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I Know I've Heard This Somewhere...

Foster (1-3, 5) -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"Still...You don't believe me."

Last year in my English class, we read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
and following, read The Natural comparing the similarities in both their quests. As I was reading the first chapter from Foster I felt like I was reliving that time and remembered everything he was talking about!! I get it and couldn't be more happy! At times though I do wonder if the authors of the novels are aware that they created the quest in their stories. When The Crying of Lot 49 was written was the quest a preconceived or did it just fall into the the plot?


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Comments (1)

I think that most creative writers know from the start that they need to create a character who wants something, and they need to put obstacles in the way of that character.

"The Quest" is certainly a vivid and imaginative way of thinking of any attempt by a character to get something that they want... while authors probably are not consciously deciding who the dragon will be, what will represent the moat, and what will represent the knight guarding the drawbridge, it probably is true that those images from fairy tale quests were drawn from an even deeper psychological, human conception of what makes a good story, and that all storytellers draw from the same very deep source.

Once you notice the similarities to the standard quest, you can appreciate the particular differences that particular authors chose. For instance, Fitzgerald combines romantic heroes who carry around locks of their loved one's hair with stories of indians -- typically represented in dime novels and early movies as savages -- scalping their victims in the Old West, and Warren (the male romantic lead) is not the hero, but a pawn.

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