How to Read Literature Like a Professor

What do hills and valleys symbolize in literature?

In How To Read Literature Like a Professor, it states that hills and valleys symbolize some things in literature. I am just having trouble finding what that is.

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The author describes specific characteristics of symbolic importance relating to particular types of landscapes - prairies for instance conveys a vastness and beauty, mountains - featured prominently in the works of the Romantic poets - relay a certain majesty and sublimity. Hills carry their own significance least of which is the concept of higher and lower levels of land - the latter can contain swamps, people, darkness, fields, heat, unpleasantness, life whilst the former can suggest isolation, life, death, thin air, purity, clear views to name a few. The list is not exhaustive of course, and depending on the writer, qualities can be interchanged. The dynamism of human experience is often a factor of the setting we inhabit, and it is worth paying attention to the story or poem's location.


The author also cites that hills and valleys are used to illustrate life's high and low points.