Linked Questions

2 votes
0 answers
63 views

Do literature interpretations actually reflect what the author had in mind? [duplicate]

I read an article about a writer who was asked about the interpretation of one of his books, and he had a hard time coming up with something that would be aligned with the expectations of the jury. ...
WoJ's user avatar
  • 231
51 votes
7 answers
12k views

What is Tom Bombadil's importance in The Lord of the Rings?

Tom Bombadil is definitely one of the weirdest characters in all of The Lord of the Rings, he just comes out of nowhere, stumbling upon Frodo and Sam while singing. His actions are just incredibly ...
Mark S's user avatar
  • 553
40 votes
7 answers
9k views

The author of a literary work disagrees with critics about meaning—who's right?

I've just come up with a conjecture on what a piece of literature means, but the author has said that they didn't mean for their work to suggest that. For example, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is ...
Aurora0001's user avatar
  • 1,364
35 votes
1 answer
21k views

Is there any textual evidence to support that Dumbledore was gay?

JK Rowling announced in 2007 to an audience at Carnegie Hall that Albus Dumbledore was in fact, gay and always had been... Q: Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall ...
Skooba's user avatar
  • 4,170
16 votes
4 answers
2k views

Ray Bradbury says Fahrenheit 451 isn't about censorship. Is he right?

According to this question about Ray Bradbury's intentions, Ray Bradbury did not intend for Fahrenheit 451 to be about government censorship, and went so far as to say "Fuck you" to someone who argued ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is it reasonable to use the movie version of a book to interpret the book when the same author wrote both?

Related: How much weight should we give authors' declarations of their intent after the fact? Just to give a concrete example of what I'm asking about, I'm thinking in particular about The Hunger ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
7k views

Was Susan ever able to return to Narnia?

At the end of The Last Battle, Peter states that Susan has become 'too grown up' to return to Narnia. However, we do see grown-ups coming to Narnia, or Aslan's country - we see their parents. Also, it ...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 25k
20 votes
1 answer
1k views

How much weight is given to authors' intentions in literary analysis?

When people analyze literature, one of the first things people seem to do is look for interviews or quotes from the author where the author describes the meaning they intended their text to have. My ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
20k views

What is the meaning of these lines about love from "Desiderata"?

What is the message being delivered through these lines in "Desiderata" by the poet Max Ehrmann? Especially do not feign affection Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity ...
Archer's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did Plutarch Heavensbee actually not know the details of the Quarter Quell?

At one point in the book, Plutarch Heavensbee claims that he didn't know that Katniss was going back into the Games. This would seem very odd if true, especially given that he was the Head Gamemaker ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
557 views

Should Go Set a Watchman change our view of Atticus defending Tom Robinson?

I do realize that the passage of To Kill a Mockingbird where Atticus defended Tom Robinson has been heavily analyzed elsewhere at this point. However, it seems like most people got the impression that ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
484 views

Why are the magicians who captured Morpheus "rubbish"?

Neil Gaiman is on record saying the people who captured Morpheus in issue #1 (i.e. Roderick Burgess and the Order of the Ancient Mysteries) are completely rubbish, English, sort of Crowley-esque, ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
  • 8,454
8 votes
1 answer
818 views

Was authorial intent ever taken seriously in academic literary theory?

What does the author mean? and What does the author want to say/convey/express/...? are questions we heard countless times during literature classes at school. In other words, it is a common didactic ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 45.1k
6 votes
1 answer
185 views

How can readers ascertain that they have identified the author's intent?

We currently have several questions about auhorial-intent, for example, How much weight is given to authors' intentions in literary analysis? and How much weight should we give authors' declarations ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 45.1k
0 votes
1 answer
136 views

How intentional are symbols, and do we ever know that the author meant the reader to interpret them in a certain way?

To avoid this question being overly broad, I will connect it to a specific book. In Catcher in the Rye, Holden frequently wonders where the ducks in Central Park go for the winter. When I read the ...
nuggethead's user avatar