Presentation on theme: "Laura Salvador September 28, 2011 Period: 4. When a Character gets Wet… Rebirth: the character can be reborn after submersion, leaving his/her old self."— Presentation transcript:
When a Character gets Wet… Rebirth: the character can be reborn after submersion, leaving his/her old self in the water and emerging a new person. As Thomas Foster bluntly says, “He’s reborn” (155). Baptism: the character can have a new or renewed connection with God after the symbolic washing away of sins. Death: the author can choose to have the character die while drowning.
Rebirth Many authors choose to have their characters be “reborn” after a traumatic, usually wet, experience. In most stories, there is a plot changing experience where “A young man sails away from his known world, dies out of one existence, and comes back a new person” (Foster 155). Sometimes, the character resents and protests their transformation. A character’s “rebirth” does not have to be symbolic or alluding, it might merely be a fresh start.
Baptism When a character gets wet, he can be baptized: “baptism, in which taking the new believer completely underwater causes him to die out of his old self and to be reborn in his identity as a follower of Christ” (Foster 159). Through baptism, there is death of your old self, and rebirth through Christ. Being reborn and being reborn through Christ are two completely separate things. A person can be “reborn” with caution after tripping and scraping his knee, and deciding to be more careful, but baptism is when the person’s sins are washed away and he is entirely new.
Baptism Symbolism Foster talks about Noah’s flood, and then relates it to baptism, saying, “baptism is a sort of reenactment on a very small scale of that drowning and restoration of life” (159). Baptism is very symbolic and meaningful for Christians, because it’s following Jesus' example. In the picture above, Jesus is getting baptized by John the Baptist. Baptizing brings you closer to God, not by creating the connection, but professing publicly your connection with Him.
Death Death can be hugely symbolic, all important, or simply that “[the character is] already lost, and the issue for the novelist is how to have him physically depart the scene” (Foster 156). Sometimes, the author fills a character with psychological pain, physical injuries, or emotional conflict to figuratively show how a character is dead. They might not be literally dead, but they can be figuratively dead. Drowning is a popular option for disposing of the character, as it’s a simple snip of Fate’s thread. There is no mystery, no question, no doubt- if a person isn’t breathing, then they’re dead.
Symbolism Authors include death, rebirth, and baptism to give their story depth. As Foster says, “All happy families are the same, but every unhappy one has its own story” (161). Everybody wants to be a hero. No one wants to read about a boring, normal person, they want to read a heart- wrenching story, that fills them with pride for their character. Often, the character goes through DROB. (Death, Rebirth, or Baptism) Depending on the author, DROB can mean completely different things. Some authors have had actual life- or – death experiences in water, and they vent their fear, pain, and emotions through their writing. Others merely use DROB to add to the plot line.
Great Expectations When Pip returns from Egypt, he goes to Satis House. There, “A cold silvery mist had veiled the afternoon…I had never seen before, [sic]the saddened softened light of the once proud eyes; what I had never felt before was the friendly touch of the once insensible hand” (Dickens 536-537). Pip and Estella get wet from the mist, and they both see each other in new lights; they are “reborn” in each other’s eyes. Estella no longer sees Pip as the coarse country boy, but as a gentleman that has always given her love when no one else has. In this way, she is gentler and friendlier to Pip. Pip doesn’t see Estella as the cold, hard, beauty anymore: she is the lovely, humble lady who has finally left her troubled past behind her.
Everyday Life Baptism is a BIG part of my life, as I’m Baptist, and a strong Christian. This project on baptism has been really coincidental for me, as my sister got baptized this past Sunday. When I was at church camp this summer, I learned a lot about baptism; it really is when you “die” of your old self and are “reborn” through Him. Whenever I hear about “death by drowning” fear always grips my heart, maybe because we live almost hour away from an ocean, or the fact that I swim almost 12 hours a week.
Works Cited Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. New York: Barnes and Noble Classics, 2003. Print. Foster, Thomas C. How to Read Literature Like a Professor. New York: Harper- Collins Publishers, Inc., 2003. Print.
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