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How To Read Literature Like A Professor

3530 words - 15 pages

Chapter Notes

Chapter 1:
When a character sets out on a trip, it is likely the character is setting out on a quest. When one thinks of a quest, it brings to mind a tale of a knight and dangerous road, but a quest can be a simple trip to the store, as long as it contains the elements that make a journey a quest. A quest consists of a quester, a place to go, a stated reason to go there, challenges and trials en route, and a real reason to go there. However, the quest never involves the stated reason, and the real reason is always self-knowledge. For this reason, the characters that embark on quests are often younger and inexperienced. As the character sets out on his or her quest, the original stated reason fades to the background as the focus shifts to the journey of self-discovery.

Chapter 2:
Most of the time, when characters are eating together, it is more than just a meal. Often times, people eating and drinking together is communion. Breaking bread together shows sharing and peace between people. Eating and taking food into our bodies is a personal experience, and doing this with other people typical shows that they are comfortable with each other and trust each other. Sharing a meal can represent the characters that dine together sharing other characteristics or experiences. When an author takes the time and effort to write a meal scene, there is usually another reason that compels him or her to depict the scene. The author can use the meal scene to show how the characters are getting along or how they are not getting along. Sometimes a meal may turn bad or not happen, and this failed meal represents a bad sign. It may show a lack of communication or understanding between the characters.

Chapter 3:
In literature, evil often has to do with sex, lust, seduction, temptation and danger, among other things. Vampirism, for example, is often about selfishness, exploitation, and disrespect for the autonomy of others. Similar to vampires, other scary characters have meaning beyond the surface level. Ghosts and vampires typically mean much more than just ghosts and vampires. Many Victorian writers would use these “monsters” to address taboo subjects such as sex and sexuality. Some writers, like Robert Louis Stevenson, used his works to show the duality of human nature. However, ghosts and vampires do not have to have visible forms; sometimes they can be completely human. These figures can show the selfish and exploitative tendencies of humans. Vampires have many forms, but they share common goals: using people or deny their right to live to get what they want and placing their needs above others’.

Chapter 4:
The sonnet is a very common form of poem that has been used since the English Renaissance and is still widely popular today. It is a style of poem that is versatile, ubiquitous, various, and short. They are often recognizable from the geometry of the poem; it’s square. Consisting of fourteen lines in iambic pentameter, the...

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