Want a Best-seller? Use Christ as a Literary figure!

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"Still, no matter what your religious beliefs, to get the most out of your reading of European and American literatures, knowing something about the Old and New Testament is essential."

I found Chapter 14 of Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor rather enlightening.  I had never before considered Christ as a literary figure, but now, as I contemplate the numerous literary figures who have have exemplified Christ's most well-know characteristics (sacrificing themselves, unmarried, celibate, tempted by the devil in the wilderness, etc.) I realize that this is a common concept in novels from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to the series' of Harry Potter and Twilight.  Christ seems to be a constant in these ever-changing times and will forever be a figure people are familiar with.  People enjoy relating to the story on a level separate from the words on the page and using Christ as a literary figure is almost necessary in order to create a best-seller.  

2 Comments

Julianne Banda said:

I wouldn't say using Christ as a literary figure is necessary for a best-seller. I'm sure there are many books where the writer didn't think of Christ as the literary figure but some person noticed something, such as an unmarried character sacrificing themselves for a friend, and said, oh, this is a reference to Christ. There are so many things that are common in literature that could be seen as Christ-like but it doesn't necessarily mean that that's what the author was thinking at the time when they were writing the book.

I wrote about Chapter 14 too, I thought it was great, but I wrote a small paragraph on changing your perspective and keeping an open mind. There was this little passage that Foster wrote that I couldn't get out of my head. I didn't even think about the whole Christ-figure thing in Twilight or other works of today! (I'm a huge Twilighter kid, sorry, I'll confess now.) And you're right, it's so weird once you start to think about it, how there are TONS of thousands of literary characters that sacrifice themselves and suffer like a Christ-figure. I can't decide who would be more of a Christ-figure in Twilight, Bella or Edward. Probably both. I don't know. let's discuss. what do you think? (Please excuse the dorkiness of my question. :) )

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