Walk a Mile in Someone Else's Shoes

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"don't read only from your own fixed position" (228).  This chapter was most excellent of Foster, if you ask me.  Obviously, you cannot read all books from your own view in the year 20__.  If the book was written in 1850, and it describes something that is supposed to be the early 1800s, there are a lot of things to consider while reading.  It is very challenging to try to take on a different perspective while reading.  Foster has presented us with many ways to read and interpret books, so I kind of found it odd that this is one of the final chapters and he's now mentioning that we should be aware of the time-frame and culture we are reading about.  I suppose he might have saved it because it is one of the most obvious suggestions he could make, but I do like this one.  
This can be easily applied to AHF as well.  We (as a class) had so many issues with dialect, simply because it was unusual.  Well, it wasn't unusual for the time, nor was it odd for Twain to appropriately use the language.  Sometimes it's really hard, but vital, to take a step back and appreciate the work.

"the sign carries with it a customary meaning, but that doesn't guarantee it will deliver that received meaning" (239).
Alright - really?  There is not a lot to expand on this because I am genuinely tired of looking for hidden meaning and then learning that there may not even be another meaning.  Really... this is just irritating.

3 Comments

Meagan Gemperlein said:

This chapter did feel like it should have been at the beginning of the book as opposed to the end. I think it kind of includes every other topic in the book. Before you even start analyzing any piece of literature with some of the topics Foster brought up in other chapters. I feel you should have the mind set that you're going to read the book from a different perspective other than yours.

And agreed on the finding meaning.

Jeremy Barrick said:

If we could only read books written in the 21st Century, we would be able to understand mostly everything that is going on. Yes, it is a pain trying to understand different eras, but we have to train our brains to think in that time frame.

Katie Lantz said:

While I think AHF has its own distinct style, I really had no problems reading the novel. I guess, the way I read silently must have a southern drawl to it?

Or maybe I just pick up dialect and accents easier. Sometimes I actually try to speak the words that I am reading. It helps me to get the ebb and flow of the piece...

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