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Critical Lenses

A basic overview of the lenses
by

Angela Speach

on 12 March 2014

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Transcript of Critical Lenses

Feminist
Focuses on the issues of gender that are depicted or implied and identifies how gender roles or stereotypes are represented or challenged.
Critical Lenses
Archetypal
Signifies narrative designs, character types, or images that are said to be identifiable in a wide variety of works of literature, as well as, myths, dreams and even social behavior.
Psychological
Deals with a work of literature as an expression, in fictional form, of the personality, state of mind, feelings, and desires of its author.
Cultural
Questions how an author or work reinforces or undermines cultural values (customs, conflicts, oppression, etc.)
Criticism/Literary Theory
The method of analysis or judgment of a literary or artistic work
To study a novel through a critical lens is to evaluate/analyze the text through a particluar argument.
Through that argument you are providing your opinion that you back up with evidence from the particular text.
All critical lenses are also known as "literary theories."

They are theories because those that analyze and argue against a particular lens are trying to prove their theory.
The similarities between the narrative designs, characters & images are meant to reflect a set of universal, primitive and elemental patterns, whose purpose is to evoke a profound response in the reader.
Common Archetypal Themes
Death & Rebirth
The Journey Underground
The Heavenly Ascent
The Paradise/Hades Figure
The Search for the Father
The Scapegoat
The Earth Goddess
The Fatal Woman
The Promethean Rebel/Hero
Female Archetypes
Great Mother
Mother Goddess
Old Hag
Temptress
Damsel in Distress
Female Hero
The Trickster
Sage
Anti-Hero
Tragic/Flawed Hero
Hero
Villain
Cultural and economic disabilities in a "patriarchal" society that have hindered or prevented women from realizing their creative possibilities and women's cultural identification as merely negative.
Women are "negative objects" in the text and second to men.
Requires "help"
Biographical
Examines the meaning of the work in the mind of the other at the time of its creation
Sources may include letters, diaries, and other works by the author. The context of the work for the biographical interpretation is events an details from the author's life an experience.
Historical
Focuses on applying specific historical information about a time during which an author wrote.
History refers to the social, political, economic, cultural and/or intellectual climate of the time.
Explores the motives, actors, or responses of the characters and author in relation to psychological theories.
Reader-Response
Focuses on the reading of a work of literature. Because the shift of perspective from achieved structure of meanings to the responses of readers literary work is converted into an activity that goes on in a reader's mind, and the features of the work itself are less important than the connection between a reader's experience and the text.
The belief that no piece of literature represents anything beyond itself.
The reader gives it meaning through their OWN experience.
Listen as the zombie narrates...this is an example of Reader-Response criticism
Marxist
Socioeconomic
Focuses on class, power, and money in works of literature.
It's all about social class and power!!
What social classes are in conflct?
Who has the power?
Who controls the money?
Who does not?
What happens as a result?
Full transcript