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Giants In Time Response Essay

623 words - 3 pages

What is the similarity between literature and reality? Is it the imaginary setting, the violent thoughts, or the manipulative conversations? According to Frye there are no differences between literature and reality. In chapter three of Northrop Frye’s The Educated Imagination, “Giants in time” he discusses how literature is universal and basically a virtual reality. Literature is neither real nor unreal; it is what we perceive it as from our individual point of view. In this chapter Frye distinguished how symbolism in literature is actually a direct representation of reality. This is explained by the quote, "This correspondence of the natural and the human is one of the things that the word “symbol” means, so we can say that whenever a writer uses an image, or object from the world around him, he’s made it a symbol.” (Frye, 37) Frye stated in this quote that the symbols in literature actually are taken from writer’s experience in reality. Poetry is a perfect example of this. Poets use symbolism to enrich the meaning of their poem, thus allowing the reader to have a more in depth pictorial image of what the poem is about.
An intriguing point in this chapter is that Frye proposes that literature is neither real nor unreal. Literature has been around seemingly forever, however, distinguishing between the “real” literature and the “unreal” would serve as the key concept to this chapter. Literature is real because since it is directly derived from human experience. This makes me reference to the book “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. Martel was able to use animals as a representation of real characters that was in the book, which would include both the real and unreal portions of literature. The protagonist was stuck on a boat with four animals which included a zebra, orang-utan, hyena, and tiger. Each...

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