the story Fugard reflects Shakespeare’s Henery V, in this story Harold the main character has to become Master Harold set aside his childhood friendship and to become to into his family “business”, like Prince Hal had set aside his childhood friend and ways to become a King Henry, capable leading a army.

Chapter 7: Or the Bible

“I imagined I bore my chalice safely throw the throng of foes” (Line 31Joyce). The chalice symbolized him protecting his morals under the influence of the “heathens” surrounding him, even though in the next sentence he reminisce about his feelings towards the girl, Megan’s sister.

Chapter 8: Hanseldee and Gerteldum

I book I once read was like modern version of “Beauty and the Beast” but it focused on the Beast point of view, and how he became the way he was. The author did create a parallel of the story but twist in to make her own, to appeal to her teenager readers.

It appeal to their child like fairy tale story and mind it deepen appreciation of a this particle fairy tale, since it appeal to young teenage girls.

Chapter 9: It’s Greek to Me

“Only For a Season” Mother never could have known Of my past intentions of being free, The time is near for me to go How could stay with her alone? Easy to say goodbye for season be, Rarely can confide to my husband needs. Naturally I was born in summer bloom; As the fates have it, I learn to love winter’s cold. To turn against my mother’s will Under estimating my husband’s needs,

Rethinking my own wants... Easy it is not to love winter’s chill.

Chapter 10: It’s More Than Just Rain and Snow

In novel I read named “Life as We Knew It”. In the novel there was a part where the families oldest Mirinda, had to go out in a blizzard to find food for her family. The description of the blizzard and how she felt in the storm was very vivid, it made me understand the struggle that the character in the novel had go throw.

Chapter 11: More Than It’s Gonna Hurt You:

Concerning Violence

The first type is specific injury characters inflict upon themselves or others. The second type of violence is where the author causes harm to characters to progress the plot. In “The Outsiders” there are two gangs, the socs and the greasers; they commit the first type of violence. They punch, stab and kill each other out of revenge and anger. It takes a few deaths of dear friends for the characters realize the insanity of fighting. The end result is that they grow to be better people. In “To Kill a Mockingbird” the old lady neighbor Ms. Dubose dies from old age. This is an example of the second type of violence. The author has her die to develop Jem is a character and to move the plot along, in this the example second act of violence has more meaning and depth to it.

Chapter 12: Is That A Symbol?

In the short story the “Araby” by James Joyce, Joyce uses the fence as symbolic reference of a barrier between Mangan’s sister and the protagonist. A fence main purpose is to keep things out, separated, apart; to make known that another party is not allowed in. I belive the fence symbolizes the age difference between Magan’s sister and the protagonist, how that will be barrier in protagonist mind of his relationship with her.

Or perhaps, it’s a culture/religious meaning separating boys and girls so they won’t go forth with their deeper desirers. 12)Chapter 13: It’s All Political In play I read in 10th grade called the “Raisin in the Sun” the writer Lorrain Hansberry put some of political views in the play. The play was about a black family wanting to move into a white neighbor in the 1950’s, of course it same time it’s written, it was avoids to me that it was written about civil rights in that time, and how the struggle for many African Americans to have those rights at that time. 3)Chapter 14: Yes, She’s a Christ Figure, Too Many works of liture there are stories that have Christ figures, especially in stories that have good versus evil. Usually the good side has Christ characteristics, like Holes by Louis Sachar, Stanley Christ figure, surprisingly he carries many of Christ characteristics.

  1. He had wounds on his hands from shovel cutting him when was digging.
  2. He is in agony when he walked through the hot dessert to find Zero
  3. He sis el sacrificing whe he runs away from the camp to save Zero, knowing he could die himself.
  4. Although he is kid himself; he good with kids. He got along with everybody in the camp and also taught Zero to read.
  5. Even though he doesn’t create water or food, he does found water and onons for Zero to drink and eat in the mountains.
  6. He uses a humble needs of transportation because his family was poor he had to walk to school and other places.
  7. He spent time in the dessert which is like the wilderness , even though he wasn’t alone, and everyone thought he was died because he was gone so long.
  8. He had conformation with the devil/ Warden, when he went to the warden’s house.
  9. He was last seen with thieves;the Warden, Mr. Sir, and Dr. Pandenski; those who wanted part of the loot. 10. Stanely finally comes back to reddem the unworthy world. In this story the “unworthy world “ is the camp of delinquent juveniles. When came back he freed t
  10. he kids from the camp. Stanley wasn’t exactly Jesus but he was good guy and he potryaed Christ like characteristics.
  11. If She Comes Up, It’s Baptism The importance of “baptism” scenes is very clear in a lot of literature. It symbolizes a washing away of the old, a new start. Sometimes this doesn’t result in a good way, or in favor of the character at the time.

A good example of this is in the movie Pearl Harbor. The story is of two best friends, Rafe and Danny, who are pilots of fighter planes. Rafe has a girlfriend, Evelyn, who is a nurse. Unfortunately, Rafe’s plane is shot down and lands in water, where he is submerged to what appears to be his death. When Rafe is submerged in the water, he doesn’t realize his life is changing around him. When his best friend and girlfriend hear of his death they become close, and end up forming a relationship themselves. Danny and Evelyn don’t realize until later that Rafe didn’t die in the plane crash.

The crash was, in a sense, Rafe’s baptism, as a new life has been laid out before him (though he doesn’t know it yet). Rafe, upon his return, is expecting his life to continue as normal, with his best friend and girlfriend. Little does he know that Danny and Evelyn have formed a relationship, and when he finds out, he feels he’s lost both of them. 15)Chapter 19: Geography Matters Foster defines geography as any setting in a story that can define or be developed by characters in the story. In To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harper Lee sets up the book to describe the area, and the people who lived there.

Like when she describes Alabama, which is a confederate state and is known to very traditional and close minded. And also town itself is small and rural town where everyone knows everybody else’s business. When Lee’s describes Boo’s house it top to bottom; making it seem creepy and mysteries. Then she describes the other neighbor’s houses like Maddie. Her beautiful garden and how much she cared for it. Lee was making an introduction with the characters in the story before the character was even introduced. In the To Kill Mocking Bird, Lee used the geography setting around to describe who and what her characters where.

Chapter 20:

So Does the Season Robert Forest uses the poem October, to translate to the reader the in meaning full way, describing the passing of life, and how quickly it passes by. In the poem he describes how he wishes his young years slowed down, and old age, the frost of winter, will not settle in so quickly. It’s very good seasonal poem about ageing and the hope of “less brief” days.

Interlude: One Story

An archetype is an idea, person, or situation which is repeated in literature. An example of an archetype would be the mad scientist type of character which appears in many stories.

A mad scientist doesn't have to be evil or crazy; he just has to be so dedicated to his work that nothing else seems to matter. One example of this would be Dexter from the show Dexter's Laboratory. He is constantly building crazy inventions which seem to always be destroyed by his sister. He has virtually no friends because he spends all of his time in his lab. Doc from Back to the Future would be another example of a mad scientist. He designs a time machine and uses wild and impractical methods to acquire materials and build the machine. When the device works it sends his friend Marty to the past and causes a whole mess.

Chapter 21: Marked of Greatness

Harry Potter is left with only a mere scar of a lightning bolt, from his first encounter with Lord Voldemort. Voldemort had succeeded in killing many of the people living in the magical world, including Harry’s parents, but simply cannot defeat Harry even when he is only a baby. Anyone who is familiar with the Harry Potter series knows that the reason Harry was able to survive and defeat Lord Voldemort was because of the ‘power of love’ his mother displayed towards Harry. So from this scar we understand that Harry has what Lord Voldemort will never be able to defeat, which is simply the act of being loved.

As the series continues and we learn that Lord Voldemort is slowly coming back into power, we already know the one person who has the power to defeat the dark lord. The only person who can bring Lord Voldemort back down from his power is the one who stripped away his strength and power in the first place, the boy who lived: Harry Potter.

Chapter 25: Don’t Read With Your Eyes

In the “Scarlett Letter” Pearl, Hester’s daughter, was born out of wed-lock; so the towns people and, even her own mother, believed that she is evil and a “demon offspring”.

As a twenty-first century reader that belief is ridicules because it happens in most cautions by choice or with “accidental” action. As for the reader of the time; in the late 1600 it was a strong colonial belief that the action, in this case the sin, of the parents will reflect of the child, and therefore the child is evil too. The author makes the assumption that the readers have a religious mindset and have same believe system. In this day in age, we do not have the same mentality. In some cases it could be bearer like Forster said, for the reader might shut out everything the book author had.

Chapter 26: Is He Serious?

And Other Ironies In 1984 by George Orwell, this book is filled with irony from start to finish. Throughout the whole book every Party character is governed by the rule of double think. As Orwell writes "doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them". This is a good example of irony because it is humanly impossible to grasp the meaning of this. Winston is surrounded by many ironic things such as when he goes to rent an apartment with Julia he believes that he is safe from harm’s way because he is in Prole territory.

However he later finds out that the man renting them the room was a member of the thought police and the monitor was located behind the picture. When Winston was captured and thrown in jail he was physically torn apart by little food and hazardous condition this was used to help kill the rebellion inside him. However, the real test comes when he meets his fate in room 101. Here he is faced with his biggest fear: rats. They set up a face mask as to where the rats can attack his face, but before they release them Winston begins to speak of Big Brother and he once again becomes a loyal member of the party.

The irony here is so strong due to the fact that he wanted to over throw the party just a few weeks before hand. Winston was worn down and broken. He become like every other member of the party, the very party he had hoped to destroy forever.

Chapter 27: A Test Cast Answering the Prompt:

  1.  In the short story “The Garden Party”, Mansfield is signifies to the reader how far the rich is to the poor. The rich class is so high and busy with their things, they don’t pay attention to the lower class. They are so detach with lower class, that they have no real sympathy, just pity.
  2. She signifies this in her story by describing where both distinct families lived. The Sheridan’s lived higher up and their poorer neighbors live down below.

The Sheridan’s didn’t even allowed their children to play with “the revolting children and their infected diseased. ” So when Mrs. Sheridan send Laura, the youngest daughter, to give poor family left-over from the party, she went down to darken cottages, and saw the misery and heartbreak. It opens her up to question what life really is. “Isn’t life…? ” She asked her dear brother, but even he couldn’t really answer the question. Though my erspective was completely different from the other examples, like Foster’s example of Persephone; it surprised me how much Greek mythology is in so many literature works, and how much I recognized and understood where he cited all is information. Though, Diane’s prespective blew me away. I honestly think I would never see that much detail in the story as she did. To be honest I had some prejudice feelings toward this story after finding out the Sheridan’s where rich, so it did limit my true understanding of the story. Now I see it was more of Laura’s story then a political story between the rich and the poor.

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How to Read Like a Professor by: Thomas C. Foster. (2018, Jul 26). Retrieved from

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