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What makes pieces of literature worth analyzing over others?

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wildsalmon
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@gardella That's what makes it so hard, however, since virtually everything serves at least some sort of purpose. It only depends on if the analyzer values that purpose. Even things that exist solely for themselves at least contribute to some larger meaning of art, if not the artist as well. It's good that you brought up the subjectivity, since our values are informed by our history. However, it's difficult to know if something is meaningful to you or not before you know what it is, so it's hard to judge if something's worth analyzing until after you've already delved deep into it.


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Conster
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@salmon

That seems to be the problem whose solution evades me. The value of the analysis cannot really be determined until after the analysis is done. For example, at first glance with our look at The Turn of the Screw, the book is just about haunting and possession. This is the conclusion that many may come to swiftly. The analysis that our class performed exposed many different aspects to the novel that are valuable to understanding the overall theme/meaning of the novel. The issue is that this analysis turned out to be valuable, but at first it almost seemed to easy of a concept if it were not for the fact that with Chisnell any content we cover will have great depth and complexity.


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MSAR
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@conster Nice way of explaining it. I agree the piece has no analytic value until after one reads it and has gathered their value or interpretation of the piece. The way we analyzed it with Mr. Chisnell was one that focused on the psychological aspects of the story. Our presumed meaning of the story was made and focused on the psychology of the characters throughout the story. 


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Nikki
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@conster This is interesting to me. My dad has always told me he feels disconnected when he reads Shakespearean works because of their age. He sees them as difficult to get through and it hinders how enjoyable they are for him. I personally haven't minded reading these works, but I sometimes have a hard time with the language and refer to the Internet. I wonder what this could mean for the future of these pieces. 


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Nikki
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@delphine I think it's interesting to see which types of pieces gain, for lack of a better word, "clout". What gives a piece of literature the recognition? And what makes it stand the test of time, like many Shakespearean works have? Why do certain pieces become outdated?


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MangoMan
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@nikki I think like anything, if it's too similar to something that's already had its spot in the light then it just gets labeled as a clone.  I think those who set out to bring in something new to the world and make it interesting enough to hold the attention of those who hold a status among us in the literature world will get recognition.  Therefor making their book popular in the process. I think any novel that is referred to as an example of something that happens in the real world has made it clear that it's noteworthy to keep in mind.


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a2m0e0m2
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@nikki I think it truly depends on the topic of the writing. Some topics are generational, only staying of relevance in the time that Shakespeare wrote his work, but others are everlasting. They carry on the topics that we still wonder and discuss today, helping them stay relevant for now and the future. 


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a2m0e0m2
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@nikki And the same thing for your dad goes for me as well. I have trouble connecting to Shakespeares pieces of literature as I only understand them half of the time, and the other half I have no clue at all what they are talking about. It's troubling to me how often I have to search up the words in his writing, as I do know a pretty vast amount of vocab and would say that I don't struggle with that necessarily. I think this factor is really going to kill the popularity of his writing over time to future generations who might not care enough to figure out the meaning to the writings, or may have completely different sayings than we do right now. 


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@conster I understand what you are saying here, but I think I disagree. I don't think that the meanings uncovered in a novel are just revealed once you "finish" analyzing it. I personally have gained a lot of meaning from Turn of the Screw while we were still analyzing it. I think that the analysis is different from understanding the full story. Before you finish a book, you can still analyze the parts you just read, but you won't understand them as well as if you had the context of the entire story to look back on.


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@a2m0n2

I agree! Shakespeare is incredibly frustrating to read at times. I like how you mentioned that his writing may die out for future generations, due to the complex vocabulary used in his writings. It will be interesting to see if future generations focus on older poetry for school, especially the older poets such as Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, and Dickinson; due to their complex meanings. I feel like poetry will still be analyzed in future generations in school, just poetry that's not as complex and old, more modern current poetry only. It will be interesting to see. 


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 Anonymous
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@nikki I agree! It will be interesting to see what themes of poetry remain in the next generations. I feel like literature that is compelling to read, of course, holds the attention throughout generations. Regarding Shakespeare, I think that his style of writing, word choice, and popularity throughout the years keeps his work "relevant". Other works become outdated due to the lack of relevance, or the fact that due to the words used, it's more complex, and some may few it as not worth their time. Other works of poetry become "irrelevant" and not studied due to the relevance as well. For example, with the entire world and all generation's lives being impacted due to the pandemic, poetry written about that will not become outdated, or lose relevance to future generations; simply because future generations will not have gone through it, yet they have poetry as a form of literature to look back on and be able to look back on how it was these months were. 


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wildsalmon
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@siennamuscat742 That idea really interests me, because of course our modern way of writing has to die out some way as well. "Relevance" is always super relative, so I'm sure other works may be incredily worthwhile in analyzing but have been lost to time somehow. This also leads into some interesting speculation, since the easiest way to group works is "modern" or "not modern," with subgroups further separating. Will there be a point at which literature ceases to be "not modern" and instead shifts into something older? It's easy to group Shakespeare's work with something like Beowulf since they're both a little difficult to read, despite Shakespeare being more modern. The concept of "relevance" in measuring worth is super interesting because it's based on date, I'd say.


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Carla Tortelli
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@siennamuscat742 I agree that all literature is worth analyzing. Flatland was definitely a new type of novel for me as well. It took a lot to really analyze what I was reading. I found my self re reading whole chapters to make sure I got most of the info. It is as you said very crucial to analyze unfamiliar writings. It allows for greater understanding and perspective. It allows us to find meaning in things we would have never even taken a second look at. Analyzing really allows us to learn more from the writing we read.


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@salmon I agree with what you're saying, relevance is, and will always be relative. Like, for example, in the 1960s, post-modernism evolved with "hippism". During that time period, color television came about, leading black and white films to no longer be relevant. Of course, we still have it to look back on, but no use for it in 2021. 


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Carla Tortelli
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@msar Every piece can be analyzed, but the extent to each piece I think varies person to person. Invisible Man was packed with meaning, parallels and illusions I never would have thought of. Just like in Flatland, there was so much meaning packed in that we could spend a few days talking about a single page and or paragraph throughout either of those novels. Pulling out meaning allows us to better understand the text and the perspective provided. Each piece and or novel will have some type of meaning, whether it be a small or great meaning we still have to further analyze to fully understand.


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