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Sociological Criticism

Principles of Literary Criticism Presentation

Vira Bunoan

on 3 February 2013

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Transcript of Sociological Criticism

Criticism Presented by Ronelle Vira Bunoan
BSED EN 3-1D The Main Focus - Sociological criticism examines literature in
the cultural, political, and economic context
which it is written and analyzes what values
of this text promotes. - Sociological criticism analyzes both how the
social functions in literature and how
literature works in society. Asks questions like: - What world events play a role in plot?
- What events occurred during that time period?
- How does the work comment on sex, war, hunger, religion, education?
- What sort of society does the author describe?
- What does the writer seem to like or dislike about this society?
- What changes do you think the writer would like to make in the society?
- What sorts of pressures does the society put on its members? How do the members respond to this pressure? Kenneth Burke (May 5, 1897 –
Nov 19, 1993) - He is a 20th century American literary and critical theorist.
- He introduced the
sociological form of
literary criticism.
- Wrote the article "Literature as Equipment for Living" Les Misérables Victor Hugo (1862) Noli Me Tangere Jose Rizal (1887) Oliver Twist Charles Dickens (1837) Hippolyte Adolphe Taine (21 April 1828 – 5 March 1893) - French critic and
historian - He gave a theoretical
basis for sociological
criticism. According to Taine, there are three controlling factors which determine the character of literature---
1. Race - the inherited disposition or temperament
that persists stubbornly over thousands
of years 2. Milieu - the circumstances or environment that
modify the inherited racial disposition 3. Moment - the momentum of past and present
cultural traditions Taine argued that literature was largely the product of the author's environment, and that an analysis of that environment could yield a perfect understanding of the work of literature. Literature as Equipment for Living (1938) In this article, Burke outlined the specification and
significance of sociological criticism. 1. He first begins by having his readers gain an understanding of the function of proverbs.

2. In his second step Burke explains how literature should be read and seen the way a proverb is.

3. The final step discusses the idea of how literature can expand to a broader sense, how it can become timeless and capable of showing these reoccurring situations in life (and the strategy or attitude one applies towards them) at any point in time while still maintaining the function similar to that of a proverb. "So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age—the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night—are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless." Thank you :)
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