I’ve always been a literal person. I can figure out the symbolism of something if that’s what’s required, but usually I approach things I read from a literal point of view. This makes taking lit classes interesting.
This weekend the assignment for my Brit Lit class was to read Caedmon’s Hymn and do a short writing assignment about it. I did the reading and writing, and when class time came I felt fairly ready for class. During class, there was discussion about the reading, and our teacher asked who Caedmon was. My first thought was, “Illiterate Cowherd,” because according to the text that’s how he was described. I didn’t say this, though, because I figured it wasn’t a deep enough answer. One of my classmates raised her hand and proceeded to start to say, “I wrote about how he was a sub-human…” (this isn’t an exact quote, but she definitely said sub-human). She was interrupted by our teacher re-asking the question. Turned out, our teacher actually wanted the answer that he was a cowherd.
I guess this means it’s not always a bad thing to take things literally.