Consumption Strikes Again!!!

| | Comments (5)

In "How To Read Literature Like A Professor" Thomas C. Foster says that consumption is often used in literature, "the skin becomes almost translucent, the eye sockets dark, so that the sufferer takes on the appearance of a martyr in medieval paintings" (Foster 216). Well this appears to be exactly what happened to poor little Eva in the play of Uncle Tom's Cabin that we read for today. It's almost as if writers have managed to glamourize consumption.

5 Comments

Valerie Susa said:

Since consumption (tuberculosis) was so deadly in the 19th century, maybe that's why writers used it. It was a connnection to the reader knowing that they were probably well aware of the disease and the toll it took on the body.

Patrick Schober said:

Mr. Esaias and me were just talking about TB a few minutes ago. Thomas Wolfe, the writer from the early 1900s had TB of the brain. It can be an awful, awful way to go.

Theresa Conley said:

I will have to keep all of this in mind if I decide to kill off any characters but this would also mean that I would have to go back to writing something other than poetry. It might be a little hard to kill off a character using TB in 5 or 6 stanzas!!!

Patrick Schober said:

Do you for reals not write prose anymore? I feel like poets often have the potential to write the best prose.

And I'm sure you can find stages of TB to work into each stanza of progressive physical decline :)

Theresa Conley said:

I know and it's funny that you mentioned this. Just the other day I was looking for a piece I wrote a while back and was searching through my fiction writing notebook and got totally caught up in reading Dr. Arnzen's comments that he wrote on my stories and they made me think about why I don't write short fiction any longer. I kinda feel like my poems do tell stories, obviously, but in a much more succinct fashion. Maybe I'll try my hand at prose again when I have more time. It really is a shame that you guys might never get to take a creative writing class from Dr. Arnzen, it was probably one of my favorite classes I've ever taken.

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