I Should Tell You, I've Got Baggage Too

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"Real illnesses comes with baggage, which can be useful or at least overcome in the novel." (Foster 225)

I think the concept of overcoming and illness shows strength in a person or character. It also can show the strength of people surrounding them who come to accept that a person has an illness and what they do to try to help that person. Illnesses tend to bring people together or tear people apart, depending on the given set of circumstances. So illness come with baggage and can give a person more baggage at the same time.

I was not really that familiar with too many texts Foster talked about in these chapters, but when he mentioned AIDS, I automatically thought about the musical Rent, which is not exactly a novel, but is some form of a literature. Foster had mentioned in the text that the disease "should have a strong symbolic or metaphorical possibilies." (217) Most of Rent and all actions that happen in the musical stem from AIDS and how the characters are suffering with the disease. I'm sure if anyone is a Rent fan, they would agree with that. So Rent made Foster's points more understandable and familar to me.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL266/2009/10/foster_how_to_read_literature_8/

3 Comments

Jeremy Barrick said:

It can also be a sign of being able to defy the odds against them. An illness does tend to change a character's direction. We, the readers, do not know if they will live or die. That's what's nice about books, one never knows what is about to happen unless continuing through a book. Unlike a movie where one is able to fast forward to see the outcome.

Jennifer Prex said:

Rent came to mind for me too the first time I read this chapter--that's what I had blogged about then. I like the title of this blog, by the way. Anyways, I agree that it shows strength if a character overcomes illness, especially in the case of the more severe illnesses. The character would need to persevere and fight it off in order to overcome it.

Sarah Durham said:

Meagan, Rent also helped me make the connection. The baggage that is not spoken about early on and in turn pulls people away, then after it is learned that the baggage is shared it brings them together. Jeremy you make a great point in that its nice with books because you can't fast forward. I think having to spend more time getting to know the characters more causes us to be emotionally attached to any illnesses.

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