How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster Essay

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How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines By THOMAS C. FOSTER Contents INTRODUCTION: How’d He Do That? 1. Every Trip Is a Quest (Except When It’s Not) 2. Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion 3. Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires 4. If It’s Square, It’s a Sonnet 5. Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before? 6. When in Doubt, It’s from Shakespeare... 7. ...Or the Bible 8. Hanseldee and Greteldum 9. It’s Greek to Me 10. It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow INTERLUDE Does He Mean That? 11. ...More Than It’s Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence 12. Is That a Symbol? 13. It’s All Political 14. Yes, She’s a Christ Figure, Too 15. Flights of Fancy 16. It’s All About Sex... 17. ...Except Sex 18. If She Comes Up, It’s Baptism 19. Geography Matters... 20. ...So Does Season INTERLUDE One Story 21. Marked for Greatness 22. He’s Blind for a Reason, You Know 23. It’s Never Just Heart Disease... 24. ...And Rarely Just Illness 25. Don’t Read with Your Eyes 26. Is He Serious? And Other Ironies 27. A Test Case ENVOI APPENDIX Reading List Introduction: How’d He Do That? MR. LINDNER? THAT MILQUETOAST? Right. Mr. Lindner the milquetoast. So what did you think the devil would look like? If he were red with a tail, horns, and cloven hooves, any fool could say no. The class and I are discussing Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun (1959), one of the great plays of the American theater. The incredulous questions have come, as they often do, in response to my innocent suggestion that Mr. Lindner is the devil. The Youngers, an African American family in Chicago, have made a down payment on a house in an all-white neighborhood. Mr. Lindner, a meekly apologetic little man, has been dispatched from the neighborhood association, check in hand, to buy out the family’s claim on the house. At first,

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