"The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength of insects." Steinbech pg 47
I love the visual that this sentence of the paragraph makes me get. It makes me think of these green tractors with wings. It paints a very interesting picture in my head. I believe that Steinbech makes this paragraph so vivid so that people can get an image of what the characters in the story get to see when the tractors are brought onto the farms. The author uses words such as "crawled" to give the tractors an animalistic appearance. The tractors show the readers the effect that the bank is having on the life styles of the community at this time in the book. With the use of descriptive language, the reader can more fully understand. If you can compare some great insects to the tractors, what do you think of? I think of a prey mantis, with its long legs and the weird shape of their bodies attacking its prey with all its might. What insects do you picture when you read this section of the novel?
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" Have you ever noticed how often literary characters get wet?" Foster pg 153
It took me 18 chapters till I actually think Foster is getting interesting. I found the chapter, If She Comes Up, It's Baptism, very interesting and that Foster really brought up some good interesting points. The above quote really made me think off all the book that I have ever read or movies that I have watched. There are numerous times in the Lord of the Rings, that there are scenes of rain and dealing with water. Water was a very important part of the first book of the series. We can even look at our most recent literary work The Great Gatsby, there are particular scenes in the book where there is rain coming down and as we have learned through close reading, that the rain is a symbol in the story. That is not only just for The Great Gatsby. Some of the best movies of all time have scenes where the characters get "wet", but we all know there is a meaning for the rain. In this chapter of Foster, he gives us so many different interruptations of rain and what it could possible mean.
What some of your favorite movies or books where the character gets "wet" and what do you think it means to the story?
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Jones (starts-turns again; attempts to be facetious). Tell Miss A. the early bird catches the worm.
Telephone Girl: The early worm gets caught
Adding Clerk: He's caught
Telephone Girl: Hooked.
Adding Girl: In the pan.
Filing Clerk: Hot dog
I always liked the phrase "the early bird catches the worm." The people in this conversation really are confusing. They repeat each other and work off each others statements. They awkwardly complete each others sentences. One question that really bothered me when i was reading this play was.. HOT DOG.I tried to do an internet search looking up any meanings. I couldnt find anything hitting towards the meaning. During the play the Filing Clerk is always the person the says "hot dog". I have a feeling that the term hot dog is an insult or something rude. Does anyone have any answers or suggestions? I am really curious
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"It's useful to keep in mind that any aspiring writer is probably also a hungry, agressive reader as well and will have absorbed a tremendous amount of literary history and literary culture."
I don't know about you but i don't think this is a completely true statement. I do believe that many writers out there have an extensive background in literature and have read many of the classics. I do believe that it has made them a better writer. Did you ever read a book, and after you have finished it, thought to yourself... "That book was horrible." I have had a few experiences like that. If an author truly has a background in reading other books as well as literary culture, then they should know what kind of writing topics and style people really enjoy.
These days if you are a celebrity you can pretty much write a book. Naomi Campbell (model) recently wrote a book entitled "Swan". Martina Navratilova (famous tennis player) also recently wrote a mystery book about an ex tennis star. Let's not forget about Fabio now. He is now into writing his own romance novels. So all of these "celebrities" are writing books and trying to make it as an author..Are they very knowledgeable of literature? Sometimes i think people need to just stay in a certain profession and leave the writing to the writers.
Link back to the class website: http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL267/2009/02/foster_how_to_read_literature_2/
"They're such beautiful shirts," she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. "It makes me sad because I've never seen such--such beautiful shirts before." pg 92
This quote really made me think about what kind of character Daisy really was. I think that this quote comes off that she is a very shallow and materialistic individual, but i think it really gives some insight into how she is. Before she said this quote, they were in Gatsby's room and he was telling her how he has a man from England who sends him the new shirts each season. He goes through and shows Daisy what colors and fabrics there are. I really think when Daisy states that she has never seen such "beautiful shirts" that she really means that she is shock of Gatsby. Also, I believe this is the moment when she realizes that she has always loved him, and that Tom was really just stability and money for her. All this time she has known that she should have waited for Gatsby. So does this quote really mean she just likes his shirts, or do they represent her love for him?
"Here's what I think: weather is never just weather. It's never just rain." Foster pg. 75
This is a fundamental statement that everyone needs to understand. The past two classes that we have had, we have been looking into and interpreting poems and one thing that most of these poems have is weather or seasonal elements. Interpretation is such an important thing when reading a piece of work. When looking at weather, rain could mean many different things, or even set a mood.
In The Great Gatsby, there is a scene when the narrator is walking outside of his house and there are vivid images created dealing with the weather. "The sun shone again" for example, may mean that something good had happened. In this case, it was. Gatsby and Daisy had met for the first time in over 5 years. Right before that quote, it had been pouring down rain and that could possibly mean that there was nervousness or some sort of problem when they first met, but after a while the mood in the room got better and then the weather changed.
So the weather is just not the weather is can mean 100 different things and needs to be looked into when you read.
One quote that really confused me and made me think into it and reread it again was when the narrator Nick was attending his first party at Gatsby's house. He was talking to Jordan Baker.
"Anyhow, he gives large parties," said Jordan, changing the subject with an urban distate for the concrete. "And I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isnt any privacy."
If you read this quote again, it doesn't really make sense. You would think that at a large party there is not any privacy. Jordan also states that large parties are intimate, but to most people small parties are intimate. So this tells you what kind of women Jordan really is. She is used to having a many people around and she feels uncomfortable when there are very little people. She is a very social women and her being intimate with people may be difficult. Her way of thinking on this subject shows her personality.
Another quote that I found particularly interesting was when Nick bet Gatsby for the first time.
"I'm Gatsby," he said suddenly. "What!" I exclaimed. "Oh, I beg your pardon."
"I thought you knew, old sport. I'm afraid I'm not a very good host."
If the narrator didn't know who Gatsby was, how many of the other guest there knew what he looked like. It mysterious that everyone knows his name and have some kind of story to tell about him,but some people don't even know what he looks like.
In Robert Frost's poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay", I believe it talks about life and how nothing can stay perfect. At first glance it may seem perfect just like gold, but like the poem says that it very hard to hold on to. I also thought of how "Nature's first green.." could mean being young and how life is easy when you are young, but as you get older you encounter grief in your life. Nothing can stay easy and life in general gets harder and changes. "So dawn goes down to day." means that time passes by and when it happens nothing gold or "good" can stay.
In Robert Frost "After Apple Picking" the events in the poem I believe can be interuptated in different ways based on how you read it.
Lines 1 to 7:
My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
In the first line of the poem, the ladder represents his life, while the tree itself represents life as a whole. The apples on the tree may symbolize opportunities passed up on in his life. The ladder being described as long could be showing his long life he has lived. The barrels that stand empty on the ground may represent the lack of opportunities and experiences he feels have happened in his life. The apples that remain on the branches are these unaccomplished opportunities and experiences. The person says he has grown weary of picking apples, meaning that he is done looking for opportunities in his life because of "the essence of winter sleep," representing his impending death.
In "How to Read Literature Like a Professor", Thomas Foster devotes multiple chapters that explains how communion between others is a basic and fundamental experience. Communions can allow you to learn more about a person, as well as over see a disability that a person may have.
The author (Thomas Foster) gives a summary of the story "Cathedral" written by Raymond Carver. As a high school student I focused on this story and how important sharing a meal with others can be. The story showed how the main character was able to oversee the blind man's disability. Through eating the meal he saw him as a regular guy just like he was. Foster quotes in his book, "eating as a fundamental element of life."
If you look into your life, you can see how fundamental sharing a meal is. Think about your first date with a person. I would guess that a majority of you would say that dinner or some sort of meal was included in that date. So even little things that people overlook may be important in life. For example, on this date the choice of food that the other person chose may have importance. Other examples where sharing of a meal is important are holidays. Families are brought together to share a meal with the family they may not have seen in months.