David Pham Tran
AP Lit
How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Every Trip Is a Quest (Except When It's Not)
Chapter one talks about the 5 most important concepts in literature. The first concept is a quester, the main character of the story, who will have to go through challenges through out the story. The second concept is a destination for the quester to travel to. In order start a journey; the quester is required to have a reason to go, which is the third concept. While traveling to the destination, the quester will have to go through challenges and trials, which would be the fourth concept. Finally, the fifth concept is the real reason behind the quest. The real reason is always about self-knowledge and it never relates to the stated reason. The quester can only realize this after they completed the quest.

Nice to Eat With You: Acts of Communion
This chapter talks about how every meal scenes in literature represents communions. Communion may often relate to religious beliefs but in literature communion doesn't always have to relate to religion. Often eating scene is very uninteresting; therefore, the writer would have to create interesting situations and compelling interactions between the characters during the scene. These scenes are very hard to write in literature but they are also very important because they present important components of the story to the readers. For example, meal scenes can show the plot; themes; and conflicts and relationship between the characters. A meal might seem like a very boring scene to include in a story but it can have a positive or negative connotation behind, depends on the conversation.

Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires
This Chapter talks about how writers sublimate the evil and darker side of human through scary stories and monsters, such as ghosts, werewolves, and especially vampires. This method is most commonly used during the 19th century, in the work of Victorian writers such as Stevenson, Dickens, Stoker, J. S. Le Fanu, and Henry James. During this time, sex and sexuality were considered taboo subjects in literature so these writers found away around it through horror stories. The writers also criticize society through their symbolical horror stories. Vampires represent the selfishness in every person because Dracula and vampires exploit others to survive. Horror stories are never meant to scare the audience or to talk about the monsters, it's actually about the writer's criticism of society.

Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before?
According to this chapter, there is never an entirely original work in literature. Stories and poems always build on one each other; therefore there is always a connection between works from different writers to one another. Just like art, writers get their inspiration from other works and create their own piece. This chapter also suggests that in order to excel our understanding of a novel, we have to find connections and connect it to other works. We would have a better experience and see the different sublimations and layers in the work. There is always a relationship between literature works. Beginning readers might be at a disadvantage at connecting literature compare to professors, but it is easier when knowing that the relationship is there.

It's More Than Just Rain or Snow
This chapter talks about how the weather doesn't just describe the setting of the story but it also has a deeper meaning to it. Snow, sun, warmth, and rain can be used as symbolism, foreshadowing, and other plot device. Rain can mean many things such as misery, isolation or unification. Rain can also bring back life, for instant, spring came after the rain and flood in Noah. Rain also represents cleansing as the water washes all the dirt away. Fog can also represent mystery and misery. Snow has both negative and positive meanings. Snow can mean death, filthy or joy, playful, and inviting. In literature, what weather symbolizes depends on the writer because the writer has the power to make it negative or positive.

Is That a Symbol?
According to this chapter, a symbol could probably be anything if you really analyze it. Sometimes readers confuse symbols with allegories because they are similar. An allegory only stand for one other thing, "one-for-one", while a