There’s said to be three ways a book is analyzed; by what the author meant, by what the teacher thinks the author meant and by what the fan thinks the author meant.
Whenever we read we overanalyze books by over-reaching, searching for something that doesn’t exist. Trying to give every little detail a meaning like the author intended it.
In English class I remember reading a poem that spoke of a black bird. The teacher begins to tell us about how the bird represents death because of it’s dark colour and it’s really used as symbolism for a persons life coming to an end. I find it hard to believe that they know exactly what the author was thinking at that moment when really they just chose a black bird because they like the way it sounded or that’s their favourite colour.
Then there’s the fans thoughts on what the author meant. Based on their favourite couples and characters they seem to find hints and foreshadowing out of words that aren’t there. The funny thing is that it always seems to make sense when they explain it to you, more so than the teacher’s thoughts.
I always think back to grade 8 when we read Speak in class and I absolutely hated it. It was an amazing book don’t get me wrong but being forced to read something I didn’t want to and having to analyze it by answering a million questions completely ruined it. Schools have a way of taking something that should’ve be great and turning it into something you hate.
What are we really learning if we’re creating meanings for books that aren’t there?