How To Read Literature Like A Professor, By Thomas C. Foster

488 Words2 Pages
In the beginning of Chapter ¬15 of How To Read Literature Like A Professor, Thomas C. Foster first introduces the very known fact that humans cannot fly. So if a human is able to in a piece of literature, it belongs to the categories he lists later on. However, the categorization is an superficial analyzation of flying. He introduces the history of flying and how humans have strived to defied the laws of gravity forever. Foster analyzes Morrison’s Song of Solomon and explain how when Solomon flew off to Africa it is an act of returning “home” and “casting off the chains of slavery on one level”(Foster 92). Another example from the piece of literature is when a bird flies off with an earring box with paper that has Solomon’s deceased aunt’s…show more content…
The both fall from great heights, but their fall is cushioned by a snow covered area and Foster brings up that the fact that the characters survived a great fall has more symbolism than the actual flight itself because there is a great connotation of fear behind falling. Foster uses this example to show another common and general way authors incorporate flight into characters and the plot. After, Foster discusses that flying does not limit the literature to the characters that literally fly. In other words, a piece of literature does not need to have a character to literally fly to reference flight. An example that Foster brings is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) where the main character, Stephen, feels caged and trapped in the beginning of the novel. However, later on Stephen imagines flight and escape to liberate his soul from the limitations he was experiencing before. Foster uses this example to show and analyze and example where there is no literal flight, but a metaphorical
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