Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English


Introduction to Literature
Michael Delahoyde


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

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

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

If not consciously done, but the text itselfdoes convey and contain the richer meanings than intended by theauthor?

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

But what if our meanings were not intendedby the author AND are not at all in the text? What if our creativeinterpretation 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 authoror authority figure assuring us that what we decide for ourselvesis indeed the objective intended purpose of our lives. So we’vemade 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 experienceswhich oppress if not baffle us daily. This is especially crucialnow in an age of imitation, cloning, and anti-identity (e.g.,originality points for lip-synching).

Besides, as Buzz says in Rebel Without aCause, “You’ve gotta do something.”

Critical Theory
Introduction to Literature