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These are questions from the book "How to Read Literature Like a Professor"

I understand the questions from the other chapters, but I do not understand these questions. Can you help?


Chapter 13: "It's All Political" (108-116)

1.     What does Foster mean when he says, "Nearly all writing is political on some level"?



2.     Foster offers a "political" reading of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories "The Masque of the Red Death" and

"The Fall of the House of Usher" and Washing Irving's sketch "Rip Van Winkle." Note how Foster places these authors and their works firmly within their historical contexts. What does Foster infer about Poe's and Irving's "political" attitudes toward the Europe and America of their respective time periods?



3.     Briefly summarize Foster's "political" interpretation of Sophocles' tragedy Oedipus at Colonus.



4.     Provide your own "political" reading of Sophocles' tragedy Oedipus Rex.



Chapter 21: "Marked for Greatness" (193-200)

5.     According to Foster, what two concepts do "character markings" represent?



6.     Pay careful attention to Foster's analysis of Sophocles' tragedy Oedipus Rex. According to Foster, of what do Oedipus' scars "speak"? What do these character markings "address"?



7.     SPOILER WARNING: Foster discusses Mary Shelley's tragedy Frankenstein. In what way is the so-called monster "marked for greatness"? What does it (he?) represent?



8.     Foster provides more insights (Hint: Faustian bargain! Doppelgänger!) on Frankenstein; however, these will make more sense to you after you read Shelley's novel, so be sure to reread pages pp. 199-200 after you read Frankenstein



Chapter 22: "He's Blind for a Reason, You Know" (201-206)

9.     What does literal blindness usually signify?



10.  According to Foster, what did Oedipus Rex, "more than any other work," teach him to do?



11.  If readers pay attention, what does the text usually tell them? What do truly great works place on readers and make readers do?



12.  What does Foster mean by "the Indiana Jones principle"?

Answer & Explanation
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