Presentation on theme: "COLLEGE ENGLISH WCS Three Critical Approaches to One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn."— Presentation transcript:
COLLEGE ENGLISH WCS Three Critical Approaches to One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Historical Perspective Josef Stalin as a young Revolutionary 1900
Key to Historical Perspective The Question: How do events and settings shape and influence the characters in the work? Shukhov is a fictional character Solzhenitsyn’s work is fiction All fiction is relative
Assumptions, Historical Perspective The author intuitively… Mirrors the events through which s/he lives; Justifies and reviews those events; and Confuses (rearranges) or combines events. Clues to the author’s perspectives of the events are “buried” in the context of the novel.
Reader’s Perceptions, Historical Perspective The reader synthesizes his/her knowledge of history with the plot, setting, and characters of the work. Implicit is THE READER’S understanding of Stalinist Russia Russian history World history (including the reader’s personal history)
Sociological Perspective At left: Exiles on their way to a Siberian Gulag
Key to Sociological Perspective The Question: What does the work (the book) reveal to the reader about how social groups Interact Support one another Use one another
Assumptions, Sociological Perspective An author uses characters to portray interaction with other characters. The author also looks at conditions that affect the group. Within the group, characters exhibit both individual and group priorities. There is always a cause-effect ratio at work in human interactions.
Reader’s Perception, Sociological Perspective The reader analyzes the interactions based on his/her own social experiences. This analysis is subject to change and evolution. The reader’s social status and social history are NOT KNOWN to the author. The author is not obliged to mirror the reader’s reality.
Psychological Perspective At left, Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Photo
Key to Psychological Perspective Question: How does the work (literature, art, essay, etc.) unveil typical and atypical human behaviors? Note that there are three points of view in this story: First Person Limited Omniscient Second Person (on no!)
Assumptions, Psychological Perspective The author presents characters with varying degrees of insight. Shukhov’s entire day is exposed to us. Can we empathize? How?
Reader’s Perceptions, Psychological Perspective The reader must… Identify with characters Identify with conditions Predict behaviors Suggest solutions to personal problems Abide with the character’s (narrator’s, author’s) decisions
Remember When you interpret through the lens of a critical perspective, you still need the skills of argumentation: Solid, text-based evidence Research of the historical period and social conditions Knowledge of the author