It’s interesting to me how many stories have or seem to have philosophical meaning. I often find myself wondering if there’s a single story that does not have a philosophical meaning. That is, of course, before I browse the paranormal romance section of young adult reads, but I’m sure some could argue that there is some philosophy there as well. My college World Literature class is really teaching me to search for these deeper meanings. To some extent, I had already been doing that, but not at the level I am required to now. In high school, I wrote an extensive author analysis paper on American author Mark Twain. After reading five of his novels and doing some extra research, I believe I have a very good understanding of Twain’s philosophies in literature. Still, the paper would have been much easier to write had I known what I do now about the “reading between the lines” process.

The books we read in class are filled with symbolism, and it’s getting easier for me to catch in works by classic authors. Yet I find myself questioning newer works by less famous authors. What was the author trying to get across? What is this character representing? Who or what events influenced this author’s writing? These are questions I now frequently ask myself. It is also something I now ask myself as an aspiring writer. Whether I mean to or not, I constantly find that my beliefs are the roots of all my major plotlines. This isn’t true for my subplots however; those are in place to add depth and entertainment value to the story. Still, I am finding that my college experiences are really helping me improve my writing. Whether I’m writing an essay or attempting to write fiction, I am beginning to see hidden concepts more clearly.

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