Literacy Lenses

CopyofEssay4LiteraryLenses (1) How to Read Literature Like a Professor JRR Tolkien – Smith of Wootton Major

Literacy Lenses

Literacy Lenses

    • Type of paperCritical Thinking
  • SubjectEnglish Literature
  • Number of pages5
  • Writer levelUniversity
  • Format of citationMLA
  • Number of cited resources5

Criminal justice is a very fascinating field that has become one of todays most glamorized professions. It exposes one to the realities of the law and crime. Criminal justice professionals are well acquainted with the underbelly of keeping communities safe and secure. The field requires one to be emotionally and psychologically rigorous.

As a learner, one requires to work under a professional for at least ten hours in the field work. I chose to observe Natasha Pitts, who is a probation officer. She works with the Department of Community Supervision in Atlanta GA. So far, I have completed six hours of my field work. I have a minimum of four more hours to achieve my ten-hour field work target.

Through my observations, I have come to understand that as a criminal justice professional, one is supposed to be in full understanding of the legal and correction systems.  I have been able to attain in-depth knowledge about the theories of crime scenes and law

I have spent the six hours in different areas of the field ranging from juvenile probation, security management, correctional administration, forensic psychology to emergency management. I have been able to fit in two hours of my field work in each area.

I have come to the realization that criminal justice is not all about disciplining offenders but an opportunity to serve the community and offer justice to crime victims. I have been captivated by the way the public appreciates the work done by criminal justice officers. Apart from that, patroling the streets, investigating crimes, identifying suspects, and overseeing those who have been convicted of crimes have been an interesting experience. The fact that all this is done to protect the lives and property of their fellow citizens makes the sense of loyalty increase. I have learnt so much during this time but I hope to learn more as I continue with my field work.

In the book on How to Read like a Professor by Thomas Foster it has gone deeper in analyzing the different facts about literature, different contents of literature and a deeper understanding of the same. This article is going to concentrate on chapter nine of this book and on the quote speaking about myth. The quote will be used as a lens on other text and articles acting as the focal point to compose an argument covered before.

The quote from the book is “what we mean in speaking of ‘myth’ in general story, the ability of story to explain ourselves to our own selves and in such ways that physics, philosophy, mathematics, chemistry all very highly useful and informative in their own right can’t. that explanation takes the shape of stories that are deeply ingrained in our group memory, that shape our culture and in turn shape by it, that constitute a way of seeing by which we read the world, and, ultimately, ourselves.” (Foster,69)

In this chapter the author expounds on a literature influence which is the ‘myth’. One may confuse the meaning of the word ‘myth’ to the widely known which refers to a story or a narration that is untrue. This is not the meaning of a literature myth. A literature myth is a term that is used to refer to the phenomenon of sustained story and symbol. Therefore, a mythological story is thus relevant to a student learning about literature in a deeper way as it influences and shapes a particular text or poem. The myths are very crucial and significant in representing the story of a particular community. However, it is a story that has elements that are universal and in that it allows us to explain in unique ways and ultimately read ourselves thoroughly.

The author focuses on the mythology that is normally referred to as the Greek mythology on the European and the Euro-American cultures, an influence that is so strong that it has continued to leak slowly through popular consciousness in the daily references for example city or high school. This is from the names that they have been given such as Troy, Remus (Harmon, 2009)

Similarly, in the modern texts the use of mythological theme is present. The author has brought in the idea and how it can be explained by the universality and the reliability of the theme. However, not all the ideologies are relevant in the present contexts. There are some things that are still in play. They are such as wrath, honor, loyalty and many other more. There are writers who wish to convey an effect of irony and they do so by looking at the similarities and this feature is possible because the effect is achieved largely because of the recognition of these myths are only in popular consciousness.

This ideology of the Greek mythology an also be true in the allusions in the Bible and another example is in the Shakespearian stories. The two given situations are expressions that are normally referred to as the human nostalgia. These references suggest that our existence and the lives that we live are in the form of continuity in the state of human trajectory.

On looking at each of the situations closer, we find that in the case of the Bible there is recollection of the past and any attempt of bringing it to the present has consequences because the situation is involving religious nature. A biblical reference might be an intact reveal of the lessons brought and taught by the prophets. There are ways of having images and characters on how the religion is in a state of negotiation and often reviewed or edited by communities and individuals (Purves,2008)

However, the author Foster suggests that the relationship between the Bible and literature is linear. He talks about biblical imagery or the words that have a literature meaning and there is existence of a certain influence. a research on the Bible suggests is only a tool of analysis that is often commented on in the Bible. The research then reveals that there is a symbiotic relation that is not much spelt out in the other sets of mythological situations.

Therefore, as earlier said in the definition of literature myth the work of the student is to affirm to that Biblical allusions which is similar to the text keeping in mind the story is used un-ironically are the indication of the words in English that help in the understanding and shaping of the religious traditions and facts.

Foster also goes ahead to consider the many texts or tales that tell us about the story. Children stories can be used to reach out or to speak to a wider expression and representation of people. They may contain a lot of wisdom to pass however simple they may look. The tales influence since they have been sustained as literature and also because they are easy to understand. They carry a lot of lessons despite their simplicity nature that may be from mere imagination

Foster goes ahead to use figurative language in his book. This includes features like metaphors, similes and images to bring out a deeper understanding of a certain topic. There are cases of metaphors used in the book. In the part where he says that in literature there is no better, no more lyrical, no more perfectly metaphorical illness than heart disease. This does not just have a mere meaning. This allows the readers of the book to not just have a shallow understanding of the context but to think more of the topic under consideration (Armstrong, 2014)

In this part of metaphorical illness more than a heart disease, the author describes how heart disease is a favorite part that most writers use because of its straight forward understanding and nature and as well as the implications that come with it. the heart mostly represents and acts as the seat of emotion and even character. The heart becomes symbolic of several things that are very significant to a certain personality and human life. A heart disease as used in the context is used to give a meaning that these are the things that are not quick and easy to disposed-off characters that the author wanted killed. But they cannot be left out since they have a meaning to


the story. This context can also represent a simile since the things are compared to a heart disease (Potter,2007)

As soon as we notice blindness and sight as the thematic components of a work and more related to a certain text. The way the word blindness is used is a character that can represent metaphoric character. The blind character in the work of literature is normally used by writers for more than a simple reason of highlighting the blindness and quite a considerable complexity is attached with this blindness condition. This condition requires a shift in the perspective and not just for the blind figure in question. But all the characters around this figure requires to act in ways to consider this characteristic.

Blindness is heavily metaphorical and is normally associated with characters of truth, light, understanding and many others. The feature of imagery can also arise from this context. The examples that can represent imagery are the things or images that come to our mind when we hear or think about the context. The imagery about this can be shadows in causing the blindness. It can also be issues of darkness that may most likely have caused the blindness or can simply be words or writings or hearings that the referred character is supposed to miss.

A case of imagery use is also present in the book. There is only one story about the experience of being human. Literature gives the image of presenting, capturing, and narrating the experience of living in the world. It tries to give the image that represents the influences in the world as expressed by Foster. He has gone ahead to bring issues like the difference in the tribes, people and the communities rather than a single nation or that is the image that he wants us to picture in our mind.


In conclusion the figurative languages used in the context has been explored. This included similes and metaphors. The imagery fact has also been explored and giving examples. Chapter nine was also gone through and the quote about myth discussed exhaustively.
















Work cited

Armstrong, Linda, Mary Dieterich, and Sarah M. Anderson. Common core elemens  of literature: Grades 6-8. ,2014. Print..

Foster, Thomas. How to Read Literature Like a Professor. 2003. New York.

W Harmon, CH Holman. A Handbook to literature. 2009. Print

AC Purves, V Rippere. Response to literature. 2008.

JL Potter. Elements of Literature. 2007