1. Spur action 2. Cause plot complications 3. End plot complications 4. Trigger stress in other characters E. Emotional satisfaction of mysteries 1. The problem is solved 2. The question is answered 3. The guilty are punished 4. The victim is avenged ● Violence is more than literal in literature- it is symbolic. ● Violence goes beyond simply moving the plot along Narrative violence should always prompt us to ask, “what does misfortune tell us”? (96) ● Questions to ask while reading about a violent act 1. What does this misfortune accomplish thematically? 2. What famous or mythic death does this one resemble? 3. Why was this particular type of violence used instead of another? Some aspects to consider before answering: • psychological dilemmas • spiritual crises • historical concerns • social concerns • political concerns Chapter 9: Symbols Ask: 1. What does it mean? 2. What does it stand for? Symbolism isn’t universal- you will see various elements from your own unique perspective. You must be able to support your interpretations with the text! An allegory uses different elements to represent different things. In other words, whereas
symbolism usually has one thing representing some idea, an allegory is comprised of a series of symbols that individually represent various ideas Allegories always strive to convey ONE PARTICULAR message Allegories are usually easier to decipher than symbols because ALL readers are supposed to interpret allegories the same way Things that impact our interpretations 1. Education 2. gender 3. race 4. class 5. faith 6. social involvement 7. philosophy Steps to decoding symbols 1. consider our past (allusions) 2. consider the author’s particular use of the item (meaning) Pomerantz 10 3. consider any possible ironic elements 4. reach a conclusion that builds on the the first three steps Caves as symbols 1. connection to humanity’s most primitive elements 2. security and shelter 3. getting in touch with deepest levels of consciousness 4. the idea that ALL experiences are individualized rather than generalized (everyone experiences caves somewhat differently) 5. force us into contact with our deepest fears 6. death 7. the great Void Rivers as symbols 1. death 2. escape 3. danger 4. safety 5. path to maturity 6. division 7. connection 8. corruption of modern life 9. collapse of Western civilization
Mowing (an action) as a symbol 1. Cleansing 2. labor 3. solitary nature of life Break a work down into manageable pieces rather than trying to decipher it as a whole Group ideas Ask questions: 1. What is the writer doing with this image/object/act? 2. what possibilities are suggested by the movement of the narrative? 3. What does the object/image/act FEEL like it’s doing? Three keys to interpreting symbols: 1. Creativity 2. Feelings 3. Instincts Chapter 10: Politics Literature tends to be written by people interested in the problems of the world, so most works have a political element in them A. Issues: a. Individualism and self-determination against the needs of society for conformity and stability.
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- Fall '17
- Writer, Bankruptcy in the United States