The Relevance Of Physical Description

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This dissertation discussed the relevance of physical description in literary texts. Literary texts are composed of words on a page that excite readers’ imagination. In the process of reading, readers have to actively form mental pictures of characters, settings and situations and use their ability to read characters’ bodies and minds to make sense of the author’s words. The beauty of a literary text is that it allows readers to have individual reading experiences; each reader will create their own mental picture based on the words they read. But if each person is going to form a different mental picture, there seems to be no point in describing characters or settings in a text. Through an analysis of six novels ranging from the eighteenth…show more content…
In other words, novels reflect reality and expose the current ideologies from the time and place where these novels were conceived. In spite of being created in different times and places, the novels analyzed in this study share universal elements, which in turn reflect common concerns addressed by authors across different cultures. For Gad Saad, all forms of cultural expression share universal elements because they are produced by humans and regardless of culture of origin, all humans share universal characteristics: Beneath the veneer of cross-cultural differences in cultural forms exists a layer of universals that unites the manner by which individuals create, experience, and consume instantiations of cultural expression. A complete theory of culture should take into account both the myriad of unique and idiosyncratic cultural expressions along with the underlying cultural commonalities that binds all people under a universal and invariant human nature. (218). Thus, an analysis of literature, deemed as a cultural artifact, must understand the universal elements and also identify unique characteristics that reflect the culture that originated that specific work of art. In this dissertation I demonstrated that these novels, as narratives, share common or universal elements in heroines’ description that first originated with Samuel Richardson’s Pamela or Virtue Rewarded. Because characters interpret and mimic real
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