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How to Read Literature Notes

Author’s Craft: Basically, the author, Thomas C. Foster, introduced himself as the narrator who would be
telling the story. He wrote the book almost as if there were direct dialogue between the narrator and us, the

Chapter 4: In the given sonnet, the first period comes at the end of line 8. The octave is the single unit of
meaning and equals 8 lines. First 8 lines carry one idea; the last six carry a related idea.

Chapter 5: There is no such thing as a wholly original piece of literature. There’s only one story, ever.
Dialogue between old texts and new is always going on.

Chapter 6: Between 18th&20th centuries, Shakespeare dominated. By using Shakespeare’s methods, writers
add a sense of respect.

Chapter 7: Maybe a writer doesn’t want enriching motifs (repeating theme), characters, themes, or plots,
but just needs a title. The Bible is full of possible titles. More common than titles are situations and

Chapter 8: Folklore & fairytale is widely used due to the fact that everyone knows about them & can relate.

Chapter 9: Myth is a body of story that matters. Greek & Roman myth is more than just Homer.

Chapter 10: Weather is never just weather (setting). The setting can be used as a plot device.

Chapter 11: Violence is one of the most personal & even intimate acts between human beings, but it can
also be cultural in its implications. Violence is everywhere in literature. Violence may be used in symbolic

Chapter 12: The problem with symbols is people expect them to mean something. The other problem is
that many readers expect them to be objects and images rather than events or actions.

Chapter 13: The political writing I (author) personally dislike is programmatic, pushing a single cause or
concern or party position into a highly topical situation that doesn’t transfer well out of its own specific time
and place.

Chapter 14: No matter what your religious beliefs, to get the most out of your reading of European &
American literatures, knowing something about the Old & New Testaments is essential.

Chapter 15: Culturally & literally, humans have toyed with the idea of flight since earliest times. Flight is
Freedom *Irony trumps everything!*

Chapter 16: Fuud unlocked the sexual subconscious in 1900 with his novel The Interpretation of Dreams.

Chapter 17: The queen of sexual subversiveness, though, must be the late Angela Carter.

Chapter 19: Geography in literature can also be more. It can be revelatory of any element in the work,
theme symbol, & most importantly, plot!

Chapter 20: Happiness & dissatisfaction have thin seasons. Seasons are not the exclusive property of high
culture. Every writer can make modifications in his/her use of the seasons, and the variation produced keeps
seasonal symbolism fresh & interesting.

Chapter 21: Typically when a character is physically marked, they are so for greatness!

Chapter 22: Every move, every statement by or about that character has to accommodate the lack of sight;
every other character has to notice, to behave differently, if only in subtle ways.

Chapter 23: In literature there is no better, no more lyrical, no more perfectly metaphorical illness than
heart disease. Aside from being the pump that keeps us alive, the heart is also, and has been since ancient
times, the symbolic repository of emotion.
How to Read Literature Notes

Chapter 25: Don’t read with only our views in this day & age, sometimes, you need to respect views from
different time periods. Think ahead: Can this person be saved?

Chapter 26: Irony trumps everything!