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The New Perspective Essay

1451 words - 6 pages

You know, I thought I had a firm grasp on the guilt that I have felt over the last three years, but it turns out there is more to it. In my last essay, I confronted my guilt in a more spiritual sense I think, but this time around I feel like there is an even more tangible lesson to learn and it can ultimately affect how I am as a person in the future. I remember reading stories like Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia as they were – just stories of wizards with the ability to make things float or disappear and with worlds that are simply just a wardrobe away. However, I never imagined that under all that magic it could be interpreted to be so much more – that this young wizard and his world or the journey that the Pevensie’s go on could be used to teach lessons. We’ve been reading all our stories allegorically rather than literally and I have found that to be very fascinating because it gives the stories even more worth to them. So with this essay, I will look back to my midterm paper at the decision I made to cause my guilt and determine this: what lessons can I learn from it? First though, I must look at what it means to read literature allegorically rather than literally.
From what we have been discussing in class, I have come to the conclusion that to read the stories allegorically is to go beyond just what is written on the paper, to know that what is happening at that moment is not what you should be taking away, but rather to see that it as another way of interpreting a lesson that they want you to understand. For example, take a look at Augustine. I feel he was able to execute the ability to read allegorically really well in his Confessions. Like many people before and after him, Augustine sought for complexity in the things that he heard, read, or saw and that is due I think to the fact that he was educated. His rhetorical background played a role in the way he interpreted things because he “was repelled by their simplicity, and [he] had not the mind to penetrate into their depths. They were indeed of a nature to grow in Your little ones. But [he] could not bear to be a little one; [he] was only swollen with pride…[he] seemed a very big man” (Augustine 910). Augustine finds the way the Bible was written then to be too simplistic, more fitting for children so there was no reason to interpret it, but what he didn’t understand then was that within that simplicity was a message that could have provided the growth that his mind sought. I understand his inability to convert to Christianity due to the fact that it was something that did not parallel with what he had been taught because I have also felt conflicted like Augustine when it came to religion before.
However, we can see that as Augustine is writing his confessions, he is continuously reading even his own work allegorically. An example was in the way he had interpreted his younger self weeping over the death of Dido. In book II, Augustine writes about how he...

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