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Critical Theory

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Barnie Warrick

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of Critical Theory

"Critical theory can help us learn and see ourselves and out world in valuable new ways, ways that can influence how we educate and how we view the world(Tyson 2)."
Critical Theory
"knowledge is what constitutes our relationship with ourselves and to our world, for when you change the lens through which we view. change the lens and you change the view and the viewer." (Tyson 10)

Core Issues
Core issues are the subconscious reasons for why we do and feel certain ways. just some examples are
Oedipal Fixation
Fear of Abandonment
Fear of Intimacy
Fear of betrayal
Welcome to English 300!
In this class you will be introduced to many thought provoking ideas and concepts. that will help you as a student be able to dig deeper into not only literary texts but help expand your view on all aspects of the world.
Before jumping right into all these concepts, it must be noted that the use of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby will be used to help support the concepts throughout the book as well as this presentation.
what is critical theory is all about ?
Freud and Lacan
Sigmud Frued
Born 1856
Died 1939
Introduced what is called today classic psychoanalysis
discussed core issues
For the Psychoanalysis chapter of Critical Theory. Tyson discusses these two important men who helped shape the key aspects of psychoanalysis
Work Cited
Critical theory allows you as an individual to be able to dig deeper into texts and all aspect of life, simply by expanding your ideas and views.
While there are many critical theory ideas, for this class four main ones will be covered.
Getting Down to Business.

Applying Gatsby to Psychoanalysis
All the characters face a form of fear of intimacy
Characters such as Tom have a masculinity problem
Gatsby has a core fear of losing daisy
low esteem from Daisy brought on by her social obligations
Jordan's emotional isolation supported by the group of friends and career she she has.
so why is psychoanalysis important for critical thinking?
When looking past the characters from the surface and seeing things like core issues, it helps us to better understand what motivates their actions and allows us to see the reasoning behind it. Even if the character themselves aren't aware of it.
Applying Gatsby to Feminism
Jacques Lacan
Now that we know know about Psychoanalysis, lets go a head and apply it to The Great Gatsby.
Born 1901
Died 1981
believed the unconscious was ambiguous and hard to define(Tyson 26)
introduced the
Imaginary Order
and S
ymbolic Order

the underlying issues and fears that people have in their subconscious that Tyson believe when applied to literature and life can help us better understand human nature.
Karl Marx
Born 1818
Died 1883
introduced Marxist theory or a Marxist society
showed the negatives of capitalist society in his theory

The Effects of Capitalism
its a competitive system
members of the lower economic class are repressed by the upper
represses new ideas and promotes "programed" ones such as the "American Dream"
Importance of Marxism for Critical Thinking
By using Marxist Criticism we begin to move past the view points of the individual (Psychoanalysis) and reflect more on the individual and there role in society from a economic stand point. this in turn broadens are view and expands are way of thinking which allows us to be able to think Critically.
Gender roles
symbols being used to identify
programed male mind set
Importance of Feminism
social classes
the main social classes
The Proletariat ( lower)
Bourgeoisie (higher
The lower want higher wages
the higher want lower wages for the lower

A Marxism look at the world is the belief that keeping and getting economic power is what motivates all social and political actives as well as various other aspect of the world(Tyson 53)
Gatsby and Marxism
In this clip we see how in a capitalism society the effects of economic status causing effects on social issues such as marriage
The "american dream" creates winners like Tom, Daisy, and Gatsby and losers like George and Myrtle
use of gaining commodities in order to gain another (Gatsby and daisy)
the separation of classes with east and west egg
the myrtles representing the lower class
the ideas of a patriarchal women such as in daisy
the good girl/bad girl labels of all the women in the book
the breaking of the traditional career roles with Jordan
It is with this, that i hope that everything that has been covered today will help you understand a little more about what will be in this 300 course. here's hoping everything for you will go smoothly for you throughout the semester, and lastly good luck.
Last Remarks

Colette Guillaumin
discussed women and marriage
talked about how women were seen as property(depending on culture)
exampled how a women's hair and milk were sold by males to help provided for family

feminist premises
"women are oppressed by patriarchy economy, politically, socially and psychologically;patriarchal ideology"(Tyson 92)
gender plays a issue in every aspect of human production
promote women equality
gender refers to not are anatomy but to the behavior as socially programed men and women. we do this because we are taught to do so.
first we must forget the negative feminist biased we know( burning bras, not having to be mothers) and understand that feminism is much more than that.
just like how Marxism digs deeper into the ideas of critical theory so does Feminism. For Feminism shows us how the mindsets of the people in living in a man run society affects the economy as well as are psychological behavior.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Great Gatsby. New York, NY: Scribner, 1996. Print.
Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-friendly Guide. New York, NY [u.a.: Routledge, 2008. Print.
The Importance of Structuralism
With structuralism we pull way back and see that everything goes down to a basic structure. This applies to all the other critical theories before such as Feminism, Marxism and psychoanalysis to see that they all follow a structure of some way, shape or form.
Gatsby and Structuralism
Structural linguistics
Ferdinand de Saussure

Believed language needed to be looked at
Called the structure of language:
and individual utterances
Argued that word was more than the object. Was a two sided

The idea of "Signs" and "Signifiers" being more than just physical objects and more of concepts in are mind
example of this is Eskimos have more than a hundred words for snow
the only thing that is different is the native language associated with the words.
Structure and Genres
Northrop Fry
Argued that "mythoi" used four native patterns
that these patterns reveals the structural patterns underlying literary genres (Tyson 221)
These 4 patterns was Winter is irony/satire, spring was Romance, Autumn was Tragedy and Summer was Comedy

Claude Levi Strauss
wanted to find the common denominators that linked all beings regardless of surface phenomenons.
augured that all ritual ceremonies were the same in structure.
an example of this would be in a birthday ritual.

Structural Anthropology
with structualism we explore past the surface of aspects of everyday life and see how things follow patterns and share similarities to each other
The great gatsby follows a hero's journey sort of story structure one that is very common in such things as myths
The Grammar structure of characters start to mimic each other such as with daisy and myrtle
Follows the structure of "to seek" "to find" and "to lose" a common idea that when you seek, find you lose and when you lose and seek you find
Gatsby takes place during the time of summer and winter playing up romance and irony
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