Searching Relevant resources Ultimately, YOU are the judge. Is the resource authoritative (the writer has an authority to speak) and valid (it deals with the issue at hand)? Books - library catalogue Journal articles - refereed / unrefereed - LibXplore Web sites - gateways and Google
Approaching Four approaches to traditional Literature Schemes of interpretation: Psychological - Structural - Sociological - Archetypal Psychological - dealing with the personality, emotions and identity of an individual Structural - how the techniques of literary creation shape the readers response Sociological - what can be understood of our own society from the elements and features of the story Archetypal - the cues and clues that keep recurring here, there and everywhere
How do they work? - Psychological They can help readers come to terms with their own lives and/or fears by offering examples that MAY provide interpretations related to those lives/fears. By reading or hearing about events that happened far away in fiction, there is a safety barrier. A child can choose the degree of closeness to the psychological issues and realities.
How do they work? - Psychological Examples of interpretation : Beauty - abandonment by parents, helplessness, self-image, monster in authority, honesty, trust, redeeming power of love. Folkkeeper - self-image, search for identity, social status and differences, abandonment by parents, revenge
How do they work? - Structural Having a basic/standard story structure or elements can assist in the readers understanding of the more specific details of this story, its characters and issues, and the artistry of the author. Standard formats such as hero and villain, or situation > problem > resolution, use of metaphor or rhyming and rhythmic structures, allow the author to lead the reader in both expected and unexpected directions.
How do they work? - Structural Examples of interpretation : Beauty - situation > problem > resolution: innocent beautiful heroine forced into unhappy arranged marriage, villain turns out to be hero. Well known story re-written, predictability and subversion. Folkkeeper - situation > problem > resolution: isolated individual seeks truth of personal history, quest narrative, references and allusions to other myths and legends.
How do they work? - Sociological By offering comparisons with our own lives, the story elements can assist in understanding a society, both in values and attitudes, and to see if this is valid in our present day. The understanding may be of features of our current society, or it may be of another society, historical or cultural. E.g. politics, gender, race, power and authority, family, morality, etc.
How do they work? - Sociological Examples of interpretation : Beauty - male and female roles, parental authority, duty, marriage and relationships, love, change and redemption, judgement by appearances, strong traditional morality (good is rewarded) Folkkeeper - male and female roles, parental responsibility, gender roles, pleasure and work, wealth and toil, revenge of the oppressed, shades of value in good/evil binary
How do they work? - Archetypal Archetypes are universal symbols recurring across different cultures and different epochs. They may be visual (e.g. red = warning, black = death, white = purity). They may be images such as a cross, a circle or a star, or story types or characters (e.g. rags to riches, orphan or stepmother, maiden in distress, rebirth, etc.. The archetypal approach seeks to identify these images, motifs (recurrent ideas or patterns) and themes in literature, and interpret a specific story by reference to the meanings carried by them.
How do they work? - Archetypal Examples of interpretation : Beauty - maiden in distress, the secret hero, beauty = good, ugliness = evil, the trial of goodness, happily ever after Folkkeeper - hidden identity, shape/face/identity changing – selkie, natural world = good, human manipulation = evil, the parent (secret, lost, step, etc.)
How do they work? - Interpretations These four approaches are possibilities. They provide a structure, a vocabulary and a range of options that you (the analyst) may choose to use to explore and explain a piece of literature. They are NOT mutually exclusive. There may be considerable overlap between the interpretations. They are NOT the only possibilities.