How to Read Lit Like a Professor

By Alex Irizarry

Chapter 21 - Marked for Greatness

Harry's scar is what separates him from the other characters, it what makes him important at least to the reader. It symbolizes the importance of Harry to the story, and likewise the monster in Frankenstein, as they are the only ones who have some sort of physical imperfection throughout their stories.

He's Blind for a Reason, You Know

When talking about blindness, one of the most obvious examples is the tragedy Oedipus Rex, in which the main character blinds himself once he discovers the depth of his faults. His blindness symbolizes his own faults internally, and now that can be seen on the outside as well through his loss of sight.

Chapter 23 - It's Never just Heart Disease...

Chapter 24 - ...and Rarely just Illness

The most recent literary example of disease that comes to my mind is featured in the Fault in our Stars. As both Augustus and Hazel deal with their own cancers, and in the climax of the novel Augustus dies from his. His death sets off the last act of the novel and truly brings Hazels character arc full circle as she finally finds a reason to be happy with disease and accept what may come.


Cancer and eventually the death of Augustus are used to benefit the plot, they aren't just there to be there, there is a point for the main characters having cancer and Augustus's death was intricate to Hazels story.