How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Book to Change Your Perspective

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster offers the reader an introduction to literary analysis to help him/her find a new meaning in everyday reading. Every chapter has similar page counts to the rest of the chapters. Each chapter comes with helpful examples taken from literary works. Therefore, every chapter allows the reader to digest the information, engulfing it bite after bite peacefully.

Basically, this book teaches readers how to read consciously. In order to understand the main archetypes, particular characters and how to distinguish similar plots, one needs to read the classics. Only by reading the classics and modern day literary works, one can achieve literary skills, becoming more knowledgeable.

How to Read Literature Like a Professor is a book which encourages readers to continue reading

Furthermore, as you read those significant literary works which are the cornerstone of literature itself, you can say that you learned how to read like a professor.

The author introduces contrasting literary works, citing from religious dogmas and Greek mythology to folklore. He perfectly mixes these distinct belief systems to interpret literature in an unbiased way. The book brings a wide range of contexts, symbols, and themes, the author confesses that it is a complete compilation. It is pretty amazing how he managed to it so many interpretations of symbols and elements of literary assessment. However, for one to encompass them all in just one book, it would be extremely difficult.

For example, in chapter 6, the author refers every reader to Shakespeare, bearing the title ‘When in doubt, it’s from Shakespeare.’ When going deeper into the novel, in Chapter 26, the author explains irony on various levels, offering examples. He starts with the statement ‘irony trumps everything.’


How to Read Literature Like a Professor encourages readers to read classic and modern texts.

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However, in other sections of the book, he deals with weather, quests, and geography. Furthermore, at some point, he also focuses on Christ figures, politics and violence. He highlights the important elements which should be pursued by a reader when reading literary works. That is why this book is the perfect combination, the perfect mixture of so many fields and topics.

The author explains that the reader should broaden his/her horizon by reading the classics

This piece of writing is extraordinary, being entertaining and comprehensive. The author’s description regarding various classic works is likely to tease readers. Therefore, they will be curious to read those respective literary works. Furthermore, at the back of How to Read Literature Like a Professor, the author developed a list of recommended books.

These could help the reader better understand his work and, also, apply what they learned, reading like a professor. Before reaching the conclusion, the author introduces a tough question. He is asking the reader whether we, readers, should give so much credit to writers, struggling to understand their work when we don’t even know if they are good writers. Foster’s conclusion encourages readers to pursue their examination of the literature.

Hence, readers continue being readers by sharing their own experiences about several literary works. Summing up, this book encompasses the work of a professor who addresses the general reader, encouraging him/her to read in order to understand.

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