During this week, one of the things we discussed was the similarity between literature and art. Those two things have much more in common than one might think. As I have mentioned in one of my previous blogs, there can be many interpretations to a piece of literature. Well, the same goes for any piece of art. One person might look at a painting one way, while someone else might think of it in a different way. As a class, we discovered that art and literature are basically the same thing. The only difference is that literature is in the form of words, while artwork can be in the form of paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc.
Literature is art because every single word, sentence, and phrase are put in their places for a reason. It is just like a painting, where every color, line, and shape are exactly where the artist wanted them. By learning this, we can look at literature in a different way. I no longer look at it as just a normal piece of writing that may have some unique wording. I now look at it as a piece of artwork, carefully crafted by its artist, the author.
Now that I see literature as a piece of artwork, it will be much more interesting to read. When I think about how the author placed every word carefully in its place, I definitely appreciate it a lot more. I am glad that I was reminded of how literature is art this week because it makes literature more interesting.
This week we primarily worked on essays that compared our summer reading books to each other. We were broken up into small groups with people that read the same books, and were told to write a group essay. This helped us to learn how to connect events from one story to the other. It also taught us to learn teamwork in writing.
By comparing our summer reading books, we were able to understand what we read more. That was because one of the books we read, How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster, explained that there is usually a meaning to every little detail in a book. From this book we learned that in a story, there's almost always a reason as to why it is snowing, raining, or sunny. Rain for instance, could demonstrate more of a sad and somber feeling in the story. Usually when it is sunny, the mood is more joyful. There is also a reason why people become ill, and there is a reason why people die in a story. In one of the summer reading books I read, the main character lost her uncle. But that lead to her becoming closer to her aunt, and discovering what happened to her mom.
By learning these things, we were able to dig deeper into our books and uncover new meanings to certain events or conditions that we have not seen before. When it comes to literature, everything has a special meaning.
Many pieces of writing can be interpreted in different ways. That is what we had talked about as a class during this week. We read a poem called "The Eagle", by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. In that poem, we discovered many different perspectives as we shared what we thought the poem was about.
Some of us thought it could be about a higher power, looking down and watching the world. Some thought it could be about someone who was holding on to something and then falling. Others thought it might just be about an actual eagle. We learned that when it comes to determining what a certain writing is about, there is no right answer.
There are clues in all texts that hint towards different meanings, and we interpret them in different ways. For example, in "The Eagle" the author wrote "And like a thunderbolt he falls". Most of us would think that by saying this, the author means that the bird is diving downward. That is because he uses the phrase "like a thunderbolt". By using "like a thunderbolt" to describe the fall, the author is showing that the fall was very powerful, and therefor it would make sense for it to be a dive.
However, some people in our class took that sentence differently. They thought the author was saying that the eagle just fell without meaning to. Maybe he lost his grip or something.
By the end of the week we had all learned just how different our minds see things when we read, and we began to open up our minds to new interpretations. Here's a link that leads to more details about interpreting things differently.
During the first week of school, as a class we talked about how there is always room for improvement in our reading and writing capabilities. We discussed that in order for us to succeed in our AP lit class, we would have to do a lot of reading and writing to improve our skills. That was why we all signed up for that class, we want to improve our reading and writing so that we are better prepared for college. Improvement is one of the main topics that was brought up during this past week. Another important thing we had talked about was ourselves as readers and writers. Each of us students had written a couple paragraphs describing our reading and writing experience. Those two topics relate because everyone, no matter how talented, can improve their reading and writing skills. There is always room for improvement.
On Friday we watched a video that showed college students talking about how they learned that they had much to learn when it came to writing in college, even though they had won awards for being such great writers in high school.
Something I found that might prove itself useful to someone out there who would like help with writing is a website that has lots of tools that could definitely be helpful to anyone writing. On this website there are many links to other websites that can help with grammar and other writing skills. There are also tips and lists of common errors that may assist anyone writing.
Just like anything else, it is important to keep practicing reading and writing because there is always room for improvement.