Telescope – This is an example of Jane Hirshfield’s idea that literature can be used to explore the unknown. Just like a telescope helps us view distant objects in space, literature allows us to explore new ideas and perspectives. Through stories, characters, and poetry we delve into the inner workings of human thought and emotions, enabling us to gain insight on our own lives as well as those of others. Literature can also help us understand our place in the world around us by introducing us to other cultures and ways of seeing things differently. By examining literature from different points of view we are able to broaden our understanding of human experience.
Read “Telescope, Well Bucket, Furnace” think of three examples from the course that correspond to some of Jane Hirshfield’s ideas about literature
Well Bucket – This is one way for Jane Hirshfield’s idea about “the effort needed for transformation” comes into play through literature. Life often requires hard work and dedication in order for real change to take place; this same concept applies when reading or writing fiction or poetry. Just like using a well bucket it takes time and energy to draw up the water needed for life-giving sustenance. Similarly, when engaging with literature there is a need for sustained effort if true transformation is desired; this could mean spending more time studying certain authors or themes so that their meaning may become fully realized in your mind and heart.
Furnace – Enduringly tied with Hirshfield’s notion that “literature is transformative power,” a furnace presents itself as an appropriate metaphor here due largely because its function revolves around transforming raw materials into something completely different—heat energy (in some cases electricity). In terms of how it relates to her thoughts on literature, this concept implies that consuming works such as novels or poems has an analogous effect on readers: these texts provide fuel which then becomes transformed into increased knowledge about oneself, society at large, history etc… Through these transformations one begins see themselves differently than before; developing newfound understandings about their worldview which they may have not been aware prior consuming said text(s).