What is Allegory? – Literary Terms 101

Allegory: “An extended metaphor in which the characters, places, and objects in a narrative carry figurative meaning. Often an allegory’s meaning is religious, moral, or historical in nature,” – Poetry Foundation


Gwendolyn Brooks on Allegory

To expand on the use of allegory in literature, I want utilize the poem “Boy Breaking Glass” by Gwendolyn Brooks. The poem has been interpreted as an artistic outcry towards social injustice with commanding imagery throughout. The poem was dedicated to Marc Crawford, a writer she knew who had the poem published in his magazines Tone and as a reprint in the magazine Time Capsule (Kent, 2014). Read the poem below and take in the figurative meaning for yourself.

To Marc Crawford
from whom the commission

Whose broken window is a cry of art   
(success, that winks aware
as elegance, as a treasonable faith)
is raw: is sonic: is old-eyed première.
Our beautiful flaw and terrible ornament.   
Our barbarous and metal little man.

“I shall create! If not a note, a hole.   
If not an overture, a desecration.”

Full of pepper and light
and Salt and night and cargoes.

“Don’t go down the plank
if you see there’s no extension.   
Each to his grief, each to
his loneliness and fidgety revenge.
Nobody knew where I was and now I am no longer there.”

The only sanity is a cup of tea.   
The music is in minors.

Each one other
is having different weather.

“It was you, it was you who threw away my name!   
And this is everything I have for me.”

Who has not Congress, lobster, love, luau,   
the Regency Room, the Statue of Liberty,   
runs. A sloppy amalgamation.
A mistake.
A cliff.
A hymn, a snare, and an exceeding sun.

Poem found on poetryfoundation.org

Quote source: A Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by George Kent – 2014


My Poetry

Elemental Magic – Fire

Prose of The Magician

Prose of The Fool

Elemental Magic – Earth

Peril

What is neoclassicism? – Literary Terms 101

neoclassicism: The dominant literary movement in England during the late seventeenth century and the eighteenth century, which sought to revive the artistic ideals of classical Greece and Rome. Neoclassicism was characterized by emotional restraint, order, logic, technical precision, balance, elegance of diction, an emphasis on form over content, clarity, dignity and decorum. Its appeals were to the intellect rather than to the emotions, and it prized wit over imagination. As a result, satire and didactic literature flourished, as did the essay, the parody, and the burlesque. In poetry, the heroic couplet was the most popular verse form…Neoclassicism survives in the twentieth century in works that exhibit the styles, forms, and attitudes of classical antiquity and that emphasize the importance of universality, objectivity, impersonality, and careful craftsmanship.

Popular writers from this period: John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Joseph Addison, Samuel Johnson.

The NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms


Writing Advice

Vulnerability makes the writer…Read more…

Bram Stoker taught us so much in Dracula…Read more…


My Take on “Neoclassicism”

So, I would say that if you’re a fan of the fiction/mystery subgenre dark academia, then you’re already into neoclassicism. Wit over imagination surely meets the dark academia standard; knowledge and how you use it will always supersede fantasies unless that act of escapism tickles us intellectually with faint crack of a character’s psyche. I am and always will be a proud aesthete, but as an essayist and student of literary criticism, I’m naturally akin to this movement because it’s naturally noble and disciplined. Especially when I write a research article, objectivity is crucial. I do admire this movement though the more I think about it, the more paradoxical it seems. Technique, balance, and elegance are all good and well, but chaos and all its messes are beautiful too. I think those immersed in this movement knew that, thus the satire, parody, and burlesque.

What is rhetoric? – Literary Terms 101

rhetoric: “The art of persuasion, in speaking or writing…The rhetorical process included five stages–invention (discovering the logical, ethical, and emotional arguments), arrangement (organizing the arguments), style (choosing words and figures in which to express the arguments), memory, and delivery.”

The NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms


Writing Advice

Vulnerability makes the writer…Read more…

Bram Stoker taught us so much in Dracula…Read more…


My Take on “Rhetoric”

When you decide to become an English major or have to take an English 101 class for Gen Ed, rhetoric gets beaten into you. As repetitive as it gets, I would say it benefits you in the end. There are so many writers out there, fiction and nonfiction, who don’t have substantial rhetoric, meaning their attempt to write something believable fails. Frankly, it happens to all of us. I’m not saying that everyone should stick to the decrees of rhetoric coined by the almighty Aristotle and his wonderful pathos, logos, and ethos formula, but for writing to become a personal art, you need that foundation that often comes from our studies on rhetoric. It’s more for the sake of sharpening your style rather than limiting you. Especially in our current time, if someone is writing or speaking to us without logic, without credibility, and without heart, they won’t pull us in. We’ll sniff out bulls**t instantly. Of course, we’ve taken in fantastical, illogical events and enjoyed them, we found interest in those who lost their credibility in some manner, and we have learned from those who have a blackhole instead of a heart. Persuasion is an art and like any art, it can’t be bound, but the study of rhetoric surely gives you something to start with.

What is an antihero? – Literary Terms 101

Antihero: “A central character, or protagonist, who lacks traditional heroic qualities and virtues (such as idealism, courage, and steadfastness). An antihero may be comic, antisocial, inept, or even pathetic, while retaining the sympathy of the reader. Antiheroes are typically in conflict with a world they cannot control or whose values they reject,” – The NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms

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My Take on The Antihero

Honestly, this is my favorite type of character. They fall under other archetypes like tricksters, desperados, lone wolf, and the like. Ostracized, brooding, angsty, mischievous, chaotic, and neutral only when they want to be. These characters are near and dear to my heart probably because I’m the antihero of my own life. As I write my novel, I have several characters that fit this mold. I just love them.

I think what’s most important about this definition is the very last sentence: “Antiheroes are typically in conflict with a world they cannot control or whose values they reject.” The most prominent attribute of the antihero is conflict. This comes from their ambiguous alignment (not always lawful, chaotic, good, or evil), their “many shades of gray” point of view, and their autonomy. They conflict with many elements of the story because of their independence and resourcefulness. It’s them against the world, no matter if they have a few allies or not. Although these traits can be admirable, there is a lot of stress that comes with it, which is probably why they gain sympathy from the audience. Freedom isn’t free and you always have to watch your back. Antihero’s often come off as hardened, distant, or mistrusting. The conflicting circumstances they run into simultaneously reinforce the skills they have sharpened from their independent nature and challenge the morale they have for their lifestyle with ethical questions. I love watching a character who does their best to be neutral struggle with their ethics because it really is relatable; it’s how you establish your own personal philosophy.

Have you designed an antihero before, fellow writers? Do you favor this archetype more than others?

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First Draft Progress – 13 Days Until Deadline

A few things. First, this is the year of Stark lol.

Next, the eagerness for the completion of the first draft makes me want to just write nonstop. I’m so excited! I can’t watch a show or listen to music without thinking about my story and characters. I’m excited to edit the second draft because it’s not just time to venture into my own world and comb through the details, but I also get to study. Much of what I’m creating requires study of so much history and culture. Understanding the world is just so satisfying to me. With as much intent as possible, I hope my creations will allow me to travel the world. I want to go everywhere. I want to feel everything.

Also, one thing that has been knocking at the back of my mind is my PhD. I want to get it because I simply want it. But what do I get it in? I’ve swayed between mythology and more obscure topics like the occult or metaphysical studies (yes, these programs exist). I figured out what I wanted while I was watching Midnight in Paris (2011) (with Owen Wilson. Suuuuuuch a cute writer movie). I got really giddy seeing so many artists come to life through so many actors (Salvador Dalí was superb. I really want a movie of just him. Hiddleston stuck out to me too ’cause that American accent messed with me, but he was a great Fitzgerald! And Hemingway omg. Pain in my ass in undergrad, but his lines were great. Overall, I really, really admired the dialogue writing in the entire movie. I need to read the screenplay). I put myself in Gil’s shoes and wondered if I went back in time, which artists/authors would I want to hang out with? I started looking up some of my favorite authors; they were all from the late 18th through the 19th century. Romantics. The original emo kids and goths hanging around a lake or other areas that were nature-rich, thinking about death, subjectivity, challenging what enlightenment was and was not. It’s not really a golden age, like Gil was wanting for himself, but an imaginative one lodged in the unconscious with little bits of it escaping through poetry and other forms of artistry. Those are my people. I fell in love with so many writers, musicians, and artists from the 1800s. Mostly Romantics, some Victorian. It feels like “goth” was born there. So, if I were to get my PhD in anything, it would be Romanticism/Literature from the 18th/19th century. I’ve already decided on some easter eggs I want to put in my novel and even some study articles I want to write about my heroes. Hopefully, that’ll snag me a few letters of recommendation or references.

Gosh. I’m excited lol

I’m traveling Tuesday and I hope I’m conscious enough to write, read, and study on the plane and thereafter.

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