Marked in more ways than one.

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"So if a writer brings up a physical problem or handicap or deficiency, he probably means something by it."


In reading chapters 21-24 for this week the chapter that spoke to me the most was chapter 21, Marked for Greatness.  Foster helps to understand that that is usually going to mean something if a writer gives a character a different shape, deformity, physical mark or imperfection it is going to probably have a significance to that character and what is going to come.  This may seem to be obvious however I know I have read and seen many stories where characters have such, but did not think that much about them at the time.  Now he presents it is the sense that is simply about being different, "Sameness doesn't present us with metaphorical possibilities, whereas difference -from the average, the typical, the expected - is always rich with possibility." (194)  After reading Matt Henderson's blog about conformity can stand out too, that conformity can almost be a kind of deformity.  After reading his blog it does seem to make sense to me what he said, other than that if all want to confirm to the same, than it is not going to appear to be a deformity, because we all want to look, act and talk the same.  Than we would be the same, would we not?  So I am not sure on that one, but Foster's comment, "The character marking stand as indicators of the damage life inflicts."  "But even the others bear signs illustrating the way life marks all who pass through it."  We all have physical or emotional imperfections or scars that are symbolic to us each individually and has it's own meaning and depth to it.  We will see these totally different than others will, as Alica Campbell's response states that normal is relative, and that normal can be different for the reader as to what is normal for the characters in literary works.  I agree with this and that a writer can use conformity to tell us the same things, but if we go back and think of most stories, or movies, a character is going to have something that sets them apart from the rest, as Henry was trying to do in Act III when he returned from home in Wilders play, The Skin of Our Teeth, "Oh, no.  I'll make a world, and I'll show you."  (111)  This difference is going to speak to each of us as our own personal history allows.


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