novangla: man tumblr loves to joke about how english lit analysis of symbolism is meaningless but…

novangla:

man tumblr loves to joke about how english lit analysis of symbolism is meaningless but like, when i took film class (from a filmmaker), my teacher told us,

there is no neutral or innocent choice in art

that is to say, as a writer or artist or filmmaker, you should be considering the meaning of everything you choose to include or exclude.  is there a water glass in the foreground of your shot? why?  you are creating a story from scratch, which means you are defining it by every choice you make, not just the major plot points.

especially in fiction writing or poetry, the author chose to write every single word.  nothing is there “on accident”.  if an author uses a color, they had to choose the color – and they had to chose to tell you the color at all, because they weren’t required to!  when i describe a color of something in my writing, i always think about the choice.  it’s never “just red”.

can analysis sometimes yield things the author didn’t intend? sure.  but (a) the point isn’t about trying to read the author’s mind, so who cares what they intended? and (b) sometimes the author actually does subconsciously weave symbolism into things.

i mean hell i had a fanfic commenter point out something that i hadn’t actually done intentionally and i was like, “wow, yes.  500% valid.”  if a reader can find resonance or symbolism in something, it’s not wrong or stupid or bad.

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