All simile this and deep meaning that Watch

thats funny
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#1
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When you study literature in school etc - They all moan and harp on about finding hidden meanings and similes and imagery and other crap in the text you're reading.
Why?

It's ridiculous, thinking back - and I'm glad I don't have to dissect something I'm supposed to be enjoying and getting a story from like this - I mean we did The Handmaid's Tale - I found it to be a pile of crap anyway, can't stand books written in 1st person narrative.
Either way, I like to write would-be novels and it seems awful to think th when writing I'm not just writing to offer entertainment etc and a story that might interest someone and that's it.
Why would I want to take heed of the different grammatical and semantic things that people can pick out of it. Anyone reading a book and doing this rubbish in their spare time is probably a tosser or tossette.

So why do they encourage this in school, why do they give you extra marks for doing something you shouldn't be, do you reckon that the authors of these studied texts actually gave a crap about the meaning, or was it probably there naturally due to the flow of the text they were looking for and the entertainment quality they were hoping for.

Is studying like this rubbish - should it be scrapped?

--

It make sense to me if the questions in exams were:

Tell us what happens and whether you liked it etc - - - Expain the merits and downfalls of the text as a form of entertainment.

I mean seriously, utter bowlocks.
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DaveJ
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There can sometimes be over-analysis, but I think it's the best way to do it.

I mean, your suggestion questions are ridiculously easy. And studying texts the way they are studied at the moment improve analysis skills and increase your awareness of context etc.
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Franc Vouloir
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(Original post by Mr. Walking Cliché)
[D]o you reckon that the authors of these studied texts actually gave a crap about the meaning, or was it probably there naturally due to the flow of the text they were looking for and the entertainment quality they were hoping for ... [?]
More to the point: who cares? This isn't 1910, you know.

In any case, writing about a text with reference only to some supposed 'entertainment quality' would quite obviously be ****ing dull. I really can't be bothered to argue this point in detail (it rarely ends well), but there is a great deal more to intelligent critical engagement with a text than 'simile this & deep meaning that'.
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Aconite
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#4
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Oh dear. I usually quite like you, too, but I've got to say that I'm disappointed.

This whole argument sounds, well, a bit ignorant. The next step is "English? What do you want to study that for? You can already speak it, can't you?"
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madima
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#5
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(Original post by Aconite)
Oh dear. I usually quite like you, too, but I've got to say that I'm disappointed.

This whole argument sounds, well, a bit ignorant. The next step is "English? What do you want to study that for? You can already speak it, can't you?"
GET OUT OF MY HEAD.
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harr
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For GCSE essays my brother is being told to talk about Freudian theories from the 1920s and their influence on a book from the 1880s (people's behaviour obviously didn't change much in this period of time, but he is supposed to write as if the author had heard the theories). He also has to misunderstand evolution, which is almost reasonable if the author also misunderstood it, but even then it would be far better to understand it correctly and then see how the author got it wrong as we already have enough people who don't understand it. I see literary analysis on the whole as a good thing, but the way GCSE English Literature works doesn't really encourage thought or promote an accurate understanding of the texts (I got an A*, so this isn't bitterness at doing poorly).
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Aconite
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#7
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(Original post by madima)
GET OUT OF MY HEAD.
Meaning?
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curiouslyorange1989
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#8
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Sir thou art nought but an illbreeded philistine! Get thee into a science lab and leave us warrior poets in peace!!!
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*pitseleh*
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#9
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(Original post by Aconite)
Oh dear. I usually quite like you, too, but I've got to say that I'm disappointed.

This whole argument sounds, well, a bit ignorant. The next step is "English? What do you want to study that for? You can already speak it, can't you?"
:five:

*agrees with all of the above*

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madima
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(Original post by Aconite)
Meaning?
meaning that's what i always think to myself. seriously... for gcse english, this was my mark scheme:

talk crap about insignificant things and give evidence - A*
talk crap about things and give evidence - A
talk crap and give some evidence - B
talk crap - C
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Peel
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Although I haven't done English in a while (sadly ) I've always been drawn the idea of a deeper meaning within a seemingly straightforward text. In my opinion, it adds an extra dimension and a new perspective to literature; something that might make us reassess ourselves or perhaps dervive our own personal meaning from. Personally, the most enticing books for me are those I can look for deeper meanings / messages and relate these to ordinary life.
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vagabond
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#12
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the 'deep meaning' is not an invention of english teachers
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thats funny
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#13
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hmm i see what those arguing for the same teaching are saying - I just personally found it annoying because I'd never do it reading a regular book - But the person who said it help analytical skills etc I agree with that so fair dos.

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Tombola
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#14
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You read books at face value? =O
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thats funny
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#15
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(Original post by Tombola)
You read books at face value? =O
For story and entertainment - no more or less

In Stephen King's Cell - The last book I read I find it hard to approach something like a zombie eating someone by going, ooh what does this mean - let's stop an analyse instead of actually finding out what happens next
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vagabond
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#16
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that's why stephen king is a story teller but not a writer
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Tombola
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#17
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But... like even the most basic things usually have symbolisms and private jokes inside them.

You're killing a huge chunk!
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thats funny
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#18
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(Original post by vagabond)
that's why stephen king is a story teller but not a writer
Same applies to any author I read -

From Joe Herlihy to Thomas Harris -
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Freud
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#19
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What an incredibly simple argument.

Similes, foreshadowing, metaphors etc are all used to give a story depth. Without them a story would be so intensely boring. The best written novels are when you read them, and the end is a surprise, then you reread it and you see the whole way through the story the author has hinted and given clues to the ending that you never saw before.
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Zanshin
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#20
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(Original post by thats funny)
Same applies to any author I read -

From Joe Herlihy to Thomas Harris -
So what? If you´re only interested in story and entertainment you´re hardly going to be the one reading literature with "simile this and deep meaning that". It seems you prefer the storytellers.
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