Showing Why "Seasons Matter"

| | Comments (3)

In Chapter 20 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor,  Foster writes, "What he [Shakespeare] does, brilliantly, is to invest it [metaphor comparing fall to nearing 'old age'] with a specificity and a continuity that force us to really see not only the thing he describes-the end of autumn and the coming of winter-but the thing he's really talking about, namely the speaker's standing on the edge of old age" (176).  When I read this segment on sonnet 73, immediately I thought this perfectly described what we had discussed in class concerning showing instead of telling.  This sonnet is very short; however Shakespeare is still able to effectively allow the reader visualize both fall and the brittleness, hair loss and coldness of old age.  Although I believe that Foster did a great job in other segments of telling the reader why and how geography and seasons matter, I believe this example shows just how important setting is to a piece of literature.

Click here to view more comments on Foster


Angelica Guzzo said:

Erica, I couldn't agree more. There is a lot of showing. This will help the reader to feel like they are in the story

Erica, you nailed it! Yes, showing isn't just about using vivid adjectives or listing details that talk about what it was like when you (the author) experienced something. Rather, it's about using words to create the effect, to make it real for the reader -- even if the effect you're describing is imaginary (something that has never actually happened to you). I'm glad these details have come together so clearly for you. Keep up the good work!

Jessie Farine said:

I discussed this same quote. It definitely is effective for showing the feeling as opposed to telling it. I feel it myself whenever it happens in the real world.

Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.