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An Introduction to Literary Criticism

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1 An Introduction to Literary Criticism

2 Watch the “Try” video by Pink
You will find this video on our web page on the Lit Crit page! What did you think while you were watching the video? Tell me five things. What stood out to you? Tell me three things. What scene did you think was the most important? Why? Explain in 4-6 sentences.

3 What is literary or critical theory?
The terms “literary theory” and “critical theory” refer to essentially the same fields of study. They both address ways of looking at literature beyond the typical plot-theme-character-setting studies.

4 What is literary or critical theory?
Just as a PERSPECTIVE is a way of looking at something, a CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE is a way of criticizing or analyzing literature. Your CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE is the view you bring to the literature you read.

5 How and why did literary theory develop?
We all know that different people will experience the same event differently. It follows, then, that different people will approach the same literary text differently. Literary theories emerged as ways to explain different people’s views and responses to literature. Rather than insisting that one view is the best or correct view, literary theory attempts to find value in all views that are based on a careful study of the literature. One person may be offended by a character’s actions, while another finds them comic. One reader is energized by a story’s political implications, while another is awed by the same story’s philosophical bent.

6 What are the benefits of studying a work from more than one critical perspective?
One of the views is likely to affirm your perspective and speak to what you see in the literature you are studying. Studying a view different from yours—not to disagree with it, but to understand it—helps you understand those who hold that view. Studying a work from more than one view gives you a deeper understanding of the author’s work and a better appreciation for the richness of it.

7 What does studying a work from multiple critical perspectives involve?
Essentially, all you have to do to study a work from more than one critical perspective is to put your own view on hold and entertain the other view. Although you may be a staunch green-thinker, you now ask yourself, “What would a yellow-thinker see in this work?”

8 What does studying a work from multiple critical perspectives not involve?
First and foremost, studying a work from multiple critical perspectives does not require that you agree with any of the perspectives you study. You are not being asked to become a yellow-thinker, only to consider—without criticism and judgment—what a yellow-thinker would see in the text.

9 What does studying a work from multiple critical perspectives not involve?
Second, studying a work from multiple critical perspectives does not require that you blend or merge two or more perspectives into a single interpretation. Some of the points of some of the theories are actually mutually exclusive and cannot be reconciled. While examining a work from the feminist perspective, you do not need to take into account what a Marxist would find. You would examine each perspective independently.

10 What are the most common or popular critical theories?
Feminist Marxist Psychological Archetypal

11 Pick Up the Survey! Take a moment to honestly respond to each statement. Think before you check! Which critical theory do you lean towards naturally? Add together each section of three and put it on the far right of the grid! Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree 5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point



14 Take a minute and use your graphic organizer and in the notes section write down some of the key terms that have popped up for each type of criticism! You do not need sentences – just the key words !

15 Now that you have your notes section complete
Now that you have your notes section complete Fill in your survey rank – which type of criticism ranked the highest for you? Next highest? And so on

16 With your table you are going to complete a basic critique of a Coldplay video. After we watch the video we will see what comments can be made looking through the lens of each criticism! On your graphic organizer you can just bullet these ideas!

17 The Literary Criticism Microtheme

18 The Literary Criticism Microtheme

19 For each Literary Theory . . . .
You will need to . . . Review the lit crit power point – this is where you will get the actual information about the literary criticism we will be exploring. Each Lit Crit will have an assessment. You will want to prepare for the assessment by reviewing the appropriate power point. You can take notes on the Lit Crit Breakdown AND use this on your assessment. You can ONLY use this handout during the quiz – nothing else. You CANNOT take notes on notebook paper. Keep in mind that you will only have a set amount of time to complete the assessment – so it is important that you understand that literary criticism. For each assessment you will be asked about key ideas as well as address one of the essential questions.

20 For each Literary Theory . . . .
Please keep in mind the following if you choose to use the Lit Crit Breakdown graphic organizer for any of your assessments: You can print out the graphic organizer and handwrite on it or you can type into it and use it electronically. Your breakdown sheet CANNOT go beyond one page!

21 The Literary Criticism Units

22 The Literary Criticism Units

23 The Literary Criticism Units

24 The Literary Criticism Units

25 questions?

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