In this video, I’ll teach you how to talk about a book.
Now, you can discuss a book in an essay, in a paper, or just in a conversation. So this will work in any of those scenarios.
The easiest way to do it is to use the Power of Three and, you know – I constantly talk about it. But another way is also the Power of Dualities.
And I’m posting links to videos about both above.
Now, we must ask ourselves “What are the elements of any book?”
Again, I keep hammering this: I’m all about dividing, dividing, and dividing into sections and subsections.
And how do you do it? Well, you identify the elements of whatever it is that you’re discussing. So what are the elements of any book?
Well, here are the elements present in any book:
Now I’m not going to go into detail about each of these.
And there are many other elements to any book. There are many literary devices and so on. But these nine will carry your conversation very, very well whether it’s verbally or on paper.
Let me give you two to three examples of how to combine these elements and to discuss some in terms of the others.
Let’s take perhaps the most important element, which is the takeaway(s), the main message that the author of the book is trying to convey.
We want to take some of the other elements that could help us deliver our argument.
So say, for example, we could use characters to discuss the takeaway(s).
We could use characters, and this section would deal with the question “How do the characters help deliver the message?”
Right? Because the takeaway is really the message, and that’s exactly the question that we’ll be answering in that section.
Next, we could talk about symbols. There is symbolism in virtually any literature. In all literature, in all books, there is some sort of symbolism.
How do the symbols help deliver the message? This is the question that we’re going to be answering in this section.
Next section, metaphors. Same thing. We’re going to answer the question “How do the metaphors help deliver the message?”
Hope that makes sense.
So, as you can see, we are using four different elements that could be found in any book. If it’s a book of fiction, there’s definitely going to be characters, symbols, and metaphors.
Next, let’s say we want to talk about the mythology. It doesn’t have to be a myth, mythology, or mythological elements. I’m referring to Joseph Campbell’s work.
Mythology, mythological elements can be found in any story. Because, according to Joseph Campbell, we’re pretty much living out the human myth, and a story of any human being is, to some degree, a myth. It’s a mythological representation of that particular event in his/her life.
Characters. Again, we’re going to talk about characters. Which mythological types are present in this book? It could be a mentor or it could be a villain and so on. But there are mythological types or archetypes.
Symbols. Again, which mythological symbols are present? For example, let’s say in Beauty and The Beast, the symbol of the flower is very important.
It’s a red rose, it’s a symbol of virginity, it’s a symbol of marriage, it’s a symbol of love and it’s a symbol of life.
And you can talk about many different interpretations of that symbol.
This may sound a little bit complicated, but it all depends on what kind of a paper you really want to write. I’m just giving you an example so you could keep it as simple or complex as you want.
Okay. You could discuss just one character and say, “Okay, what mythological archetype is this character and why?” You could pick one character.
For example, you could pick Merlin from “The Knights of the Round Table” and discuss him in terms of who he really is, beacause he is the mentor archetype. He’s a wise old man archetype.
Symbols. Are there any symbols associated with this character? Like the sword or something else? But there are always symbols; just find one.
It’s actually interesting and fun to do; you just find the symbol and try to think, “Hmm what could it mean?”
And Story. So the question is “how does this character drive the story?” It’s a very good question to ask. And then you provide the answer in that section. You could write as much as you want if you stick to this kind of arrangement.
Here are your takeaways:
- Pick one of the elements of the novel. The story, the plot, one of the characters or several characters, a theme or literary device such as a metaphor or simile, and make it the subject. Meaning, that’s what the paper or the conversation is going to be about.
- You can use the Power of Three and pick three more elements in terms of which to discuss the subject just like I showed you right now in a couple of examples.
And remember, a book is not just a book. Because if you look at the book and all you see is this book, then it’s just one big thing, and of course it’s hard to discuss.
However, a book is not just a book. A book contains all of these elements: the plot, the story, the characters, the themes, the metaphors, the symbols, the takeaways, the mythology, the setting, and many, many others. But these are certainly enough for you to create a very interesting and powerful conversation.
Hope this was helpful and see you in the next video.