Writing About Literature With a New Tool

June 10, 2019

If you have ever been in a class in which essay writing on literature is taught, you have in all likelihood stated those words yourself or heard someone else say something close to that.

It would not have something to do with the reality that you have to select a literary device—which includes characterization, plot, irony, symbolism, imagery, tone, warfare, denouement, or one of fifty different alien principles—to write down about, would it not? Thought so.

And every time those assignments come up, you in all likelihood do not even bother to parent out just why those zillion literary devices spoil an amazing tale, right? You honestly cannot see the wooded area for the trees.

Let me give an explanation for—All the ones literary gadgets are “the timber,” and “the woodland” is the completion of the exciting tale. Simply placed, then: When you need to focus on the info of the structural portions and forms in a tale, you lose the exciting enjoyment of a tale because all the one’s portions and details make it not possible to preserve the music of the story as a whole.

You see, this consciousness on pieces and elements all started around the Thirties when a movement called The New Criticism began up in America. The New Critics had the quaint idea which you should recognize a tale on its own phrases, without regarding outdoor sources along with the author’s lifestyles and notion, the style, or the cutting-edge literary traits. They believed that all you need is what’s within the tale.

What the ones New Critics ignored become something that every lover of stories knows, but pretty much never is capable of put into phrases, and it has to do with the wholeness (“the wooded area”) of a tale, now not its portions (“the bushes”), which is that this: By the stop of a tale, something critical has to exchange—or there may be no newness and no tale! (You knew that, proper?)

Here’s how it works: In virtually each posted tale, what changes on the stop constantly relates to something important said early on in the story, both by means of or about the primary character. And that early announcement is usually a robust assessment or description concerning a trait, characteristic, purpose, problem, or preference related to the principal person. That’s what I name the OldView. The trade on the quit I call the NewView, which is continually a Reverse of the OldView.

With that one principle—the change among the critical OldView at the start and the NewView Reverse on the stop—as your tool for knowledge a story, you may make the experience of each literary tool in each tale ever written and posted. Why? Because authors continually use the elements (literary devices) of their stories to guide the OldView-NewView alternate that provides the wholeness that makes a story a tale. And that goes for each brief tales and novels, any form of the story.

For example, in Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, The Cask of Amontillado, on the quiet of the fourth paragraph, Montresor (the main individual) says, “I turned into so pleased to look him, that I thought I have to never have done wringing his hand.” This OldView fee statement is the most powerful evaluation of Montresor’s emotions up to that point within the tale.

True, maximum the whole thing said before that changed into approximately Montresor discussing the revenge he would take on Fortunato. But it’s far all said be counted-of-factly, businesslike, with little warmth or electricity. Most professional observation of the story shows that Montresor being thrilled and “wringing his hand” is simply part of his deceiving Fortunato about his hidden goals for revenge. But the story famous that it’s far extra than just that. “How’s that?” you ask.

Well, at the end of the story, the following statement with the aid of Montresor provides a NewView Reversal to the vital OldView robust price declaration we simply looked at: “My heart grew ill — resulting from the dampness of the catacombs. I hastened to make a quit of my labor.”

The sprint-dash ( — ) suggests Montresor is including an afterthought, one wherein he tries to show across the truth of what he has simply said—that his heart truly changed into ill at what he had done in killing his buddy, Fortunato. Physically speaking, the dampness could make most effective his lungs sick, no longer his coronary heart, as any physician will tell you.

In the OldView at the beginning, Montresor stated, “My smile NOW changed into on the notion of his immolation [sacrificial killing].” So why isn’t always he smiling and satisfied at the quit when he’s completing his fantastic revenge on Fortunato? Why is it that his “coronary heart grew unwell,” and why is he in haste “to make a stop of” his hard work?

Why not drag out the final acts of his revenge, enjoying his triumph, as he had been doing at the beginning, as well as at some stage in the center of the tale—“I became so thrilled to see him, that I thought I have to by no means have carried out wringing his hand”? His announcement, “My coronary heart grew sick” genuinely is a NewView Reversal of what we expected of Montresor all along, because he turned into smiling outwardly and inwardly from the begin of the story at the prospect of avenging himself on his buddy.

Montresor clearly became ill at heart, now not of the body, as he found out he not would have his buddy to tease and to torment at his fanciful whim and idle enjoyment. Yes, Montresor changed into unwell at coronary heart, but it wasn’t because of the dampness of the catacombs. Once he noted his very own sadness, as soon as he found out his buddy changed into eventually lifeless, even earlier than the walling up changed into finished, he used only four brisk and businesslike sentences to wrap up the story, and not using a sense of triumph or glee at having performed his revenge.

t

o

p