Academic Literary Analysis equals Conspiracy Theories!

So I overheard my son complaining about his English Lit teacher’s need for him to analyze everything to death.

“If the author is a good author,” he argued, “the meaning of work will be obvious, because they know how to write clearly. It’s like trying to analyze why a fire engine is painted red. The obvious answer is that red is easy to see, and gets your attention. If you try to go any farther you get into conspiracy theory-style explanations. Trying to pull stuff out of a book that isn’t naturally there is like a meme I saw: fire trucks are red because Russians are red, and fire trucks are always rushin’ around.”

I paraphrase.

Now sure, symbolism, yes, levels of meaning, yes, allegory, yes, the author often isn’t aware of all of meaning he’s building in, yes, I get all that. (And we’ll have that conversation.) But at the same time, I think the kid’s onto something.

____
photo credit: 1959 Crosley Half Scale Fire Truck ‘117773’ 1 via photopin (license)

2 thoughts on “Academic Literary Analysis equals Conspiracy Theories!

  1. Hi there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough
    time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and
    I’m looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s