Analysis Of How To Read Literature Like A Professor By Thomas Foster

Decent Essays
Leilani Wilkinson
Mrs. Mary Smith
AP Literature
20 September 2017
Analysis Essay In “How to Read Literature Like a Professor” the author, Thomas C. Foster, refers to and analyzes many classic novels so that he can reveal the finer, concealed details that are embedded in the text. Classic authors were also scrutinize by Foster on their writing style, the books they wrote, the impact it left in literature, and what was the significance of the texts they wrote. Foster showed that everything you have read may or may not resemble only what it refers to be but it may also hold a deeper meaning that helps give structure and reason to the novel at hand. Throughout the book Foster revealed the literary devices classical authors had used in their
…show more content…
J. K. Rowling is a famous author known for the Harry Potter series, and not only that her main character, Harry Potter, is known by everyone by his scar as a shape of a lightning bolt on his forehead. Not only was the scar a result of a failed murder attempt by Lord Voldemort, the scar also resembled the psychic link between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort. Just like Harry’s scar, if someone is blind in a novel they are never just blind there’s always a reason behind it. Another work of literature Foster references is “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles, in the play it mainly revolves around two characters, “…(one that) is blind but sees the real story, and Oedipus (who) is blind to the truth and eventually blinds himself” (Foster 139). Throughout the play the chorus contained references to sight like everything had to do be about being able to see or not. Although the characters are complete opposites it showed that when you’re blind you are more open to and more alert to the events around you, unlike when you are able to see you become oblivious to the miniscule things and tend to look things over. Foster had included a question about blindness we should ask ourselves, “If it’s there all the time, what’s the point of introducing it specifically into some stories?” (Foster 140). Foster had made a good point there, if an author writes about blindness in the most subtle way possible, what’s the point of it to be in a …show more content…
Allusions that are used in stories should not be over-complicated and new to readers if the author wants to write a successful novel. Foster made it clear that the best kind of allusions in novels are myths, references to the bible, other classic novels, “kiddie” literature, and Shakespeare. Each of those subjects have something in common and that is we should all have knowledge or at least heard of those things. So that if an author makes an indirect reference to Shakespeare, or any of the other topics previously mentioned, the reader is able to comprehend and know what is happening. “Kiddie” literature refers to child books we have read as kids and any story that we were taught as kids, it is one of the greatest allusions an author could use because of the majority of the population would have been told those stories growing up. As Foster stated, “We may not know Shylock, but we all know Sam I Am” (Foster 47), the reason is because Dr. Seus was taught to us as kids and anyone that has had a basic education have read one of his books. Foster had use Hansel and Gretel as his favorite “kiddie” lit because the “story of children lost and far from home has a universal appeal” (Foster 47). There is a story called “The Gingerbread House” that uses the allusion of Hansel and Gretel without the children being name “Hansel and Gretel” instead in this story everything held a deeper meaning but one

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Chapter one of the novel, "How To Read Novels Like a Professor", by Thomas C. Foster, discusses the importance of page one of a novel. He explains how many literacy elements can be identified in the first page of a novel and even the first paragraph. He goes on to state the important literacy devices that should be identified in a novel. These include: style, tone, mood, diction, point of view, time management, place, motif, theme, and characters. It also includes the narrative prescense and the narrative attitude if any.…

    • 1453 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Thomas Foster, an English professor, desired to write a book that delivered explanations for what the professor thinks when he or she reads versus that which a student brings to mind in regards to connections made when reading a work of literature. From this desire Foster wrote “How to Read Like A Professor.” In each chapter, Foster describes specific tools and strategies authors have used in the past and continue to put into practice. These strategies are employed by writers as a means to connect to the mind of a reader to a deeper thought or idea related to the context. These hidden messages, according to Foster, are instinctively palpable to the Professor’s eye; but to the eye of one who has not dedicated their life to the study of literature,…

    • 762 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Rhetorical analysis of Stephen King’s, “Reading to Write” Novelist Stephen King branches off in this piece, to orchestrate the correlation between reading and writing, and to answer the question of if the two skills are related. He bases these claims off of his own personal experience as an author. The article is published at a high point of his career, now having enough respect as an author to instruct others on the craft. King’s purpose is to instruct the reader, more specifically, young writers. He wishes to inform them of the importance of reading, and how the things you read will affect what you end up producing with your own paper and pen.…

    • 958 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    When school started and we began to analyze the book, it was as if I was viewing the book with clearer lens. With the help of my teachers, I realized that you have to search for deeper meaning and underlying themes when reading novels. I was taught how to identify the author purpose of why they are writing, symbolism, and literary devices. What I had learned in my English classes, opened my mind up to a whole new level of understanding the varying elements throughout a novel. I gained an appreciation for all type of books and as a result novels like The kite Runner, Waiting for Godot, and Henderson the Rain King, ended up becoming my some of my favorite…

    • 776 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    When we had out group discussions we came together and spoke of our different perspectives on the novel, with passage analysis’ we had to apply our knowledge of the book and annotating skills to show our understanding of the novel and it themes. Last of all the guided questions had forced me to critically analyze the book and make predictions which normally I would not do, which once again has benefited me in my understanding as it put me in the correct mindset in a literary sense. The literary research that I did to assist in my understanding of the novel was to research Erich Maria Remarque who wrote All Quiet on The Western Front. This resulted in me receiving some background knowledge on why Remarque had written the novel the way he did, for example, he had served in the Second Regiment, the same as Paul in the book, which once again forced me to analyze the novel even…

    • 1659 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    One of my fondest reading memories is when I was in the first or second grade and I had become utterly obsessed with a series, The Magic Treehouse. I am pretty sure I read and reread every single one a thousand times. I had to have one with me at all times just in case our teacher gave us silent reading time. Those books were my favorite because they took me to another world. I…

    • 798 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Mikhail Bakhtin Dialogism

    • 1304 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Interlude: Read with your Ears In this chapter, Foster points out the mistake of reading with “our” eyes. Instead, the use of the “inner ear” benefits strongly configuring the thought process and the significance of using past recollection. The “inner ear” that Foster mention involve sorting information from specific words or phrases to bringing readers to a particular past knowledge: “whether...information comes from print or film...simply read [from] the text” (217). The “inner ear” Foster is referring to is the implement of intertextuality which include “The Law of Universal Connectedness: Every novel grows out of other novels” (218). In another word, writers and readers are influence by one another either by another book, movie, or…

    • 1304 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    When you read the books as much as I have, you can catch on to literary devices like foreshadowing, imagery, and irony. Reading Harry Potter taught me how to be a better writer. I adopted styles and techniques that J.K. Rowling used in the series. Her characters were so complex and well-rounded, giving myself ideas for my own works. In an article written by University of North Texas Professor of Library and Information Sciences Barbara Stein Martin, she explains that Harry Potter inspires people to read.…

    • 1068 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The first book I decided to choose was Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat. When reading or studying children’s literature any one of Dr. Seuss’ books are a must read. When looking back on my childhood, I am not sure it would have been the same without any of his books. Each one of his books are very prominent in my memory. Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat offered children a zany story, inspired world play, and a glimpse of a fantasy world that was outside of adult control.…

    • 805 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    J.K Rowling says, “I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” Novels carry a lot of knowledge, which students can benefit from. The novel To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee is not taught by many teachers due to its controversial topics. Why should the education board deprive teenagers of such a versatile learning tool? To Kill a Mockingbird, is written perfectly for a teenager, takes place in a very significant historical era, and teaches many crucial lessons. Hence, teachers should not doubt teaching To Kill a Mockingbird to high school students, as the novel provides essential knowledge for the success of students.…

    • 1638 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays