How To Read Literature Like A Professor Critical Analysis

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Under the Surface They Are All Alike Various novels have more in common than first meets the eye. Thomas C. Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor discusses the idea of how characters often go on quests and how they have the same five parts. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a young lady named Hester Prynne commits adultery, and she, along with the two men, must live with the consequences. Hawthorne demonstrates Foster's ideas on quests through the characters Roger Chillingworth, Hester Prynne, and Arthur Dimmesdale in his novel. When Roger Chillingworth visits Hester Prynne in her jail cell, he displays the five parts to a quest as presented by Foster. The five parts are, “(a) a quester, (b) a place to go, (c) a stated reason to go there, (d) challenges and trials en route, and (e) a real reason to go there” (Foster). Roger Chillingworth is the quester, and Hester’s cell is the destination. The stated reason for him to go there is to provide medical care to Hester and her child Pearl. He faces the challenge of getting Hester to trust him enough that he can administer medicine. In addition to trying to do his job as a physician, he must face the woman who cheated on him while he was away. While there, he makes the realization he will never be a father to Pearl. Before he leaves, he makes Hester…show more content…
The Reverend is the quester while the center of town is the place to go. The stated reason he goes there is to deliver his sermon. The Reverend struggles to contain himself in front of the townspeople. He knows he has sinned, so he does not feel as though he deserves such an honor as delivering the sermon. After his speech, he goes up on the pillory to confess his sin in front of the town. The real reason Arthur Dimmesdale attends the procession is so he can relieve himself of his burden. Therefore, Foster’s ideas are reflected through Arthur

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