HTRLLAP Unit 2
By: Esther Sim Pd 2
In Chapter 21 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas C. Foster explains how physical qualities can tell the audience something about their character and personality. In Finding Nemo, Nemo’s little fin is his special marking. Before Nemo was born, he was attacked by a shark that caused his deformity and was held back by his father from doing anything risky or dangerous. His fragile, weak fin shows the audience that he, too, is also weak and frail. However, as the film progresses, Nemo’s fin grows stronger as he is forced to cross many obstacles in order to survive. This reflects Nemo’s personality as he also grows stronger and braver. Similarly, In Frankenstein, Mary Shelley uses the creature’s grotesque and unsightly looks to portray his malicious nature. Although the creature’s original nature was not evil, he grew into his appearance and murdered many people.
In The Fault in Our Stars, Isaac and Augustus create this friendship while Isaac can still see. When Isaac loses his eyes due to tumors, he becomes blind but because friendship is neither visible nor tangible and their friendship only grows stronger. This emphasizes the theme or imperfection. Augustus, Isaac and Hazel have either a missing leg, eye or carry around a tank to breathe which, are all visible imperfections. However it does not affect the intangible bond they have with each other.
In The Fault in Our Stars, Augustus and Hazel both have cancer which, according to Thomas C. Foster, is a sign of moral or physical weakness. The audience can see Hazel’s weak mentality through her negative outlook on life and her pessimistic attitude. When she meets Augustus her pessimistic ways are changed to more optimistic ones as she gains a stronger mindset than before. Although in the beginning of the book, Augustus was the healthy cancer survivor and Hazel was the weak cancer patient who was predicted to die in the book. However, the tables turned when Augustus’ cancer returned and causes his life to end. Augustus’ death symbolizes the death of Hazel’s weak mindset and negativity and he could also be seen as something that absorbed her negativity and took it with him when he died.
In Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein is suspected of killing his friend, Henry Clerval. When Victor looks at Henry’s body and sees dark, hand prints across Henry’s neck, Victor goes into shock and becomes ill for two months. In the 1800’s falling sick from shock and the illness lasting two months was pretty common, however now, it doesn’t happen. Over the past two centuries, medicine and technology has advanced and getting fatigue from stress and shock is something that is treated in as little as one day. Before Victor fell ill, when he saw the dead body, he saw it because it was shown to him by the town magistrate. The town magistrate, Mr. Kirwin, thought that if Victor saw the dead body then he would react in a way that would prove his innocence. That assumption might have worked in the 1800’s but that is a groundless method for proving someone’s innocence in the modern world.