How To Read Literature Like A Professor By Thomas Foster

880 Words 4 Pages
In Thomas C. Foster’s book, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Foster continues to educate and inform readers about how books should not be taken at face value and usually always contain hidden themes, morals, and symbolism.
First, Foster continues informing readers about how to better analyze novels in chapter 3, Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires. In chapter 3 of his novel, Foster describes the how the classic vampire story is not what it seems. For example, in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, Stoker portrays the vampire, Dracula, as an “attractive, alluring, dangerous, and mysterious man who tends to focus on beautiful, unmarried women,” (Foster, 25). Dracula seduces his victims into becoming like him and steals their innocence. Through
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Authors can also use other supernatural beings such as ghosts and demons in order to symbolize evils or sins. For example, in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson uses Mr. Hyde to represent the evils of the everyday, common man, (Foster, 26). Dr. Hyde is seen as an evil, grotesque monster compared to his counterpart, Dr.Jekyll. This demonstrates that the characters needed to represent an evil do not have to be vampires, but just need to look as vile and bad as the idea they are trying to represent. Even then, Foster conveys that the characters used do not even have to be a supernatural being and can just be a normal human. An example of this is demonstrated in Henry James’s story, “Daisy Miller” which includes no ghosts or other supernatural happenings, just a trip by Daisy, a young American woman who hopes to win the affection of a man named Winterbourne, to the Colosseum in Rome. Because of his upper class status, Winterbourne rejects the Daisy, who then dies of Malaria contracted while she was in Rome, (Foster, 27). Winterbourne represents a vampire in the sense that he is an “older figure representing corrupt, outworn values” who strips away a young woman of her youth and innocence. This conveys that humans can also be character used to represent unfavorable …show more content…
For example, in Tim O’ Brien’s Going After Cacciato, the story is split into three parts which are about the main character, Paul Berlin, entering the Vietnam war and telling stories about the gruesome battles he participated in; Cacciato running away from battle and the imaginary trip Berlin takes to Paris to find Cacciato; and the last part involves Berlin, who is actually really watching over the camp, trying to balance the visceral reality of war and his imaginary trip to find Cappaciato, (Foster, 29). In Berlin’s fantasy about trying to find Cacciato, Brien uses references to other books in Berlin’s fantasy such the hole as from Alice in Wonderland and Sacajawea, who guided Lewis and Clark. This outlandish event in Berlin’s fantasy allows for the reader to understand that Berlin created this fantasy, which involves events from books he read, to escape from the brutal reality of war. This reveals that authors can use references to books and history alike in order to enhance the author’s

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