Introduction to Literature
Michael Delahoyde


We've mined much material, discussion, and speculative lunacy out of these literary works this semester. What if we were wrong? What was the point?

If what we determined about the meanings of these works was indeed consciously intended by the authors?

Then we've been translating the implications, bringing the subtler message out into the open, articulating the nuances for what ideally can be our hightened awareness and our better selves.

If not consciously done, but the text itself does convey and contain the richer meanings than intended by the author?

Why stop at exactly what was intended? Freudian slips are reflections of deeper workings beyond face value. What if not the author but the work speaks for an age and a culture, or humanity? Value systems and problems are perpetuated every day without one single person being responsible. Art is more important than the author. We reevaluate, recreate the text anew ourselves.

But what if our meanings were not intended by the author AND are not at all in the text? What if our creative interpretation indeed went too far?

Well, at least we're practicing our "reading" and reasoning skills. It's the human impulse to discover a point, to find meaning in experience, and typically there is no author or authority figure assuring us that what we decide for ourselves is indeed the objective intended purpose of our lives. So we've made dynamic sense of an enigma; more power to us.

The liberal arts are supposed to liberate us, give us control over the bombardment of values and experiences which oppress if not baffle us daily. This is especially crucial now in an age of imitation, cloning, and anti-identity (e.g., originality points for lip-synching).

Besides, as Buzz says in Rebel Without a Cause, "You've gotta do something."

Critical Theory
Introduction to Literature