The literature theory found in how to read literature like a professor by thomas c foster

I can maintain and expand this website only with your help. Professors and other informed readers see symbols, archetypes, and patterns because those things are there -- if you have learned to look for them. How to Read Literature Like a Professor:

The literature theory found in how to read literature like a professor by thomas c foster

This post is less something I will defend to the death and more a form of self-therapy. On each tick, a cell tries to be the same color that the cell above it was last tick. On each tick, a cell tries NOT to be the same color that the cell below it was last tick. If they ever conflict, Rule 1 takes precedence over Rule 2.

If none of these rules apply, a cell stays as it is. The overall effect is sort of like a barber pole. Consider a group of people separated by some ranked attribute. There are four classes: Everyone wants to look like they are a member of a higher class than they actually are.

But everyone also wants to avoid getting mistaken for a member of a poorer class. So for example, the middle-class wants to look upper-class, but also wants to make sure no one accidentally mistakes them for lower-class.

No one has any hopes of getting mistaken for a class two levels higher than their own: Likewise, a member of the upper-class may worry about being mistaken for middle-class, but there is no way they will ever get mistaken for lower-class, let alone underclass.

So suppose we start off with a country in which everyone wears identical white togas. This idea goes over well, and the upper class starts wearing black. They want to pass for upper-class, and they expect to be able to pull it off, so they start wearing black too.

How to Read Literature like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

After two years, the lower-class notices the middle-class is mostly wearing black now, and they start wearing black to pass as middle-class. But the upper-class is very upset, because their gambit of wearing black to differentiate themselves from the middle-class has failed — both uppers and middles now wear identical black togas.

So they conceive an ingenious plan to switch back to white togas. Now the upper-class and underclass wear white, and the middle and lower classes wear black. And surely in our real world, where the upper-class has no way of distributing secret messages to every single cool person, this would be even harder.

There are some technical solutions to the problem. Upper class people are richer, and so can afford to about-face very quickly and buy an entirely new wardrobe.

The richest, trendiest person around wears something new, and either she is so hip that her friends immediately embrace it as a new trend, or she gets laughed at for going out in black when everyone knows all the cool people wear white. Her friends are either sufficiently hip that they then adopt the new trend and help it grow, or so unsure of themselves that they decide to stick with something safe, or so un-hip that when they adopt the new trend everyone laughs at them for being so clueless they think they can pull off being one of the cool people.

That would be crass. So you have to understand the spirit of the fashion. In other words, new trends carry social risk, and only people sufficiently clued-in and trendy can be sure the benefits outweigh the risks.

But as the trend catches on, it becomes less risky, until eventually you see your Aunt Gladys wearing it because she saw something about it in a supermarket tabloid, and then all the hip people have to find a new trend.

We saw this happen naturally on the 5th tick of the four-cell world, but it might be a more stable configuration than that model suggests. If the rich deliberately dress like the poor, then the middle-class have nowhere to go — if they try to ape the rich, they will probably just end up looking poor instead.

It is only the rich, who are at no risk of ever being mistaken for the poor, who can pull this off. Why do I like this model? It explains a lot of otherwise mysterious things about fashion.

Why does fashion change so darned often? This seems to be how fashion people really think. The thrust seems to be: There are businesspeople, intellectuals, punks, Goths — all of whom are trying to signal something different.Buy a cheap copy of How to Read Literature Like a Professor book by Thomas C.

Foster. Buy a cheap copy of How to Read Literature Like a Professor book by Thomas C. Foster. What does it means when a fictional hero takes a journey? How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the /5(9). New Criticism. A literary movement that started in the late s and s and originated in reaction to traditional criticism that new critics saw as largely concerned with matters extraneous to the text, e.g., with the biography or psychology of the author or the work's relationship to literary history.

The literature theory found in how to read literature like a professor by thomas c foster

How to Read Literature Like a Professor This novel describes commonly used themes and methods by writers which all readers should know in order to gain a deeper understanding out of the novels that they read. Nov 08,  · You can see references to this symbol in Christian literature as early as the second century.

It’s in a 13th-century hymn written by Thomas Aquinas. In The Divine Comedy, . I was hesitant to read How to Read Literature Like a Professor because I felt that I had not read enough classics to understand what Thomas Foster would be talking about - but then I realized that maybe it was a good idea to read the book before embarking on my literature quest, so I would have some background knowledge heading in.

After all /5. Thomas C. Foster wrote, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, it refers to actions that lead up to symbols. Foster writes, “The Road Not Taken().. it is the universal graduation poem, but symbolic action can also be found in poem after poem”(Foster, chapter 12, Is It a Symbol?

).

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