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xxx, 336 pages ; 21 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Introduction: how'd he do that? -- Every trip is a quest (except when it's not) -- Nice to eat with you: acts of communion -- Nice to eat you: acts of vampires -- Now, where have I seen her before? -- When in doubt, it's from Shakespeare -- Or the Bible -- Hanseldee and Greteldum -- It's Greek to me -- It's more than just rain or snow -- Never stand next to the hero -- Interlude: does he mean that? -- More than it's gonna hurt you: concerning violence -- Is that a symbol? -- It's all political -- Yes, she's a Christ figure, too -- Flights of fancy -- It's all about sex -- Except sex -- If she comes up, it's Baptism -- Geography matters -- So does season -- Interlude: one story -- Marked for greatness -- He's blind for a reason, you know -- It's never just heart disease and rarely just illness -- Don't read with your eyes -- It's my symbol and I'll cry if I want to -- Is he serious? and other ironies -- A test case -- Postlude: who's in charge here?.
What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey? Shares a meal? Get drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface -- a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character - and there's that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you. In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest a shared meal may signify a communion and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.