High Ground, Low Ground

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In chapters 19 and 20 of How To Read Literature Like a Professor, Foster describes the significance of geography and seasons in a fictional novel. Foster describes the deaths of a leopard and the writer in the book The Snows of Kilimanjaro. In the case of the leopard dieing on the mountain, the death is clean, but the writer suffers and gruesome death resulting from gangrene on the plains. Then, in  the novel Women in Love, Foster describes a writers alternate view of environments. The mountains symbolize death and destruction in this case. I find it interesting that, although seasons and climates and geographies do mean something, the intent of these things differ from writer to writer, reader to reader. It is important to consider the origins of a writer when determining how the person feels about certian landscapes or times of the year. The same is true for readers. Someone from Pennsylvania may not understand the poetry of an author talking fondly about  the open plains of the midwest. The hills of Pennsylvania may be comforting to someone born in Pennsylvania, while the vast plains may be a lonely or boring landscape. Likewise, if the midwesterner came to Pennsylvania, the hills may be intimidating, or almost suffocating in a way.



Aja Hannah said:

Or it could be the opposite. The Pennsylvannian may be so tired of feeling trapped between the mountains and hills that they go to the plains and finally feel like they can breathe or go anywhere.

Vice Versa for the midwesterner. They may be tired of seeing the plains. They may feel they're going to fall right off the flat earth or that there is no shelter from the dust. A trip to the mountains could be beneficial.

Justin Iellimo said:

I think the point here is that its all relative to the person's own idea or even feelings at the time. Foster attempts sometimes to pin a certain meaning on a certain thing. He does sometimes recognize there is more than one possible meaning for something, but a lot of the time he tries to make broad generalizations.

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