How to read Literature Like a Professor Notes
Introduction: How’d He Do That?
-Literature has deeper meaning
o Character Symbolism
1. Villains can have demonic characteristics
2. Protagonists can be portrayed as knights or other symbols of positive nature
o Situational Symbolism
1. Deals with the devil are when the protagonist is offered a quick solution out of a problem at the cost of his/her “soul”
Chapter 1: Every trip is a Quest (Except when it’s not)
o Trips in fiction
1. In a trip/quest the protagonist is never the same as when he started the trip/quest
2. Protagonists that go on a trip/quest always find personal revelation from their quest
o Change in quest line
1. A characters quest is never about what they set out to do in the beginning, the beginning of the quest is used to:
▪ Create back story
▪ Motivate plot development
▪ Define character development
o Self-knowledge on quests
1. The quest is educational
▪ Protagonists become wiser as they overcome obstacles
▪ The protagonist often lacks self knowledge at the beginning of quests, so that’s what makes the quest necessary
Nice to Eat with you: Acts of Communion
o Sharing meals
1. If characters share a meal, that shows that they are on good terms or are trying to get on good terms with each other
▪ Shows bonding
▪ May resolve conflict
▪ Shows communion
2. Eating with enemies
▪ Eating with an enemy creates common ground between the two, creating an environment that is friendly
▪ If a person that is disliked comes up to the table of the person eating, the person may stop eating so the person feels unwelcome.
Chapter 5: Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before?
o No literature is original
1. You can’t write something that someone else hasn’t written about...