Foster develops the concept that an illness is never just an illness in How to Read Literature Like a Professor. This is evident in Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God through the symbolism of the illnesses that impact Janie’s life. Foster explains that a prime literary disease “should have strong symbolic or metaphorical possibilities” (Foster 224). Hurston utilizes this concept in her novel, the characters developing illnesses that represent Janie’s freedom and independence.
By reading “How to Read Literature like a Professor” and “The Kite Runner”, the reader is aided in his or her ability to understand the true meanings behind the text. One is able to decipher how the act of coming together to eat can mean anything from a simple meal with family, to an uncomfortable situation that leads to anger or stress in an individual character. The reader is able to understand the use of rain or other weather in a novel to transform the mood and tone of scene, or understand the cleansing or destructive qualities that weather may have on the overall plot of the story. The use of illness can be transformed, as it can lead to the reader discovering veiled means behind tuberculosis, cholera, a simple cold, or even cancers such
Thomas C. Foster uses the twenty-fourth chapter of How to Read Literature Like a Professor as a place to investigate how authors employ illnesses to give meaning to their stories. But not all illnesses are physical, and Courtney Cole’s novel, Nocte, displays how the human body reacts to extreme trauma in ways of self-preservation. After surviving a car crash in which her mother and brother died in, Calla Price’s body shut itself down into a coma and rejected all notions that pointed to reality. Instead, her brain blocked out anything that could make reality seem real, and she woke up from her coma believing that her brother and mother were still alive. Her illness may not have been as literal as heart disease or cancer but her inability to
Emily Brontë approaches the idea of sickness and death of the characters in her novel Wuthering Heights in a peculiar way. The characters that are ill are usually mentally ill, and their deaths often result from physical ailments derived from mental illness. The drive for revenge and desire for love that reigns among the characters often lands them in stressful situations that cause them to spiral downward into these mental illnesses. Emily Brontë’s emphasis on the motif of sickness and death in Wuthering Height deepens the drama of the plot and constructs more complicated relationships between the characters.
Throughout human history, humans have been known to execute gruesome acts. Whether these acts are small and insignificant or massive and change history, humans are capable of performing horrific plots against one another. To make matters worse, most of the people who commit these terrible crimes are people who are entirely in a clear state of mind. Nevertheless, there are some cases in which the line between sanity and mental instability blurs. For example, there is an ongoing debate regarding the mental health of the main character in William Faulkner’s story “A Rose for Emily.” Throughout the story, the main character, Miss Emily Grierson, shows signs of what appears to be some form of mental illness. Although Faulkner never states that Miss Emily has anything wrong with her mental health, he does provide enough evidence to support that she is not psychologically stable.
Ken Kesey uses his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, to describe the lives of patients in a mental institution, and their struggle to overcome the oppressive authority under which they are living. Told from the point of view of a supposedly mute schizophrenic, the novel also shines a light on the many disorders present in the patients, as well as how their illnesses affect their lives during a time when little known about these disorders, and when patients living with these illnesses were seen as an extreme threat. Chief Bromden, the narrator of the novel, has many mental illnesses, but he learns to accept himself and embrace his differences. Through the heroism introduced through Randle McMurphy, Chief becomes confident in himself, and is ultimately able to escape from the toxic environment Nurse Ratched has created on the ward. Chief has many disorders including schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and, in addition to these illnesses, he pretends to be deaf and dumb. This combination of many mind and life altering diagnoses leads to an interesting point of view, and a deeper look into the lives of people living with the
Firstly the obsessive love between Catherine and Heathcliff. Catherine claims that her love for Heathcliff “resembles the eternal rocks beneath –a source of little visible delight, but necessary” (73). She tells her housekeeper “Nelly, I am Heathcliff –he’s always, always in my
In the late 1800’s people with mental illness weren 't accomdated like people are today. Often people with illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, we 're teased and forced to lock themselves in a room away from civilization. No one truly cared for those with mental illness or tried to find out ways to accomdate them in school or regular life. Even when mental hospitals became more helpful those suffering from different illnesses would rather stay at home in fear than to seek professional help because of the risk of getting teased or called pathetic. The mentally ill patients were made prisoners, sent to alms houses or forced to remain at home because the first colonist believed they were “sick in the head” due to practicing
Bronte 's Jane Eyre transcends the genres of literature to depict the emotional and character development of its protagonist. Although no overall genre dominates the novel exclusively, the vivid use of setting contributes towards the portrayal of Bronte’s bildungsroman (Realisms, 92) and defines the protagonist’s struggles as she grapples with her inner-self, and the social expectations of her gender. The novel incorporates Jane’s frequent conflicts, oppression, isolation and self-examination as she defends her identity and independence. Set amongst five separate locations, Bronte’s skilful use of literal and metaphorical landscapes, nature, and imagery, skilfully intertwines with the plot and denotes each phrase of her maturity.
Jane Eyre, published in 1847, by focusing on its protagonist’s, Jane’s personality, dependency and self governance. The aim of this study is to look into Jane’s development and analyze her identity with the help of a theoretical framework drawn from psychoanalysis and developmental psychology, and within the context of the Victorian era. The novel focuses on Jane’s experiences and psychological growth from youth to adulthood.
It is often thought that the most accurate reference for the ideology of a time period lies in the literature produced at the time, rather than the factual history. However, Elaine Showalter argues that the most significant tell of an era’s views on mental illness and women is the time’s most famous adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, or, more specifically, the representation of the character Ophelia in the performance. The play itself revolves around Hamlet, who in his own internal struggle mistreats the young woman he had been courting, Ophelia. At one point, Hamlet accidentally murders Ophelia’s father, Polonius, and in the wake of this horrible event, Ophelia becomes mad and eventually commits suicide. Showalter discusses the different
Many people in our society refuse to think that mental illness is something real or that it affects many people. Mental illness is something that is looked over and never gets any real attention. Many people are not able to get help because they don’t have the resources or it is considered to feminine. “The C-Word in the Hallways” by Anna Quindlen and the book, The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger and the movie Dead Poets Society, explore society’s attitude towards teenage mental health. Anna Quindlen explained that if people aren’t able to get proper mental health care, then they could possibly do something harmful to themselves or others. In Catcher in the Rye, if Holden had not been institutionalized, then he would have likely committed
William Faulkner, the author of the story “A Rose for Emily,” describes Emily as a very mysterious and murderous character. Towards the end of the story, the author makes it clear that Emily is mentally insane. She murdered the man she loved and locked herself away from society for many years. After her death, her neighbors found Homer’s dead body in her house. The narrator explains, “The man himself lay in bed. For a long while we just stood there, looking down at the profound and fleshless grin.” The narrator and the people with him were shocked from what they saw. This passage is important because it shows Emily’s mental instability and broken heart. However, Emily wasn’t crazy from the beginning. There were a series of events in her life that caused her to go mentally insane.
The novel was published during the Industrial Revolution, a time of great economic change in which laborers fought for fair conditions at the workplace, and employers fought to defend themselves. People formed groups to work for their own benefit, thus causing the separation of classes. As a novel written during the Victorian era, Emily Bronte’s intensely class conscious novel Wuthering Heights is a story of protecting and improving one's social and economic class. Much of this struggle results from a distinct division of classes and is described through such ways as personal relationships, appearance of characters, and even the setting. The division of classes is based on cultural, economic, and social differences, and it greatly affects the general behavior and actions of each character.