Going South, the Double Whammy

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In Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor chapter 19 and 20, what was really apparent to me, was how many of these rules on how to improve our reading of literature overlap each other.  Foster comments that “What Lawrence does, really, is employ geography as a metaphor for the psyche—when his characters go south, they are really digging deep into their subconscious, delving into that region of darkest fears and desires” (Foster 170).  Indeed, going south, yes going south is part of the geography, and as part of the geography; and as part of the geography, we need to be aware of it.  Whether because of the implications of moving south, or because of the customs or people in this south, we need to sit up and pay attention.  Yet there is more to going south, than just the south part.  There is also the going.  This takes us back to Foster’s chapter 1: “Every Trip Is a Quest (Except When It’s Not).”  And what did Foster say about quests, again?  Oh yes, Foster told us that “The real reason for a quest is always self-knowledge” (Foster 3).  Lawrence’s characters went south, which is down, and means digging.  But his characters are traveling and going on a quest too.  Combine the geography of south and the act of traveling and it’s like a double whammy from the author.  He’s practically screaming at us to sit up and pay attention.   


You've made some excellent connections, Greta -- that's the kind of thing that a liberal arts education is for! Good work.

Jeanine O'Neal said:

Nice connection! I picked a similar quote about the south: http://blogs.setonhill.edu/JeanineONeal/2008/02/their_eyes_were_on_the_south.html

What my quote basically said was characters are sent south to run amok (implying that they will be frivolous). However, you use Foster's own words against him saying that they go south to seek themselves rather than to just be crazy fools.

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