Critical Strategies for Reading

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					 Focuses on language, structure, and tone
 Intrinsic Reading vs. Extrinsic
 Formalists study relationship between
  literary devices and meaning
 Analyze how a work might follow actual
  events in an authors life.
 Analyze how characters may be based on
  people known by the author.
 Sometimes it can answer questions or
  further confuse the reader.
 Can at the very least serve as a control on
  interpretation.
 SigmundFreud- The founder of
 psychoanalytic theories.
 • Dreams
 • Unconscious Desires
 • Sexual Repression
 • Aspects of Psyche
   • Id
   • Ego
   • Superego
•   Oedipus Complex- a boys unconscious rivalry
    with his father for his mothers love and his
    desire to eliminate his father in order to take
    his fathers place with his mother.
•   Electra complex- a daughters unconscious
    rivalry for her father.
   Historical critics use literature as a window into
    the past because literature often provides hints of
    the past that are not available in other sources.
   This strategy uses history as a means of
    understanding a work of literature better.
   Historical critics see literature as a product of
    their times, shedding light on historical
    situations and times.
Literary History Criticism

 This category claims that literature may
 transcend time to the extent that it may
 concern readers over the years, even centuries.
 Followers of this category understand that it
 remains a part of the past in which it was
 made, a past that can reveal more fully a
 work’s language, purposes and ideas.
Marxist Criticism
   Marxist readings hold the heightened interest in
    radical reform. These critics look at literature as a
    means of aiding the proletarian social and economic
    goals.
   Marxist critics focus on the ideological content of a
    story or book. They focus upon what takes place
    within the book, implicit and explicit values and
    assumptions about matters such as culture, race,
    class, and power.
   They stress that all criticism is political in some way,
    and that even if it attempts to ignore class struggles,
    it is politicized, because it supports that status quo.
New Historicist Criticism

 Emphasizes the interaction between the
  historical context of the literature and the
  modern reader’s understanding &
  interpretation of the text
 Read the historical period in all dimensions
 Stresses that the history we read is
  reconstructed
Cultural Criticism
 Like New Historicists, but pays particular
  attention to popular ideas present within the
  work
 Focus upon what the literary works reveal
  about the culture; their values, their norms,
  and what they believed in
 Use eclectic strategies taken from New
  Historicism, Psychology, Gender Studies, and
  Deconstructionism
 Analyze not only literature, but radio talk
  shows, comic strips, calendar art,
  commercials, travel guides, baseball cards, etc.
Postcolonial Criticism

 Postcolonial Criticism is the study of cultural
  behavior and expression in relation to the
  formerly colonized world.
 Refers to the analysis of literary works written by
  writers who lived in countries that were at one
  time controlled by a colonial power.
 The term also refers to the analysis of literary
  works written about colonial cultures by writers
  from the colonizing power.
Gender Criticism

 Ask what is masculine and what is feminine
 A type of Gender Criticism is Feminist, which
  places literature in a social context like
  Marxism. It explains how images of women in
  literature reflect patriarchal social forces that
  impede full equality.
 Also referred to as archetypal
 Interpret hopes, fears, and expectations of a
  culture
 Focus on how humans account for their lives
  symbolically
 Since myths try to explain universal
  experiences, they follow similar patterns
 Look for underlying, recurrent patterns
 What is in reader’s mind not in the writing
 Meaning evolves with reader, writing does not
  have a formula or pattern
 About reader’s feelings not about meaning
 About how a reader’s experiences, memories,
  and impressions shape the meaning of the
  text
 Literary works do not have fixed meanings
 Disestablish meaning rather than establish
 Focus on gaps, ambiguity, patterns
 Argues that close examination will reveal
  conflicting, contradictory impulses that
  "deconstruct" or break down its apparent
  unity

				
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posted:8/31/2012
language:English
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