How To Read Literature Like A Professor Analysis

Pages: 5 (1004 words) Published: January 25, 2018


Three insights that I learned from How to Read Literature Like a Professor are to look at the character’s internal reasons for completing a task, note the authors word choice in figurative language, and look for a deeper meaning tied to the setting or an image that the author is creating. The first insight was given in chapter one of How to Read Literature Like a Professor; “The real reason for a quest is always self-knowledge” (3). This piece of information was very useful as I read the section of “Winter in the South” written by Henry David Strother. The idea of looking at the mental reason a character or group of characters is doing something was very helpful in understanding the motives of the men. In the quote “Away they dashed, crushing...

In chapter two of How to Read Literature Like a Professor Foster explains “Whenever people eat or drink together, it’s communion” (8). There is a connotation of church with the word communion and ties the act of eating to something sacred. This shows that a meal together is not telling of the act of eating but more of a deeper meaning of people being intimate. An example in the week’s readings is in John Lederer's narrative where he uses spring to signify life. The idea of spring equating life is a common theme but Lederer uses the traveling through shaded woods as winter and the top of a mountain as spring. The large open sky seen at the top of the mountain is filled with life as well (21). It is also interesting that Lederer notes “These Savanae are low grounds at the foot of the Apalataeans, which all the Winter, Spring, and part of the Summer, lie under snow or water” (21). This shows the Lederer knows that the mountains are constantly living and dying as humans and animals do. Lederer is likley showing how the Native Americans explained the mountains to him. The mountain is alive and breathing to Lederer and he shows it through the use of the seasons spring and winter and the colors of the sky as light and...

I found this information in chapter two as well, “no writer ever took such care about food and drink, so marshaled his forces to create a military effect of armies drawn up as if for battle” (13). Here Foster is explaining how the food is being used to create a battle scene throught the imagery of how the food is lined up and placed on the table. In the readings this week I found the selections from the “Myths of the Cherokee” to be filled with imagery and symbolism. The Cherokee myth “The Uktena And The Ulûñsû'tï” tells the story of a very deadly snake. “The Uktena is a great snake, as large around as a tree trunk, with horns on its head, and a bright, blazing crest like a diamond upon its forehead, and scales glittering like sparks of fire” (298). While the Cherokee do not believe in Christianity there can definitely be a connection to the idea of the Uktena being the devil. The image of a snake is commonly associated with the devil and the fact that “whoever is seen by the Uktena is so dazed by the bright light that he runs toward the snake instead of trying to escape” (299). “Whoever owns the Ulûñsû'tî is sure of success in hunting, love, rainmaking, and every other business, but its great use is in life prophecy” (299). These two quote highlight the fact that the going to hunt the Uktena is very tempting;...
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