Teaching Literature- Flannery O'connor

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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"The Teaching Of Literature" Analysis 1. Key Terms: - Fiction: a piece of writing that is not factual, contains mystery and deals with human nature. It embodies mystery through manners.

- Poverty: This does not necessarily have to do with lack of money. The author describes it as the experience of limitation, when a novelist "sees in the depth of himself".

- Mystery: the essence of literature. It cannot be reduced to a simple moral or to the writer. It is what most people try to eliminate.

- Technical Study: that which leads to the proper meditation of literature and should be adopted by teachers. The study of the technical part of the work itself.

- Literature: embodiment of mystery.

- Dramatic truth: the full contemplation of the mystery the novel contains.

2. Thesis: - Literature, especially fiction, is not taught or understood correctly and its study should be a technical study.

3. Argument: - F. O'Connor thinks that literature must be taught in a certain way in order for people to really understand it. People do not enjoy fiction because it contains mystery. For most people, learning means eliminating this mystery and just knowing facts. Since mystery cannot be reduced into facts, purposes, or morals, in the end, the reader never understands what the work itself means. This is partly the teachers' fault who make this mistake quite often. Instead of actually teaching literature, they start teaching the historical background of the novel, sociology, and are more concerned about the author and why he wrote the novel than in the novel itself. The only way left to teach literature is as a technical study of the work in which the goal is the contemplation of that mystery and to "enjoy the love of language and what can...



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