How To Read Literature Like A Professor For Kids Sparknotes

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The purpose of How to Read Literature Like a Professor: For Kids by Thomas C. Foster is to gain a deeper understanding of fiction books by analyzing subtle literary devices hidden in the text and being able to discover these subtle secrets, readers can notice patterns, foreshadows, symbolism, and the author’s true purpose for the piece of literature. Foster’s lessons can be seen in The House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The mansion with seven gables is cursed by Mathew Maule who was wrongfully accused of witchcraft by Colonel Pyncheon. This curse plagues future generations with poverty, bad luck, and violence within the house. As Phoebe Pyncheon goes to live with her cousins, Hepzibah and Clifford, she learns of dark secrets …show more content…

When Foster explains, "...spring has to do with childhood and youth… Autumn is failing health, weakness, and middle age and tiredness…" (Foster 61). In The House of the Seven Gables, chapter five, “May and November”, the youthful and energetic Phoebe Pyncheon is introduced and compared to the feeble and senile Hepzibah Pyncheon. While Hepzibah talks to Phoebe about whether her house suits Phoebe, she describes her company as such, “‘...you see what I am,--a dismal and lonesome old woman…’” (Hawthorne 68). Meanwhile, Hepzibah points out how young and nimble Phoebe is, “...so small as to be childlike, and so elastic that motion seemed as easy or easier to it than the rest…” (Hawthorn 73). This displays Foster's point because May is a month in Spring and November is a month in Autumn. Autumn means failing health and old age while Spring means youth and childhood. May represents the failing health of the old Pyncheon, Hepzibah, and November represents the youth of the new Pyncheon, …show more content…

The chapter states, "Geography can also help us see what’s going on inside a character" (Foster 75). The main setting of The House of the Seven Gables is the house where the Pyncheons reside. Hepzibah and her brother, Clifford, attempt to leave the house for the first time in years to go to church just like their cousin, Phoebe, did. As they approach the door to leave, they deem themselves not fit or beautiful enough for the normal world outside their doors. Their house is a figurative jail, representing the real jail inside their hearts. This can be shown in, “‘We [Clifford and Hepzibah] are ghosts! We have no right among human beings!’...they could not flee; their jailer had but left the door ajar in mockery…what other dungeon is as dark as one’s own heart” (Hawthorne 158). This conveys Foster's point because the setting can symbolize how characters such as Hepzibah and Clifford feel trapped on the inside. This is because of their aged and unsightly countenance. They feel jailed in their hearts so their dismal house becomes their material

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