`` Flights Of Fancy `` By Thomas C. Foster Essay

`` Flights Of Fancy `` By Thomas C. Foster Essay

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In 2003, Thomas C. Foster wrote How to Read Literature Like a Professor as a guide for students to develop strong literary analytical skills and to become well read. He discusses topics such as literary and rhetorical devices and how to approach a piece of writing. Fifty two years prior to How to Read Lit.’s publication, J.D. Salinger wrote The Catcher in the Rye, a fiction novel following the quests of Holden Caulfield, an adolescent trying to find his place in the world. Three of the most significant devices Foster discusses are flight, illness, and symbolism; all present in Salinger’s novel. With substantial evidence, strong analytical skills, and a critical reading of The Catcher, Foster’s claims regarding literary analysis can be proven valid.
In Foster’s chapter “Flights of Fancy”, he explains the significance of flying, falling, and images of metaphorical flight such as birds, towers, and feathers. Foster’s most prominent assertion in the chapter is that flight is freedom. “Not only from specific circumstances but from those more general burdens that tie us down.” (Foster 135.) He also claims that surviving a fall is as “miraculous and meaningful as flight itself.” (Foster 139.) The Catcher’s protagonist Holden thinks and asks about the local lagoon’s springtime ducks throughout the novel. Only the novel is set during the winter, therefore the ducks are gone. The ducks flew away from the new brutal environment. Holden switches schools and wanders around New York because he wishes to fly away from his new troubles involving sexuality, identification and true kindness. However, flight always comes with a fall, or at least a landing. Towards the end of the story Holden decides to visit his former teacher and wise, intellectua...


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...with his parents because he always getting kicked out of school. He doesn’t realize that Phoebe is behaving exactly as he does. Phoebe is a child, therefore he has been behaving like a child. Phoebe’s mirror of Holden signifies symbolism.
As shown above, examples from Salinger’s novel prove the validity of assertions expressed in How to Read Lit. Flying and falling represent more than the actions themselves. A character may fly toward his desires and tumble down on the way because flying isn’t easy, and neither is life but flying is freedom. Comparatively, a disease isn’t just a disease; an illness showcases a character 's emotions, views, and perspectives. As a final point, symbols come in several different forms. Every symbol is unique to the reader, and the reader contains the imagination to decide what the symbol means to him. Foster’s text is extremely logical.

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