work rationally or operates under different rules, the Red Queen, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Wizard, who is a fraud
e . Cinderella: orphaned girl abused by adopted family saved through supernatural intervention and by marrying a prince f. Snow White: Evil woman who brings death to an innocent—again, saved by heroic/princely character
g. Sleeping Beauty: a girl becoming a woman, symbolically, the needle, blood=womanhood, the long sleep an avoidance of growing up and becoming a married woman, saved by, guess who, a prince who fights evil on her behalf.
h. Evil Stepmothers: Queens, Rumpelstilskin i. Prince Charming: heroes who rescue women. (20th century frequently switched—the women save the men—or used highly ironically)
a. Myth is a body of story that matters—the patterns present in mythology run deeply in the human psyche b. Why writers echo myth— because there’s only one story (see #4)
c. Odyssey and Iliad i. Men in an epic struggle over a woman ii. Achilles: a small weakness in a strong man; the need to maintain one’s dignity iii. Penelope (Odysseus’s wife): the determination to remain faithful and to have faith iv. Hector: The need to protect one’s family
d. The Underworld: an ultimate challenge, facing the darkest parts of human nature or dealing with death e. Metamorphoses by Ovid: transformation (Kafka) f. Oedipus: family triangles, being blinded, dysfunctional family
g. Cassandra: refusing to hear the truth h. Dido (& Aeneas) or Medea (& Jason): A wronged woman gone violent in her grief and madness: i. Demeter and Persephone: Mother love
a. Rain = i. fertility and life ii. Noah and the flood iii. Drowning -- one of our deepest fears b. Why? i. plot device ii. Atmospheric iii. misery factor -- challenge characters iv. democratic element -- the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike
c. Symbolically i. rain is clean -- a form of purification, baptism, removing sin or a stain ii. rain is restorative -- can bring a dying earth back to life iii. destructive as well -- causes pneumonia, colds, etc.; hurricanes, etc.
iv. Ironic use -- April is the cruelest month (T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland ) v. Rainbow—God’s promise never to destroy the world again; hope; a promise of peace between heaven and earth vi. fog—almost always signals some sort of confusion; mental, ethical, physical “fog”; people can’t see clearly
d. Snow i. negatively -- cold, stark, inhospitable, inhuman, nothingness, death ii. Positively -- clean, pure, playful iii great unifier = snow falls on all- living and dead.
a. Violence can be symbolic, thematic, biblical, Shakespearean, Romantic, allegorical, transcendent. b. Two categories of violence in literature: i. Character caused -- shootings, stabbings, drownings, poisonings, bombings, hit and run, etc ii. Death and suffering for which the characters are not responsible.
c. Violence is symbolic action , but hard to generalize meaning d. Questions to ask: i. What does this type of misfortune represent thematically?
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- Spring '18
- Writer, The Symbolic