Also pretty much inevitable for any popular literary work is the Freudian interpretation, which is basically that everything is actually about parent issues and sex. (Yeah, I know there's actually more to it than that, but that's the common view on Freudian takes.) While this kind of interpretation definitely holds water in some cases (traditional fairy tales were big on having step-parents who want to kill or humiliate their new step-children, for instance), I have to say that it's probably a bit overextended (heh heh, I said "extended") in many situations. For instance, I can't quite buy the popular argument that beheading represents castration anxiety, if only because I think the idea of decapitation is scary enough without working crotches into it. (You know, if seemingly innocuous images in dreams and writing are symbolic of sex, does that mean dreams and writings that are flat-out about sex are actually symbolic of something else? I'm sure I'm not the first person to have asked this question.)
I guess I've never been too much of a fan of symbolic interpretation of literature. Sure, I'll look for themes and allusions, but I think the idea that everything is actually representative of something else ruins a lot of the fun. When I do scholarly takes on fictional works, I prefer to think of the fiction as if it's describing actual events, as is probably obvious from my Oz posts. And that's one reason why, despite my bibliophilia, I probably never would have made it as an English major.