Tag: literature

5 Elementary Sherlock Holmes Memes

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most beloved characters in the British canon, and with countless adaptations and reimaginings, it was bound to spawn its own army of memes.

 

When Someone Tries to Talk to You Before 10AM

 

Image via Pinterest

 

It’s too early to be any kind of way, and that includes mad at you. Just look at that face! Get the man a cup of coffee. Of course, knowing him, he’s probably just thinking about cigarette ash or lock picking and barely heard, but I still think there’s a lot to relate to. I think most of us have been in a state at one point or another where someone was talking to us and we looked at them like this.

 

 

I’m Basically a Genius

 

Image via Cheezburger

 

All the clues are there! Isn’t it more or less the stock and trade of the mystery genre to make you feel like you could figure out for yourself, and there’s no better feeling than actually being able to do it, whether you’re watching or reading Sherlock Holmes. I mean, the euphoria of finding out who committed crimes at the end is good, but not as good as figuring it out yourself.

 

 

Iconic

 

Image via Esmemes

 

Look, I think he’s valid, sitting in ridiculous ways and wearing a house robe, I’m actually pretty jealous. I know he deals with like, murder, every single day, but I’d still trade with him if it meant living like this. Just doing drugs and solving crime. Alright, I’d probably only enjoy one of those things, but this ridiculous posture really does make him an icon.

 

 

He’s All of Us

 

Image via Meme

 

We’ve all been through some things, ok? I confess I don’t have an alphabetized list, but there’s a club you can join if you want. It’s like, ‘who hurt you?’ and I mean, almost everyone. Plus, it’s like, you’re talking to a detective. I’m not an expert, but I’m not sure any detective runs into new situations just super trusting and optimistic. Who does?

 

 

It’s So Obvious!

 

Image via Pinterest

 

Alright, minimal shade, but at least Blue’s Clues actually showed us all the clues. Maybe a lot of shade. Idk. I’m just saying, if we’re not shown the clues, how are we supposed to know if he’s smart? I mean, you can just tell us, but it’s not the same visceral understanding we’d get if we know everything Holmes does and can’t figure out a single thing for ourselves.

 

 

Featured image via AstrologyMemes

Why We Need to Address White Assumption in Books

If this were a book and I opened it up by describing a “slim heroine with bright brown eyes, thick long hair, and a dimpled smile” what, or who would you picture? It’s natural for us as readers to assign a look to a character, sometimes even influenced by someone we know or a celebrity that we feel fits the description. But the fact of the matter is that many of you who read that description, without even thinking about it, automatically pictured this heroine as a white woman. And that, dear readers, is what it means to see whiteness as the default.

 

 

But why does this happen? While seeing white as the default isn’t an issue specifically monopolized by literature, the white bias in writing is more unique because of one major factor: it’s all words. Books have only text to rely on to show you the story. This gives us as readers a certain amount of responsibility when it comes to visualization. It’s not like in a television show, movie, or even comic book where the image of the character is clear, leaving less uncertainty about race. For this reason, part of what contributes to us seeing white characters as the literature default is the character description or lack thereof.

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Image via writers HQ

 

Many authors take specific care to describe the skin-tone of non-white characters while not doing the same for their white counterparts. The reason that this is an issue is that it affects others those of different races while also conditioning readers to assume the whiteness of characters even if not explicitly stated as such. By pointing out the race of only characters of color, it’s an implication that characters that are not white are outside the “norm.” The implication then becomes that the “norm” is whiteness. Thus, we default to white when thinking of any character whose race is not specified.

 

 

While much of the burden is on authors to fix this problem, there’s also something important we as readers can do. We must unlearn seeing white as a default or the “norm” and that’s not an easy thing to do. One way to start to do this as readers is to read more books by authors of color. Being able to read books where there is diversity that is baked into the very nature of the characters is powerful. Simultaneously, you’re also supporting authors of color which are helping to diversify the literature we read.

 

Image result for diverse literature

Image via pinterest

 

Something else we as readers need to do is hold ourselves accountable. When we’re reading, we need to be thinking about the role assumption playing in our head-canons, fan-casts, and visualizations of characters. Questioning where in the text you get the idea that a character is white from their descriptor is something that will help you consciously think through your own biases.

 

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Image via the black youth project

 

The last thing you can do goes beyond literature and it has to do with confronting the way you think of race in general. Oftentimes we’re presented with a fairly stereotypical view of non-white races. When we hear the word “blonde” we automatically think white, ignoring the fact that people of color can be born naturally blonde or that hair dye exists in the 21st century or that in fantasy books there are people with naturally purple hair so a person of color with naturally blonde hair isn’t out of that realm’s reality. Latinx people can have light skin or dark skin, same with Black people, Asian people, Native people, etc. So reading about a character that has “fair skin” or a character that blushes when they’re frazzled still does not automatically make them white. People of color are far from homogenous and all it takes is a simple google search to see that. Expanding your own world-view and taking some time to look a bit more into the way race can be presented will go a long way in keeping yourself from automatically assuming whiteness.

 

Image result for assumed whiteness

Image via Cosmopolitian

 

Unfortunately, many of the characters we read about whose races are explicitly mentioned actually are meant to be white by the authors and a lot of that comes from their own white bias. But being able to recognize our own biases, hold ourselves accountable, and change our own world views is going to make for a plethora of authors, both old and new, who have a vastly more progressive approach to writing racial diversity in literature.

 

 

Featured image via The New York Times

Seven Words Shakespeare Invented

Did you know Shakespeare invented more than 1700 words? Probably. Maybe. There’s a bunch of controversy. Still, he definitely invented some words we use every day. You can probably find the long list if you really want, but here are seven. You may sense a theme.

 

 

1. Countless

Image via Astronomy.com

 

This is a pretty pedestrian word. Obviously Shakespeare didn’t invent the idea of counting, but he did give us a useful way to talk about it. It’s definitely faster than saying ‘without measure’.

 

2. Gloomy

Image via Imagekind

 

What would we do without the word gloomy? No synonym comes close. Dark? Shadowy? Get out of here. In this, the gloomiest season, it’s only right we honor the word itself.

 

 

3. Critic

Image via The List

 

Where would we be without critics? How would we know what super hero movies are actually worth the trouble? In 2019, it’s hard, and I say that as a fan.

 

 

4. Bloody

Image via The Craftory

 

Another one that’s hella seasonably appropriate. Another one where there are no good synonyms, though I feel like if you want to convey it there are some fun gothic options.

 

 

5. Pious

Image via Flickr

 

This one’s got ‘devout’ but pious does have a different vibe, maybe more smugness? Whatever it is, you can never have too many synonyms. Words, words, words.

 

 

6. Lonely

Image via Cru

 

Whatever would we do without lonely? Loneliness, lonesome, just a lot of feeling in a small space. Shakespeare knew what was up, though it doesn’t seem like HE was ever alone.

 

 

7. Majestic

Image via Reddit

 

Majestic is a great word, for both serious and ironic usage (a lot of the images I found were derpy lions and unlikely centaurs). It conveys something ‘great’ just doesn’t.

 

 

 

Featured image via ThoughtCo

Eight Spicy Hamlet Memes

Alright, so you know we’re obsessed with SparkNotes’ twitter. Or, I am at least.  The memes are so dank. And now there’s a master list of everything they’ve posted about Hamlet, or at least a lot of it, and it’s all iconic. Here we go.

 

When Your Dad Tells You to Do Something

 

Clean my room? Murder your killer? Totally, I’ll do that right now. Just let me finish this chapter. Level. Book. I’ll TOTALLY remember the stabbing stuff after that. I’ll even clean up the blood. When I get to it. No one’s perfect, you know?

 

 

When You’re Totally Not Jealous

 

Hamlet might have been the first emo. Maybe. Certainly he was pretty early. Like, I get it man, intellectual and philosophical despair or whatever, your stepdad SUCKS, but maybe go outside. Get some sun. Maybe some soft serve. Commit a murder. Whatever works?

 

 

The Roulette Wheel of Murder Excuses

 

No, I totally didn’t kill my brother, it was, um… *turns around and furiously spins visible wheel* … a snake! Yeah. It was a snake. You know how it is. So many venomous snakes here in Denmark, it was bound to happen sometime. Totally innocent.

 

 

Ignoring the Obvious

 

Look. Your father died in a mysterious snake accident. Your uncle MARRIED YOUR MOM. That’s a yikes in any context, but it’s a super yikes here. Go and get all philosophical about it if you must, but Claudius is barely even trying to hide his misdeeds. Get to the decision, man.

 

 

Did You Ever Feel Like a Vine Could See You?

 

Look, Claudius, if you’re going to pull off a murderous coup, you’ve gotta have just like, a little tiny bit of chill. I’m not asking for a lot. This is like a vampire freaking out and running from the room every time you mention the sun. If you’re going to murder your brother, at least own it.

 

 

When the Paper is Due Tomorrow

 

Maybe just do to him whatever you did to Ophelia. Too soon? #opheliadeservedbetter Seriously though, you live with the guy. Literally just stand there and kill him when he STOPS praying. Kill him in his sleep. Do something. Honestly, Lettie, kill or do not kill, there is no try.

 

 

Absolutely No One

 

Formally. Informally. Hamlet had the emotions of a Romantic, about a hundred years too early. I feel like the romantics would have really Gotten him. (Or like, four hundred years before his time. Imagine Hamlet with a floppy fringe. I digress). Either way, he’s an emotional mess, but mostly valid. #opheliadeseRVEDBETTER

 

 

All images via Spark Notes

 

Quiz – Which Midsummer Night’s Dream Character Are You?

 

 

Featured image via NY Daily News