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Schools Of Literary Criticism

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Alison Michasiw

on 9 October 2014

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Transcript of Schools Of Literary Criticism

What is literary criticism? Literary criticism is "the overall term for studies concerned with defining, classifying, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating works of literature." Moral/Philosophical This school of literary criticism sees a literary work as a reflection of the author's life and times, and as that which provides a unique way of looking at the past. This school believes that to really know a text, you must know what was happening in the world and details about the external events and the interior state of a writer's life. This school of literary criticism values the autonomy of a literary work, independent of its historical context, and believes in the importance in demonstrating its unity through close reading. This school is more interested in the form of a work than its context. This school of literary criticism sees literature as a vehicle for discussion of themes and morals and believes that a text should be studied for its important issues and deep meanings. Formalist Historical/Biographical You Be the Critic! Theoretical criticism proposes a THEORY of literature, "in the sense of general principles, together with a set of terms distinctions, and categories, to be applied to identifying and analyzing works of literature, as well as the criteria (the standards, or norms) by which these works of literature are to be evaluated." The 11 most prominent schools of literary criticism are ... Rhetorical Freudian Archetypal Feminist Marxist Deconstructionist Reader Response New Historical This school of literary criticism developed in response to formalism and believes that literature is meant to persuade, and that a work cannot be viewed as separate from its author. Rhetorical critics ask, 'what is the connection between the author and the creation?' This school of literary criticism believes that literature is a vehicle for insight into the author's unconscious, and our response to it reveals something of our own psychology. Freudian concepts include the levels of consciousness, the structure of the psyche (id, ego, superego), defense mechanisms, complexes (Oedipus, Electra), and dream interpretation. This school of literary criticism follows Jung's ideas instead of Freud's, and believes that literature utilizes motifs from the collective memory of all cultures: images such as water, sun, colours; characters such as the earth mother, scapegoat, or femme fatale; patterns such as creation or the hero's journey. This school of literary criticism concerns itself with images of women and the feminine in literature and how women are portrayed and differentiated from men. This school intends to raise our consciousness about sexual exploitation and alienation. This school of literary criticism views art as a projection of social history; interpretations of literature center around issues of justice and whether a work supports or challenges typical power relationships. This school believes that art must direct our attention to social matters, not act as an opiate to remove us from them. This school of literary criticism believes that reality is a social construction and that there is no correct reading of a text. Scrutiny aims to destabilize, to find inconsistencies and challenges within a text to that text's own assertions This school of literary criticism centers on what readers experience as they read a text, how they create meaning and what they bring from their own lives and experience to their experience of a text. Each reader projects his or her life-scripts into the text to make a unique new story. This school of literary criticism looks for connections between literature and general culture, both the one it was written in and the one it is being read in, and the difference between those lenses.
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