The study of literature is not like the study of math or science, or
even history. While those disciplines are based largely upon fact, the
study of literature is based upon interpretation and analysis. There are
no clear-cut answers in literature, outside of the factual information
about an author's life and the basic information about setting and
characterization in a piece of literature. The rest is a highly subjective
reading of what an author has written; each person brings a different
set of values and a different background to the reading. As a result,
no two people see the piece of literature in exactly the same light,
and few critics agree on everything about a book or an author.
When reading and discussing literature here, we hope to arrive at an
objective literary analysis based upon the information actually found in
the novel, book, or play. In the end, perhaps, everyone will end up with
an individual interpretation, but one that can be readily supported by
the information that is presented in the guide. In our discussions, you
or others here may come up with a different interpretation of the mood or
the theme or the conflict. Your interpretation, if it can be logically
supported with information contained within the piece of literature,
is just as correct as anyone else's.
Literature is simply not a black or white situation; instead, there
are many gray areas that are open to varying analyses. Your task is to
come up with your own analysis that you can logically defend. Hopefully,
these discussions will help you to accomplish that goal.
For the new attendee to these conversations, we tend to discuss
a variety of thematic elements in both the literary texts and the
literary characters being explored. We also suggest possible means of
implementing these elements into games or player characters. Finally,
it's been the experience of many here that stating subjective literary
concepts as absolutes tends to kill further debate. However, one of the
best ways we know to promote further thoughtful conversation is asking
questions of others so they will clarify their positions to you. Who
knows? Perhaps by doing that you'll also learn something interesting
Most important of all, these discussions are for fun. Enjoy!