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Foster's "How to Read" Sections 12-13,15,18

Foster's "How to Read" Sections 12-13,15,18

Section 12: Is That A Symbol?
This section of Foster's book discusses the possibility of anything being a symbol in a novel/short story. Apparently its good to go on first instinct when identifying these things because what you think is usually one interpretation of the symbol. I could say for instance that the fire hydrant in the story symbolizes the main characters stationary existence and anger. I get into color symbolism with that generalization but that doesn't mean I am wrong. One thing to watch out for is when people keep looking for symbols that don't exist. People expect them now-a-days in their literature and simply look for them when there may be none present. Also, people expect them to mean something prolific or "deep" but this is not always the case. Just like with the fire hydrant reference I was "reaching a bit" for a symbol. There is a very distinct difference between an allegory and a symbol which is something many people find confusing as well.

Section 13: It's All Political
I never knew A Christmas Carol had political undertow in it regarding the status of the poverty stricken people of the era. Sometimes I find that authors inadvertently put political messages in their works by simply writing about current things and situations going on at that time. Picking representative characters like Scrooge to show how society interacts with certain groups is another way of writing about socio-political commentary. He shows a type of person in a certain class and a whole other problem now becomes evident to the reader.

Section 15: Flights of Fancy

Section 18: If She Comes Up, It's Baptism

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 15, 2005 11:03 AM.

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