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What makes pieces of literature worth analyzing over others?

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bunkymoo
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@carlatortelli Me too! Flatland was a novel that I really had to analyze for me to grasp meaning from it. It was a very different read than I was used to, and for it to make sense I had to really pay attention. The language was difficult in a certain aspect, and it was written very differently, so I had to adapt to that. I ended up really enjoying the complexity of it though.


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wildsalmon
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@siennamuscat742 And that's where it gets sort of weird, since mediums can become antiquated, but ideas are a little harder to date. Citizen Kane is definitely a little harder to watch with the lack of color, but it's still a very well recieved movie even in this modern time. Likewise, people still like Shakespeare even with its more aged grammar. I think that's the reason behind why you can see "simplified Shakespeare" all over, because the themes aren't going away as much as the vehicle delivering those themes. To refine my earlier idea, I'd say that there's a big difference between not understanding meaning due to the meaning being foriegn and not understanding meaning due to the way in which it's presented.


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ahayo
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@bunkymoo to add on with both of you Flatland was a novel that I would read parts of, not understand them and then just highlight it and shake my head and move on. Did I possibly lose some meaning in it? Yeah, but I had to just push through because the ideas in the story where so much larger than the small pieces I would get stuck on. After reading this and talking about it in class though it has definitely made me appreciate analyzing more than less. Because it's true by skipping over those "harder" parts I lost important meaning so by taking the time to deeply analyze I would've been in a better position. Bigger words = More analyzing in my mind.


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Gil
 Gil
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@nikki To examine what makes a piece of literature stand the test of time, looking at specific examples, such as Invisible Man, is beneficial. A key aspect that separates Invisible Man from other works, is that the ideas revealed in the novel remain true today. For example, the funeral speech of Clifton definitely could have been written for 2020. As for what @mangoman said, I don't think that it is necessarily true that if a book is popular it stands the test of time, for I do not see Twilight being labeled as a work of literature, and even as much as I love Harry Potter, that doesn't make it a piece of literature. There are many books that are fun, light reading, but I think we can all agree that it is a very different experience reading and dissecting a light read versus the books we have read in this class.

Another separation is the deep meanings that are embedded within these pieces of literature. In Turn of the Screw there is deep symbolism and interpretations that can be drawn out by the reader that the James set up within this book that can entail meaningful discussions. Invisible Man does the same, remember our essays? Mr. Chisnell said we could point at anything in the book and it has meaning. That is impressive, and not every book can do that. 

The difference between those popular books we read for enjoyment and literature is meaning that is embedded with the works. That doesn't mean that one can't find a book that isn't considered literature meaningful, but it means that the level of complexity of the piece is the essential difference. 


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Nikki
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@siennamuscat742 For sure! It might be interesting to see how pandemic poetry ages. I'm interested in terms of pandemic media as a whole. I'm sure it will be studied in the far future, but I wonder about its relevancy in the next few decades or so.


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Nikki
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@mangoman super interesting point. I'm reminded of the dystopian young adult novels of our childhood. I personally had a huge Hunger Games phase, so when I read the Divergent series, I was kind of like, ok this is literally the same thing, and I didn't really like it for that reason. I feel like the Hunger Games series has had more of a legacy than the Divergent series so far, but who knows what the future will hold for that whole genre.


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Nikki
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@a2m0n2 that's true! I think in that sense there's certain themes that are kind of overdone, so the more pieces of literature that use them, the less likely they are to stand the test of time. Thoughts (anyone)?


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Nikki
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@a2m0n2 I totally get that!! It's super annoying to be reading something written in older language and to constantly have to look up what they're referring to in the piece. For this reason, I think, classics like Shakespeare's work and other works will not be diminished in popularity, but rather abridged versions or versions reworked with modern language will rise in popularity.


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