7/5/12 Notes – How To Read Literature by Thomas C. Foster Introduction: How’d He Do That? 1. Interpreting Literature A. Same Story, Different Theory, Why? The Professor is a lot more experienced than his students “We don’t get it. And we think you’re making it up. ” – His mind is open to different theories and situations, making him somewhat optimistic. While they’re pretty much closed minded only viewing situations from one point of view. They’re not using the same method of thinking
They don’t have the same “language of reading,” the students aren’t applying the same rules and strategies that the professor has learned to apply over time Putting aside the age difference, simply, people don’t think alike B. Grammar of Literature Novels, poems, plays, movies, etc. all have patterns. After the pattern is complete the audience is either pleased or not. Memory, symbol, and pattern are interpreted differently, separating professorial reading from everyone else Memory – After watching a great movie, it sticks to you.
So when reading a book that the same events somewhat relates to the characters actions in the movie, one will automatically apply what they saw in the movie to the characters action which opens up another view or interpretation of what’s going on. Symbol – Professors read symbolically, opening their minds to different ideas and comparisons between different things that a student, for example, wouldn’t be able to find alike any way, shape, or form. Pattern – Observing a pattern of literature has a lot to do with mechanism 2.
Every Trip Is a Quest (Except When It’s Not) A. When It’s Not? The story with the young teenager didn’t seem like a quest but in fact was because it had the same characters and actions that a quest has, it’s a quest in disguise. A quest consist of five things and the story had those five exact things, it just wasn’t so obvious The quester is usually young and inexperienced The quester usually fails the stated task In a quest, there’s always challenges and trials 3. How, Where Have I Seen This Before? A. Connecting the dots
After studying and practicing literature for so long, a person begins to recognize patterns and concepts Studying literature is mostly practice After studying one thing and read others, you begin to connect the two and think “where have i seen this before” 4. It’s Greek to Me A. Myths Myths show sacrifice and lost or heroism and loyalty Authors use myths to have a nice plot We sometimes use myths in our daily language, for comparisons Most myths function in the same manor Every myth have a hero with a dangerous and difficult goal that they either achieve or don’t achieve B.
Underworld The underworld is a setting for final battle Conflicts in the story is made clear in the underworld 5. Is That A Symbol? A. Symbolism Sometimes an author would use allegories instead of symbols Allegories shows a specific message just as an item can be symbolic, so can an action Imagination, instincts, and past experiences is used to find symbolism in literature 6. Does He Mean That? A. 7. … So Does The Season A. “… writers can work magic with the seasons” Famous authors have used seasons as an advantage
Authors use seasons as different symbols for different things For example: age, moods, life, and death Not only do they use seasons but they also use holidays 8. One Story 9. Don’t Read With Your Eyes A. Perspective You shouldn’t read from your point of view When reading certain things to fully understand and get a clear vision it is important to sometimes feel sympathy or even empathy Reading from another perspective helps you to better understand the text When reading something from a different culture one doesn’t have to accept the idea, just sympathy