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Susan Sontag
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Susan Sontag, in "Against Interpretation," takes a very interesting critical standpoint on the idea of literary interpretation. Unlike most literary critics, Sontag believes that literary criticism is growing increasingly destructive towards the very works of art that they, supposedly, so greatly "appreciate" and "respect." Her standpoint could not be more accurate. Reading her work generates numerous questions, the most important of which is quite possibly, "How are we to take her final statement, 'In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art.'" In the light of her previous statements, made throughout the work, one could only see this...
"Yes, Sontag meant to make just such a jab at the modern interpreter." Nevertheless, when adequate thought is applied to the situation one is forced to ask how else she could have more effectively driven home her point.

It is practically necessary to meet someone on their terms first if you hope to convert them to yours. Sontag has done this because she has little other choice. She has so effectively made her point, with the proper amount of respect, that her target, the modern critic, is in no position to resent Sontag's statements without first acknowledging their veracity.

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1. In the play "All My...1. In the play "All My Sons," by Arthur Miller, the word 'father' means the personification of goodness and infallibility to Chris Keller. There was a strong relationship between Chris and his father, Joe. Everything Joe had done in his life was for Chris. His entire factory was intended for Chris once he retired. 2. Throughout the play, there was question of Joe's innocence in the death of twenty-one pilots, who were flying planes that had parts from Joe's factory. Chris strongly believed that his father played no part in those deaths and that the blame lay solely on Joe's partner, Herbert Deever. At the end of the play, Chris' realization that his father was guilty brings about anger and then remorse, when Joe commits suicide due to his guilty conscience. Joe has done everything in his life for his sons. 3. Once his elder son Larry died in the war, Joe devoted his life to his younger son Chris. "KELLER. "¦Because what the hell did I work for? That's only for you, Chris, the whole shootin'-match is for you." Many businesses are handed down from generation to generation. Joe felt his role in life was to build a business that his son could take over once he got too old to run it. His love and hope for Chris blinded Joe's ability to make a thoughtful and rational decision regarding faulty parts from his factory. This resulted in the death of the pilots'. Joe completely disregarded the lives that his parts would be affecting because all he cared about was his son. The love that Joe displayed to his son was returned in the love and respect that Chris had for his father. "GEORGE. "¦But you know him. You know in your heart Joe did it. CHRIS. Lower your voice or I'll throw you out of here." George Deever's confrontation with Chris about his father's guilt demonstrated Chris' belief that his father was not guilty of any crime. He refused to believe that his father played a role in shipping the defective parts to the government. This only reinforced the idea that there was a strong father son bond between Joe and Chris. 4. The moral values that were instilled in Chris blocked him from believing that his father was capable of anything else but good. These values prove to be the eventual down fall of Joe. At the end of the play Chris" idealism and his moral outrage came across powerfully as he realized that his father was guilty. The solid connection between father and son was broken. As Chris struggled to understand his father's actions, Joe still felt he had done no wrong. "JOE. Nothing is bigger than the family. I"m his father and he"s my son." These were poignant and sad words by Joe as it showed he still had not realized the scope of the disaster he had caused. After reading the letter from Larry on the day of his death, the symbolic understanding of the title finally comes across in dramatic sorrow when Joe fully accepts his responsibility. He feels the only recourse is to take his own life. "CHRIS. Mother I didn't mean to"¦." Chris felt that because he had pressured Joe into accepting his responsibility, to the universe and the people in it, he was to blame for Joe's suicide. This remorse demonstrated that although Chris was deeply angered and saddened by his father's guilt, he still loved him. 5. Throughout the play, "All My Sons," the theme of the family appeared on a number of levels. Chris and Joe demonstrated their dedication and love to one another through a strong bond. Joe proved this by doing everything in life, including committing a crime, for his son, Chris. Chris showed this bond by not believing in his father's guilt even though the truth lay at the tip of his nose. Even after the realization that his father played a role in many deaths Chris over came his anger and recognized that he still loved his father by demonstrating remorse at his father's death. The tie between Joe and Chris Keller lay deep in the love and respect that each had for the other and proved to tough to break.   

1. In the play "All My Sons," by Arthur Miller, the word 'father' means the personification of goodness and infallibility to Chris Keller. There was a strong relationship between Chris and his father, Joe. Everything Joe had done in his life was for Chris. His entire factory was intended for...

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In "Young Goodman Brown" Nathaniel Hawthorne...In "Young Goodman Brown" Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism to effectively create the desired allegorical context. Having been published in 1835, the lasting effect of 17th century Puritanism played a significant role in the short story as it did in The Scarlet Letter and other works by Hawthorne as well Shoemaker. Among the most commendable aspects of Hawthorne's writing is his obscure style that allows the reader to make his own interpretations. Distinctly supporting this element, perhaps the most prominent and debatably analyzed symbol is the character Faith, the wife of Goodman Brown. While her tangible presence as a real character is often questioned, her initial symbolic role is obviously that of her name"”the abstract idea of Goodman Brown's actual faith in God. He has the choice of whether to go back to his "Faith" or explore the evils that the devil has to offer. The decision to be made by the reader of Faith's actual existence as a human is one example of the skepticism Hawthorne used to help to develop a writing technique composed of a mixture of fact and imagination Shoemaker. Young Goodman Brown ventures into the forest without his "Faith" to keep his appointment with the devil. He doesn't want Faith to find out the evil intention of his Calame 3 errand because he says, "'"¦she's a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven'" Hawthorne 404. Brown believes that he can depend on his wife's faith to save him. Therefore, it does not matter if he leaves his own at home because it will remain waiting for him. Opposition to the idea that he willingly abandoned Faith is in the symbolism held by the pink ribbon. Brown calls out three times for her to come to his aid, and not until he sees the pink ribbon that has fluttered down from the sky and caught on a branch does he realize that there is no hope without "Faith." It is tangible evidence of Faith's desertion Gregory. He tells the devil the reason he cannot cooperate is because of Faith. "'It would break her dear little heart and I'd rather break my own'" Hawthorne 405. However, by leaving in the first place, Brown literally breaks his faith in God, and with its departure, the two are never reunited. Another approach contrasting the idea that she symbolizes faith is that she is symbolic of the hypocrisy of the Puritan people Magill 843. Despite the emotional plea of her husband, "'Look up to Heaven, and resist the Wicked One!'" it can be inferred that Faith is unable to resist the Devil's temptation though she has "uncertain sorrow" after submitting to him Hawthorne 410. When Goodman Brown is informed of the duplicities of Goody Cloyse, his family, the minister, and all of the other most sanctified people in the Salem Village, he is shocked but still unaffected. Goody Cloyse, his moral adviser is even identified as a witch, an obvious taboo in early Puritan societies Wilson 297. However, the true hypocrisy is revealed by the exposure of Faith's iniquity"”the last straw for Brown. Calame 4 Even when compared to Deacon Gookin and Goody Cloyse, Faith is deemed the most sacred character, which is made obvious by her name. With this, her departure from God symbolizes the evil nature of all humans Shoemaker. Her presence at the demonic congregation is the key factor in the change that overtakes Goodman Brown. "'With Heaven above, and Faith below, I will stand firm against the devil,'" he courageously defies the temptation. However, only after becoming aware that his wife, his "Faith," has abandoned him, he exclaims in defeat, "'There is no good on earth, and sin is but a name. Come, Devil! For to the is the world given'" Hawthorne 408. It is at this point that he realizes that if the Devil can win not only the souls of all the people with the strongest religious influence in the community and in his life, but his Faith, then there is no God at all. His reaction during Deacon Gookin's sermon, "'What God doth the wizard pray to?'" is evidence of this newly acquired outlook on life Hawthorne 411. "Faith," whether symbolic of the Puritans or Goodman Brown's faith in God, is the most allegorically intricate character in "Young Goodman Brown," even more so than Goodman Brown himself. Hawthorne was extremely effective at portraying the evil-nature of humans as well as the hypocrisy of the Puritan lifestyle in his story. Even after almost 165 years, he is able to touch the hearts of his readers with his graphic reality. That, undoubtedly, is what makes "Young Goodman Brown" a truly proficient short story.   

In "Young Goodman Brown" Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism to effectively create the desired allegorical context. Having been published in 1835, the lasting effect of 17th century Puritanism played a significant role in the short story as it did in The Scarlet Letter and other works by Hawthorne as well Shoemaker....

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