I studied English Literature as an A-Level. Twenty plus years ago I was sat running through the details of various books, doing my best to decipher the hidden meanings behind the choice of words the author decided to employ.

When they said the sky was a deep blue were they referring to an intensity of feeling in the character voicing the opinion? Is it a way of showing the sadness inherent in the world? Did the author wish that the clarity of the colour could be used for a similie to the clarity of thought from a character? Did they just mean the sky was a deep blue?

When we read through all of the millions of words in all the books we’ve ever come into contact with, are we doing the right thing when we read the words at just the surface meaning or should we always be looking for a wider or deeper meaning from the writer?

I’ll admit that I was very focused on dealing with the details as I presented them but I did chuck in the odd nugget of veiled info.

But why do that?

Why should there be any need to say anything more than the most direct point?

We all know the reason to this. In the real world the purest example of this is ‘I’m fine’. The simple banality which covers so much. The ringing cry for help. The callous brush off. The description of being OK. We see it on a day to day basis out there in the real world, people saying one thing but really meaning another, people disguising what they really wish to say for all kinds of reasons. We could be unwilling to reveal the truth for all kinds of reasons but we’re still screaming the meaning from behind words which mean something totally different.

As with every ‘trick’, we can’t use this all of the time or it’ll lose it’s power, but we see it that way in the real.

I know that everyone reads the words on the page as written but like one of those magic eye puzzles, we do our best to see that which is behind the presented picture. I suppose we should always keep in mind to not look too deeply for something which the author never intended to include.

Happy delving.


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