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How to Read Literature Like a Professor A summary of the book by Thomas Foster.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Read Literature Like a Professor A summary of the book by Thomas Foster."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Read Literature Like a Professor A summary of the book by Thomas Foster

2 “Every Trip is a Quest (Except When It’s Not)” A Quester A Place to go A stated reason for going Challenges and trials A real reason to go there

3 “Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion” “whenever people eat or drink together, it’s communion.” Sharing food is an act of community Eating is a mundane human need, so why write about it?

4 “ Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires” Attractive Alluring Dangerous Mysterious Focuses on beautiful, unmarried girls Thrives on their vitality They end up becoming like him

5 If it seems Biblical, it probably is… Garden of Eden Serpent Tree of Knowledge Apple Adam and Eve Cain and Abel Great Flood Noah’s Ark Abraham and Isaac The Ten Commandments The Ark of the Covenant The plagues The escape from Egypt Dove/lamb Baptism Communion Last Supper Sacrifice #40 #7 Thirty pieces Betrayed with a kiss Cross/crucifixion Resurrection The four horsemen The Antichrist

6 “weather is never just weather”

7 Violence: 1. provides action 2. causes plot complication 3. ends plot complication 4. creates stress Specific injury to characters Standard shootings, stabbings, poisonings, etc. for which the characters are guilty Narrative violence Death and suffering authors introduce for plot advancement or thematic development (author is guilty, not characters)

8 “Is That a Symbol?” YES

9 Identifying a Christ figure: Crucified, wounds in the hands/feet Self-sacrificing Good with children Good with loaves, fishes, water, wine 33 years old Employed as carpenter Known to use humble modes of transportation Believed to have walked on water Known to have spent time alone in the wilderness Believed to have had a confrontation with the devil (tempted) Last seen in the company of thieves Creator of many aphorisms and parables Buried, but arose on the third day Had disciples (12 at first) Very forgiving Came to redeem an unworthy world

10 If you are submerged in water and … …you don’t come back up, you die Your death is significant…see previous slides …you emerge from the water, you are reborn. But that doesn’t necessarily mean life is better

11 “when writers send characters south, it’s so they can run amok” Low: Swamps Crowds Fog Darkness Heat People Death The underworld High: Snow Purity Thin air Light Clean views Isolation Life Mount Olympus

12 The Four Seasons: Spring = rebirth, resurrection, beginning, cleansing Summer = vibrancy, life, youth, passion Fall = aging, ending, loss, decay Winter = death, paralysis, loss, barrenness

13 Outward appearances can be important to characterization!

14 Illness isn’t just illness: 1.Not all diseases are created equal Thus, for a prime literary disease: 2.It should be picturesque 3.It should be mysterious in origin 4.It should have strong metaphorical possibility

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