Answers, Answers, who's got the answers?

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"Symbols, though, generally don't work so neatly" (Foster 98).

Again, here is something I agree with Foster on.  Symbols have many meanings that can be nearly impossible to interpret!  While Foster does go on to talk about how continued practice at understanding these symbols will help the reader - I must argue that sometimes it is best to not interpret all symbols. 
Symbols can be anything - an action, a phrase, the weather, a location.  There comes a point when overanalyzing can cause problems, perhaps it's raining because it is simply raining.  The character wears green because they chose to, not because it foreshadows something that happens later.
At the same time, there can be significant meaning in certain works.  It is up to the reader to interpret the meaning they get from reading a particular piece.  Every person will get something different out of the same passage.  While everyone may come to the same conclusion in the end, the process of getting there will be different.  The power of words does have ALL the answers, but it's up to the reader to see what those answers are.


Kayla Lesko said:

Overanalyzing can also cause problems such as frying your brain. lol

On a serious note, I completely agree with you. Everyone's mind works differently and that makes analyzing something even more interesting.

Jeremy Barrick said:

Over analyzing can be a problem in literature because it is at the discretion of the writer to put in his/her own symbols that mean something of significance to them, not the reader.

Katie Lantz said:

While I agree with Kayla that analyzing something is interesting because of each different viewpoint, it can also make things get complicated.

Some readers have a habit of picking out completely random things and trying to support them. Over-analyzing only works if you have the evidence to support your analysis.

Jennifer Prex said:

I agree. Certain things are just what they are--to one person, at least. It is all up for interpretation. Different readers will find and latch onto different things.

I think the latching onto things is what allows us to discuss things in class. It' s good that everyone sees something differently, I think it's our job to be open to new ideas and interpretations and not defend solely what we think is "right." While I am guilty for doing this, I make a conscious effort to hear other peoples thoughts and try to see where they got that from.

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