How to Read Literature Like a Professor Setting & Symbolism

Thomas C. Foster
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Water

Water is a common element and symbol in literature, and represents many different things. Water can be cleansing and serve as a method for baptism, signaling a new start to life, such as in “Beloved” by Toni Morrison. Water may also serve as representative of the decay of man, such as in “The Wasteland” by T.S. Eliot where the water becomes a dumping ground for the refuse of man.

Food

Food is common element and symbol in literature, and can represent many different things beyond the mere act of eating. Food can be both symbolic, and contextually important. For example, food is what brings families together, such as in the case of “Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant”, or can be used symbolically to mean friendship or understanding, such as in the short story “Cathedral”. In “The Dead”, special attention is paid to what is served during...

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This section contains 803 words
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Buy the How to Read Literature Like a Professor Study Guide
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