a.Violence can be symbolic, thematic, biblical, Shakespearean, Romantic, allegorical, transcendent. b.Two categories of violence in literaturei.Character caused—shootings, stabbings, drownings, poisonings, bombings, hit and run, etcii.Death and suffering for which the characters are not responsible. Accidents are not really accidents.c.Violence is symbolic action, but hard to generalize meaningd.Questions to ask:i.What does this type of misfortune represent thematically? ii. What famous or mythic death does this one resemble? iii. Why this sort of violence and not some other? 12. Is That a Symbol?a.Yes. But figuring out what is tricky. Can only discuss possible meanings and interpretationsb.There is no one definite meaning unless it’s an allegory, where characters, events, places have a one-on-one correspondence symbolically to other things. (Animal Farm)c.Actions, as well as objects and images, can be symbolic. i.e. “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frostd.How to figure it out? Symbols are built on associations readers have, but also on emotional reactions. Pay attention to how you feel about a text.13.It’s All Politicala.Literature tends to be written by people interested in the problems of the world, so most works have a political element in themb.Issues:i.Individualism and self-determination against the needs of society for conformity andstability.ii.Power structuresiii.Relations among classesiv.issues of justice and rightsv.interactions between the sexes and among various racial and ethnic constituencies.14.Yes, She’s a Christ Figure, Tooa.Characteristics of a Christ Figure:i.crucified, wounds in hands, feet, side, and head, often portrayed with arms outstretchedii.in agonyiii.self-sacrificingiv.good with childrenv.good with loaves, fishes, water, winevi.thirty-three years of age when last seenvii.employed as a carpenterviii.known to use humble modes of transportation, feet or donkeys preferredix.believed to have walked on waterx.known to have spent time alone in the wildernessxi.believed to have had a confrontation with the devil, possibly temptedxii.last seen in the company of thievesxiii.creator of many aphorisms and parablesxiv.buried, but arose on the third dayxv.had disciples, twelve at first, although not all equally devotedxvi.very forgivingxvii.came to redeem an unworthy world
b.As a reader, put aside belief system. c.Why us Christ figures? Deepens our sense of a character’s sacrifice, thematically has to do with redemption, hope, or miracles.d.If used ironically, makes the character look smaller rather than greater 15.Flights of Fancy a.Daedalus and Icarusb.Flying was one of the temptations of Christc.Symbolically: freedom, escape, the flight of the imagination, spirituality, return home, largeness of spirit, loved.Interrupted flight generally a bad thinge.
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- Fall '17
- i., Figure It Out, Sarcasm, The Symbolic, Thomas C. Foster