Free Essay

Approaches in Literrary Criticism

In: Other Topics

Submitted By djmunoz
Words 1514
Pages 7

1. Moral / Philosophical Approach
- Critics believe that the larger purpose of literature is to teach morality and to probe philosophical issues.
- Many poets have strong ethical or religious convictions, but the moralist critic usually has a broader interest. Literature has a humanizing or civilizing mission, and the critic values work which furthers that end: promotes tolerance, social justice, sensitivity to individual wishes and talents, etc.

2. Topical/Historical/Biographical
- Critics see works as the reflection of an author's life and times (or of the characters' life and times). They believe it is necessary to know about the author and the political, economical, and sociological context of his times in order to truly understand his works.
- Poems are placed in their historical context — to explain not only their allusions and particular use of words, but the conventions and expectations of the times. The approach may be evaluative (i.e. the critic may suggest ways of responding to the poem once the perspective is corrected), or may simply use it as historical data.
- a poem may be used to illuminate the writer's psychology, or as biographic data. No less than the correspondence, remembered conversations, choice of reading matter, the poem is analyzed for relevance to its author.

3. New Critical Formalist
- A formalistic approach to literature, once called New Criticism, involves a close reading of the text. Formalistic critics believe that all information essential to the interpretation of a work must be found within the work itself; there is no need to bring in outside information about the history, politics, or society of the time, or about the author's life. Formalistic critics (presumably) do not view works through the lens of feminism, psychology, mythology, or any other such standpoint, and they are not interested in the work's affect on the reader. Formalistic critics spend much time analyzing irony, paradox, imagery, and metaphor. They are also interested in the work's setting, characters, symbols, and point of view.
- Approach can be performed without much research, and it emphasizes the value of literature apart from its context (in effect makes literature timeless). Virtually all critical approaches must begin here.

4. Structuralism
- The writing is related to underlying patterns of symmetry which are held to be common to all societies. Evidence is drawn from sociology and anthropology, and the approach attempts to place the work in larger context rather than assess its quality.
- View literature as a system of signs. They try to make plain the organizational codes that they believe regulate all literature.
5. Feminist
- Is concerned with the impact of gender on writing and reading. It usually begins with a critique of patriarchal culture. It is concerned with the place of female writers in the cannon. Finally, it includes a search for a feminine theory or approach to texts. Feminist criticism is political and often revisionist. Feminists often argue that male fears are portrayed through female characters. They may argue that gender determines everything, or just the opposite: that all gender differences are imposed by society, and gender determines nothing.
Elaine Showalter's Theory: In A Literature of Their Own, Elaine Showalter argued that literary subcultures all go through three major phases of development. For literature by or about women, she labels these stages the Feminine, Feminist, and Female:
(1) Feminine Stage - involves "imitation of the prevailing modes of the dominant tradition" and "internalization of its standards."
(2) Feminist Stage - involves "protest against these standards and values and advocacy of minority rights...."
(3) Female Stage - this is the "phase of self-discovery, a turning inwards freed from some of the dependency of opposition, a search for identity."

6. Economic Determinist (Marxist)
- One of the most important forms of sociological criticism is Marxist criticism. Karl Marx (1818-1883) developed a theory of society, politics, and economics called dialectical materialism. Writing in the nineteenth century, Marx criticized the exploitation of the working classes, or proletariat, by the capitalist classes who owned the mines, factories, and other resources of national economies. Marx believed that history was the story of class struggles and that the goal of history was a classless society in which all people would share the wealth equally. This classless society could only come about as a result of a revolution that would overthrow the capitalist domination of the economy.
- Marxist critics interpret literature in terms of ideology. Writers who sympathize with the working classes and their struggle are regarded favorably. Writers who support the ideology of the dominant classes are condemned. Naturally, critics of the Marxist school differ in breadth and sympathy the way other critics do. As a result, some Marxist interpretations are more subtle than others.
- The poem may be assessed on its political correctness — on its support for workers against capitalist exploitation — but most Marxists praise work that analyses or describes the injustices which Marxist societies aim to overcome.

7. Psychological/Psychoanalytic
- Critics view works through the lens of psychology. They look either at the psychological motivations of the characters or of the authors themselves, although the former is generally considered a more respectable approach. Most frequently, psychological critics apply Freudian psychology to works, but other approaches (such as a Jungian approach) also exist.

a. Freudian Approach:
- A Freudian approach often includes pinpointing the influences of a character's id (the instinctual, pleasure seeking part of the mind), superego (the part of the mind that represses the id's impulses) and the ego (the part of the mind that controls but does not repress the id's impulses, releasing them in a healthy way). Freudian critics like to point out the sexual implications of symbols and imagery, since Freud's believed that all human behavior is motivated by sexuality. They tend to see concave images, such as ponds, flowers, cups, and caves as female symbols; whereas objects that are longer than they are wide are usually seen as phallic symbols. Dancing, riding, and flying are associated with sexual pleasure. Water is usually associated with birth, the female principle, the maternal, the womb, and the death wish. Freudian critics occasionally discern the presence of an Oedipus complex (a boy's unconscious rivalry with his father for the love of his mother) in the male characters of certain works, such as Hamlet. They may also refer to Freud's psychology of child development, which includes the oral stage, the anal stage, and the genital stage.

b. Jungian Approach:
- Jung is also an influential force in myth (archetypal) criticism. Psychological critics are generally concerned with his concept of the process of individuation (the process of discovering what makes one different form everyone else). Jung labeled three parts of the self: the shadow, or the darker, unconscious self (usually the villain in literature); the persona, or a man's social personality (usually the hero); and the anima, or a man's "soul image" (usually the heroine). A neurosis occurs when someone fails to assimilate one of these unconscious components into his conscious and projects it on someone else. The persona must be flexible and be able to balance the components of the psyche.

8. Deconstructive
- Critics believe that language doesn't accurately reflect reality because it's an unstable medium; literary texts therefore have no stable meaning.
- Deconstructive criticism resembles formalist criticism in its close attention to the text, its close analysis of individual words and images. There the similarity ends, because their aims are in fact opposite. Whereas formalist criticism is interested in "aesthetic wholes" or constructs, deconstructionists aim to demonstrate irreconcilable positions-they destruct (or deconstruct)--by proving the instability of language, its inability to express anything definite.
- Approach assumes that language does not refer to any external reality. It can assert several, contradictory interpretations of one text. Deconstructionists make interpretations based on the political or social implications of language rather than examining an author's intention.

9. Reader-Response
- This type of criticism attempts to describe the internal workings of the reader's mental processes. it recognizes reading as a creative act, a creative process.
- No text is self-contained, independent of a reader's interpretive design.
- The plurality of readings possible is all explored. Critics study how different readers see the same text differently, and how religious, cultural, and social values affect readings.
- Instead of focusing only on the values embedded in the text, this type of criticism studies the values embedded in the reader. Intersections between the two are explored.
- Criticism analyzes the reader's role in the production of meaning. It lies at the opposite end of the spectrum from formalistic criticism. In reader response criticism, the text itself has no meaning until it is read by a reader. The reader creates the meaning. This criticism can take into account the strategies employed by the author to elicit a certain response from readers. It denies the possibility that works are universal (i.e. that they will always mean more or less the same thing to readers everywhere)
- It recognizes that different people view works differently, and that people's interpretations change over time.…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Feminism Criticism

...Michael Estes Professor Wallace English 101 17 July 2012 Feminist Criticism Literary criticism is an analysis, interpretation, or evaluation of any literary work that can be applied to novels, poetry, essays, and various other forms of literature. There are numerous types of literary criticism including archetypal, Marxist, and readers-response. The theory of feminism criticism, another type of literary criticism, originated in France and the Netherlands and emphasizes on gender inequality and female's social roles. Feminism criticism can be seen as many forms of literary expressions such as poetry, essays, short stories, and novels. Feminism can also be examined through current events, fictional, and how those two are correlated. W.E.B. DuBois was an author who wrote the essay, "Double Consciousness." One can interpret feminism criticism from his text. "After the Egyptian an Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh-son..." This can be interpreted as females come after everybody else. In other words, society puts all others -- Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians -- ahead of females. For example, as terrible as they were treated, African-Americans received the privilege to vote in 1868, fifty years previous to the women receiving similar rights. As seen above, feminism is not always directly displayed so one must interpret it from the text. "Karintha," written by Jean Toomer, is a fictional story about a......

Words: 354 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Traditional Criticism

...A Research about The Traditional and The New Criticism What is Literary Criticism? Literary criticism or literary analysis can be defined as, “An informed analysis and evaluation of a piece of literature”. Or A written study, evaluation and interpretation of a work of literature”. * The study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature * A theory founded upon the term “critique” (an analysis of written or oral discourse) * Literary Criticism is usually in the form of a critical essay (though book reviews may sometimes be considered literary criticism) The literary criticism is a concept, formed on the basis of critical analysis and primarily estimates the value and merit of literary works for the presence or quality of certain parameters of literary characteristics. Literary Analysis on the Basis of Literary Theory The literary theory is a boarder concept incorporating various strict senses and merits for the systematic study of the nature of literature and provides a complete set of methods for analyzing literature. * There are several "schools" of criticism which I will begin to examine Traditional Criticism The traditional criticism approach examines you examine how the author’s life, his/her biographical information, contemporary times and effect of his life circumstances on his inspiration and their reflection in his works.It Connects an author’s life events with the ideas presented in a text * Believes that authors use their own life experiences to......

Words: 1062 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Rhetorical Criticism

...purpose is the motive or the message which is conveyed and understood. Pentadic analysis has its roots in Burke's Theory of Dramatism which looks at life as a play where symbols and language are used to express thoughts as a way for humans to comprehend the reality of the world. Burke developed this theory as a way to attempt to understand the bases of human conduct and motives. Thus, the purpose of a pentadic analysis addresses the content of what is being done and what are the motives of a certain artifact as crafted by a rhetor. Burke believed that ratios interconnect important terms and map out a clearer picture of the underlying intentions or motives in a situation. Act-scene and act-agent are the most commonly used for rhetorical criticism. Act-scene shows that the act can not be fully understood without taking the scene into account as the backdrop against which it happened. Act-agent highlights the importance of the agent on the act and shows their relationship of mutual dependence. The name of the artifact I have chosen is Barack Obama’s speech “A More Perfect Union” in Philadelphia during the election race, published on March 18, 2008 for the purpose of conducting a pentadic analysis. This analysis will attempt to discuss the reasons underlying the rhetorical choices made by the orator in his speech, the motives he was guided by and what he actually said or did. Act The act refers to what is being done and this quite simply incorporates the contents of......

Words: 1873 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Approaches of Crm

...2010.10.07. CRM – Customer Relationship Management Bianka Parragh, Phd Óbuda University Keleti Károly Faculty of Business and Management Institute of Enterprise Management • Approaches of Customer Relationship Management • The origins of CRM • The rise of CRM • The role of CRM • Types of CRM 1 2010.10.07. RE-INVENTING CRM In the late 1990s and early year of the 21th century, CRM was offered up as the next wave of marketing. The tools and techniques that would make traditional marketing obsolete. The automated approaches that would make customer relationships automatic and would enable the marketing organization to shell anything to anyone they chose. CRM was the single solution that would solve every marketing problem. Simply install the software, plug in the customer data and sit back and watch the profils roll in. But it wasn’t that simple. It wasn’t that easy. And, it simply didn’t work that way. Millions of dollars anp pounds and yen and Euros were spent on CRM systems, software and structures but, not enough seemed to come back. The five important things are about the book’s approach to CRM 1.Strategic, not more tactics. CRM is a business decision, made by business managers to achieve business goals. So, most of all, this approach to CRM is strategic. 2. Customers, not companies. Payne’s approach puts the company and the customer in perspective. If there is no benefits to the customer, there can be no benefit to the company. CRM is reciprocal......

Words: 1878 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Contemporary Approaches

...Contemporary Approaches Sociotechnical Systems Theory refers to how the social and technical aspects of an organization are both related. The theory suggests organizations are more effective when the employees have all the right combination of tools, training, and knowledge to make the products, and provide services to the customers when they are needed. This work grew out of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in England. They explored ways to improve productivity and morale in organizations through "action research". The socio-technical approach has focused more on work group interactions than individual performance. Properly structured work groups, it is assumed, can provide incentives, assistance, and social support better than individual job design programs. Autonomous work groups, quality circles are popular examples of this perspective. Groups are often given resources and responsibilities for areas like safety and quality control and work as a team to identify and correct inefficiencies and work issues. Quantitative Management approach involves the use of mathematical modeling to find the best solutions to problems. This can be applied to a variety of workplace challenges, ranging from making decisions during product development to resolving employee conflicts. It is also known as operations research, and involves a more objective, structured approach to problems or solutions. Many industries can be suited to this management philosophy. One important......

Words: 803 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Contemporary Approaches

...Contemporary Approaches The four different contemporary approaches to management are: Sociotechnical systems theory suggests that organizations are effective when their employees have the tools, and training, and knowledge to make products and services that are valued by customers. Quantitative management emphasizes the application of quantitative analysis to management decisions and problems. A manager makes a decision by developing formal mathematical models of the problem. They use techniques as a supplement in the decision process. The limited use of quantitative management is due to managers not being trained in using these techniques. Organizational behavior studies management activities that promote employee effectiveness through an understanding of the complex nature of the individual, group, and organizational processes. An example of this, Douglas McGregor influenced the field of management with his Theory X and Theory Y perspective. Theory X managers assume workers are lazy and irresponsible and require constant supervision and external motivation to achieve organizational goals. Theory Y managers assume employees want to work and can direct and control them- selves. Theory X is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Systems theory states that organizations are open systems, and dependent on inputs from the outside world, such as raw materials, and human resources. They transform these inputs into outputs that (ideally) meet the market’s needs for goods and......

Words: 339 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Research Approaches

...Research Approaches Two research approaches I would consider to use in my research method would be Interviews and Document reviews. Both of these I feel would show excellent results and shine light on my topic. Granted realistically for this assignment conducting Interviews is not possible but ideally I believe interviews would provide the best information and answers. Since I am limited my best bet for this assignment will be the Document studies strategy. First I want to hit on the Interview approach. According to this week’s reading assignment, “Overview of Qualitative Methods and Analytic Techniques. Common Qualitative Methods”, There are two different types of interviews. There is a structured interview, in which a carefully worded questionnaire is administered and an in-depth interview, in which the interviewer does not follow a rigid form. I would choose an In-depth interview and if it was possible I would interview individuals that work at the US Open Source Center. Much like Kimberly Dozier did in her article “Social media a growing part of foreign intelligence”. This method would fit perfectly into my research strategy by allowing me to ask questions I have and receive answers from key individuals in the intelligence community that actually utilize the information online that individuals post and would be able to give me firsthand knowledge on the matter. Now obviously this scenario would be a perfect world where issues of classified information and having......

Words: 503 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

301 Mini Criticism Paper

...Pentad” in the writings of Kenneth Burke, in order to understand the rhetor’s motivation.  In order to defend our arguments, we have divided the paper into sections. First, we will articulate Burke’s Pentad as an appropriate way to analyze Hillary Clinton’s brief presidential candidate interview in order to answer the research questions we have presented. Second we will analyze Hillary Clinton’s interview in order to provide backing for our central argument.  Finally, we will provide a summary, advance implications to our rhetorical criticism, and conclude by addressing our research questions. Method To analyze Hillary Cinton’s “coughing to avoid question” interview, I will be using the Pentadic criticism method. The major concept of our approach is to discover the motivation behind why people do what they do and to uncover the particular type of motivation constructed on Burke’s five-part pentad. According to the Foss, the Pentadic criticism consists of two basic assumptions that underlie dramatism. The first one is that language establishes action, not motion, and the second is that humans develop and present messages in much the same way that a play is presented (Foss 356). For the first assumption, Burke talks about three conditions for action. The first is that action must involve freedom or choice, second is purpose is the act of choosing whether it be consciously or unconsciously, and the third is the requirement for action, which states that while motion can......

Words: 2682 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Management Approaches

...carrying out the process, customers/clients using the products, etc. Feedback also comes from the larger environment of the organization, e.g., influences from government, society, economics, and technologies. This overall system framework applies to any system, including subsystems (departments, programs, etc.) in the overall organization. Systems theory may seem quite basic. Yet, decades of management training and practices in the workplace have not followed this theory. Only recently, with tremendous changes facing organizations and how they operate, have educators and managers come to face this new way of looking at things. This interpretation has brought about a significant change (or paradigm shift) in the way management studies and approaches organizations. The effect of systems theory in management is that writers, educators, consultants, etc. are helping managers to look at the organization from a broader perspective. Systems theory has brought a new perspective for managers to interpret patterns and events in the workplace. They recognize the various parts of the organization, and, in particular, the interrelations of the parts, e.g., the coordination of central administration with its programs, engineering with manufacturing, supervisors with workers, etc. This is a major development. In the past, managers typically took one part and focused on that. Then they moved all attention to another part. The problem was that an organization could, e.g., have a wonderful......

Words: 1415 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay


...In business there are several different aspects that a manager and or partners should focus on. Some of these approaches makes running the business a little more efficient in handling issues in a better satiation than others. A few of these approached that will be covered include: sociotechnical theory, quantitative management, organizational behavior, and systems theory. Understanding the different approaches will give a better understanding of the competitive environment. When getting into business having social systems set in place sets standards and guidelines to go by. Let’s take the first approach for example. Sociotechnical theory “an approach to job design that attempts to redesign tasks to optimize operation of a new technology while preserving employees’ interpersonal relationships and other human aspects of the work”. (Bateman pg. 35) As defined this theory is set in stone to give personnel the tools and skills needed to work efficiently to produce those goods and services for consumers. Secondly there is Quantitative Management which differs from that of sociotechnical by way of management skills. Quantitative management is set in business environments to keep leaders from failing not only themselves, but their employees as well. This is a good tool to have when needing to operate a facility and personnel properly and in the correct manner. Which leads into Organizational Behavior. This approach is a very key stone for managers or any one in a leader position.......

Words: 276 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Marketing Approaches

...relate to each other. All marketing mix variables are interdependent and rely on each other for a strong strategy. Do the proposed selling channels reinforce the perceived value of the product? Is the promotional material in keeping with the distribution channels proposed? Themarketing plan can be finalized once it is ensured that all four elements are in harmony and there are no conflicting messages, either implicit or explicit. Marketing Mix Development KEY CHALLENGES Over the years, marketing managers have felt that the traditional marketing mix has its limitations in how it is structured. Several important elements have been grouped within four larger categories thereby belittling their true importance amid several factors. Two main criticisms and their solutions: Lack of Focus on Services The conventional marketing mix tends to be applicable to tangible goods i.e. the traditional definition of products. Services or intangible goods are also a vital customer offering and can be planned for in much the same way as physical products. To cater to the unique challenges of services, the 4P model has been supplemented with 3 additional categories which are: * Physical Evidence is proof and a reassurance that a service was performed * People are the employees who deliver the service * Processes are the methods through which a service is executed and delivered to the customer Lack of True Customer Focus Though a total focus on the customer and what they desire......

Words: 708 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...The criticisms on the law of robbery and burglary is that In order for robbery to be committed, theft needs to be completed, in cases of theft appropriation only occurs at one time whereas in the robbery theft is a continuing act, as seen in the case of Lockley where defendant (D) used force to escape after he had stolen; therefore this is a problem because when using elements of theft it conflicts with the courts approach in theft cases. The Theft Act 1968 does not give any definition of the key elements of ‘entry’, ‘trespasser’, ‘building or part of a building’ in burglary. The inconsistency of not having any definitions causes the courts into deciding what the Act actually meant; therefore leading to different courts making different decisions on what it means, especially what is meant by ‘entry’. This is a problem because it means judge made law going against what the parliament actually meant. In addition to this the law on entry has changed as seen in the case of Collins where the principle stated that the D must know they are a trespasser or are reckless in not knowing. Here the CoA held that there needs to be ‘an effective and substantial entry’. However when it came to the case of Brown the ‘substantial’ part was removed and Brown was guilty of burglary as his entry was ‘effective’. Whereas in the case of Ryan ‘effective’ element was abandoned and Ryan was guilty because the jury found that D had entered the house. The decisions in these cases are inconsistent......

Words: 284 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Transformation of Literature Criticism

...of Literary Criticism Ronan McDonald, a lecturer in literature at the University of Reading, has written a book named “The Death of the Critic”, in which he described how the role of the literary critic has changed over the centuries, ultimately leading to "death" in the latter half of the 20th century. Nevertheless, to proclaim the death of the critic at this moment is still too early. What deserves more attention than this exaggerated title is the fact of decline of criticism. Literary criticism has always been viewed as an ivory tower in the eyes of the common people, mainly due to its professionalization. Certainly there are peaks in artistic creativity and troughs. In a period of increasing literary creativity, as T.S. Eliot famously said, the old works are seen in a new light. We are now rather in a trough of literary creativity, probably not only because the rise of varieties of competing media, but that less exciting work was generated for literary critics to start a literary revolution. That also means the present literary criticism needs to complete an operation performed by the best “doctors” and go through a major transformation. To be sure, literary criticism is not all negative. “Critic” is etymologically related to “criteria”, so the job of a literary critic is a judge, not a denouncer. The essence of literary criticism is therefore to evaluate. But there remain two problems when it comes to evaluation. Firstly, it is because literary criticism is......

Words: 1760 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Approaches to Management is and how it should function within a company is not always easy, as managing a company is a task covering lots of different areas the company has to deal with. As a manager you do not only have to apply hard skills like planning investments but also soft skills like team management and motivation. Therefore finding a universal approach, serving solutions to every question a manager could be confronted with, is a topic already keeping scientists and managers busy for centuries. As the industrial revolution with its principles of labor division and separation of ownership and control caused major changes in company structures, a tremendous amount of approaches has been developed. These very first approaches were extended with new findings or replaced, as they had weaknesses in certain areas. Nevertheless newer approaches also have their problems. In his work a manager is basically confronted with 4 different tasks, which build one continuous process of leading a company: Planning, organizing, leading and controlling. In the field of planning the manager has to take care of the right definition of goals, as well as finding the right strategies to achieve these goals. (Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Source 4) The organizing process is about identifying the work to be done for accomplishing the determined goals and then assigning the necessary work to jobs, which are carried out by separate people or groups in the company, each dependent on the work of the other......

Words: 1126 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Wallpaper Criticism

...Psychoanalysis & "The Yellow Wallpaper." The field of Psychoanalysis was pioneered by Sigmund Freud in the late 1800's. His work is highly debated to this day. Despite this, his theories are still widely accepted and have spawned their own form of criticism. If we apply Freud's theories to Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" we look into a world of what Freud would have called the hysterical. When Gilman wrote this piece she was trying to describe the "therapy" that she received for her hysterical spells years earlier. Freud's work or the "talking cure" was still not widely accepted to treat psychological problems. A psychoanalytic reading of Gilman's piece would lead us to see a woman who is most likely still haunted by her expiriences while under psychological duress. We can also see Perkins' opinion on the course of therapy that she received. If the woman was not mad before her complete and total separation from society her incarceration brought her there in short order. Through the use of Freudian theory we know that Perkins suffered greatly from her depression & suffered even more from her misdiagnoses. We can also surmise that though the womans movement of the late 19th century was in full swing one of the only forums that she had to vent her frustrations and problems was in her writing. Since the talking cure was yet to be realized as a viable resources for treating "hysterics" Gilman was left only with pen & paper to vent her concerns. It is also reasonable to...

Words: 407 - Pages: 2