How to Read Literature like a Professor Notes
Conventions In stones: Types of characters Plot rhythms Chapter structures Point-of-view limitations Chapter 1: Every Trip is a Quest (Except When It’s Not) The reason for a quest Is always self-knowledge The stated reason is never the actual reason to go on a quest, the real reason for a quest is self-knowledge. Most of the time, when a piece of literature involves someone going somewhere and doing something, it is a quest. Chapter 2: Nice to Eat You: Acts of Communion Whenever people eat or drink together, it’s communion
Sharing a meal Is a very personal thing (you wouldn’t have a meal someone you hated).
Food Is a universal thing that we as humans share. In Cathedral a man who hated people with disabilities bonded to a man who was blind over food. Chapter 5: Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before? There is no such thing as a wholly original work of literature All authors pull inspiration from previous works. In Going After Cacciatore, Tim O’Brien pulls inspiration from Lewis Carol’s Alice In Wonderland when he has his character saying that they have to fall up to get out, onto Vetting tunnel.
Authors also use historical Inspiration. O’Brien models the main character’s lover interest after Showcases (a brown-skinned young women guiding a group of mostly white men, speaking a language they don’t know, knowing where to go, where to find food, and taking them west) There is only one story. Chapter 9: It’s All Greek to Me Myth Is the body of story that matters Greek and Roman myths are so Ingrained Into our consciousness that we don’t realize how apparent they are. Like in William Carols Williams painting Landscape with Fall of Cirrus.
Without the legs sticking out of the water in that making the painting that much less popular. Chapter 12: Is That A Symbol If it’s not symbolism, it’s allegory Symbols are personal things We want It to mean one thing, but Is Impossible because then the novel ceases to be what it is, “a network of meanings and signification. ” Meaning doesn’t lie of the surface of the novel. Authors may have the same object mean a variety of things. Pay attention to how you feel about the text. It probably means something. Interlude: Does He Mean That?