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How to read literature like a professor outline

Preface: Why & how he got around to writing the book and how he felt after hearing all the critiques. The critiques showed him how no matter how an author thinks they’re writing their book it will always be perceived a million other ways.

Introduction: There are lots of ways to interpret a text how ever not everyone will agree with the way one way interpret. A normal person will usually just read the words how ever a professor will read between the lines and use memory, symbol, and pattern.

Chapter 1: There can be many layers to one story and one way to look at a story is as if it is a quest. A quest in each story can be understood differently from each reader depending on what they decide to make connections to and how they decide interpret. Quests usually have five key components to make it a structurally sound quest; a quester, a place to go, a stated reason to go there, challenges/trials, and the real reason to go (self knowledge).

Chapter 2: Not everything needs to have a symbolic meaning, sometimes it really isn’t that deep. How ever sometimes things like eating food really are deeper than just eating food and you need to read through a different perspective. Communion keeps people together and makes people have different vibes with one another even if there is something that sets them apart. Deep reading makes you catch things in a different light. Communion isn’t always religious. Eating a meal together usually means you like each other or have some sort of business to talk about.

Chapter 3: Ghosts and vampires can symbolize more than just ghosts and vampires being frightening, they can symbolize outcomes that occur in real life that may frighten people. Vampires help show selfishness, exploitation and rudeness. They symbolize people and how they use others and take advantage. Though there can be the same type of plots in many different books each books have their own meanings set in different times and places. Ghosts and vampires don’t always have to be directly mentioned to compare a character to one of the creatures or to anything. There are many commonalities between the past and present nut there are also many differences that help set stories apart.

Chapter 4: Making connections to past stories and noticing repeated patterns between different books is hard but with practice it is possible. There is no one original story, every story has something borrowed from another story because everyone has similar experiences in life.

Chapter 5: Shake spears work is everywhere and it helps to know his work so you can recognize when its used in a similar fashion.

Chapter 6: The bible is often referenced in books, whether if its obvious or whether if you have to really think about it. How ever it does not always have to have a religious message it is simply there because of how involved in life it is. Names of characters should be seen as symbols, the names should help you learn more information about each character.

Chapter 7: The canon is a list of important texts (there isn’t an actual list) , the list is always changing and is different for everyone. Fairytales are very common and popular within in books because everyone usually is familiar with some type of fairytale where as not everyone has read or heard of the same book. Stories usually relate universally and help connect people to real life.

Chapter 8: Myths are an important part of literature and many cultures have there own myths, giving all people different perspectives of analyzing. Myths like everything have an origin but get changed throughout in order to fit the story line. Greek myths are very popular.

Chapter 9: Weather is never just weather, theres always a symbolic reference behind it, such as power or even weakness. For example rain can be seen as cleansing someone or it can be just another dramatic effect in a story. Symbolic meaning are also within snow, fog, rainbows, wind, etc. Weather is very important in a scene.

Chapter 10: It helps to be able to know how to identify what each character is in each story, especially the protagonist. Death is very common in books and help keep the story interesting. Though its easy to connect with characters they still re not real people, they are just apart of our imaginations and how we choose to perceive them. Some characters are round while others are flat, meaning some are more important than others.

Interlude: Everything within a story was meant to be there, nothing was accidental, it all has a purpose.

Chapter 11: Violence can be plot based or character based meaning it can be something the character has complete control of such as fighting someone or something that happens to the character that he does not have control of such as getting sick. Violence usually always has some type of symbolic meaning.

Chapter 12: Symbols are everywhere within literature. They can never mean one specific things because not one specific person interprets things exactly the same. How ever allegories always have one specific message, you have to think deep to find it but its always one specific message the writer wants you to figure out.

Chapter 13: Historical context is very important when it comes to reading, the more history you know, the more of the book you can interpret deeply. Writers usually use current events in their lives to write their stories. For example texts from the 90s and earlier may include a lot of racism or feminism because those were huge issues during that time. Knowing information about the author can help understand their books better.

Chapter 14: Characters can posses qualities of Jesus. Usually it is not hard to notice references that are christian and even if you may have other beliefs you can notice them. Reading isn’t about what you believe and how you feel, reading is supposed to make you feel a certain way at some point depending on whats written and how you perceive it. Christ like figures often represent sacrifice, redemption and hope. Features that make christ are; crucified, wounds in the hands, feet, side, and head, in agony, self-sacrificing, good with children, good with loaves, fishes, water, wine, thirty-three years of age when last seen, employed as a carpenter, known to use humble modes of transportation, feet or donkeys preferred, believed to have walked on water, often portrayed with arms outstretched, known to have spent time alone in the wilderness, believed to have had a confrontation with the devil, possibly tempted, last seen in the company of thieves, creator of many aphorisms and parables, buried, but arose on the third day, had disciples, twelve at first, although not all equally devoted, very forgiving, came to redeem an unworthy world.

Chapter 15: Having the ability to fly usually always represents freedom. Often dying represents freedom too, your soul rising into heaven. Another example is when a plane explodes and the people fly through the air and somehow survive. Flight also can symbolize escaping, returning home, and love. Experiencing flight should always cause questions to arise as to why the flight happened and how did things change.

Chapter 16: Sex is and always has been apart of humanity since forever how ever the views on sex have indeed changed. Many things can be thought of as as sex, from trains entering tunnels to keys being placed into locks. Sexual symbolism is everywhere. In older literature sex is usually written in metaphors.

Chapter 17: Writers use other things to bring up sex rather than directly talking about sex but when they do directly talk about sex it has a deeper meaning. For example it can mean freedom, power, enlightenment, control, etc.

Chapter 18: Baptism within a book usually symbolizes a rebirth, a way of showing someone has grown after being submerged under water. How ever when they do not reemerge from water it usually just means they died and they usually die because they were suffering in some way.

Chapter 19: It is important to analyze geographical location because more often than not the locations symbolize things. Places can represent safety, like the suburbs, or they can represent craziness and wilderness like a jungle. The setting of the story can affect the actions of the character. Highs and lows (hills an valleys for example) are commonly used by writers to represent different thing ranging for purity and clear views to death and unpleasantness. Geography can symbolize the mood a character.

Chapter 20: The seasons often represent ages for example spring correlates to childhood, summer to adulthood, fall to middle age, and winter to old age. The seasons can also represent youth, romance, tiredness/harvest, and death. Each season can represent a type of emotion such as passion, anger, freshness, and exhaustion.

Interlude: All stories are similar, they all come from one thing but are told differently. Intertextuality means everything is connected and archetype means pattern.

Chapter 21: Scars that are explained in books always have a significant meaning, they can explain the persons past and what happened to them. Physical appearances are also a symbol, they can show whether a person is evil or good however sometimes looks can be deceiving.

Chapter 22: When a writers incorporates a blind person into the writing it is usually done for a metaphorical purpose. Usually the blind are the ones that are able to see beyond while the others are blinded by the world and unable to see beyond the present situation.

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