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Literary Lenses One Text – Many Ways of Seeing It.

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Presentation on theme: "Literary Lenses One Text – Many Ways of Seeing It."— Presentation transcript:

1 Literary Lenses One Text – Many Ways of Seeing It

2 What are Literary Lenses?  The different perspectives we use to understand and interpret texts.  We bring different “angles” to texts.  We bring different background knowledge.  We focus on different parts of the texts.

3 Why are Lenses Important?  By focusing our reading attention on different parts of the text, we can move closer to understanding the text’s theme  Remember that theme is the author’s comment on the human condition!


5 How Many Pandas Do You See?

6 What Do You See?

7 Nice Vase…Ehh?

8 Woman in White?

9 Where is this young woman looking?

10 Back to Literary Lenses!  So what is the point?  Do we ALL see literature (or anything else we read) the same way?  What evidence do you have of your thoughts to the above question?

11 Types of Literary Lenses  Historical  Feminist  Marxist  Formalism  Reader Response

12 Historical  Looking at a text through its connections to history.  The Crucible - Cold War  Of Mice and Men - The Great Depression  Focuses on the social, political, and economic climate of the event

13 How to Look Through the Historic Lens  Examine the historical connections of the text.  Social, economic, political  What is the author’s role in the text? Consider background information on the author.

14 Feminist  Looking at a text through how gender is shown.  Males / females  Stereotypical gender roles

15 How to Look Through the Feminist Lens  Consider the gender of the author.  Consider the gender(s) of the characters.  What roles do gender and sexuality play in this work?

16  Are gender stereotypes reinforced or challenged?  Imagine yourself as the opposite gender while reading this piece

17 Marxist  Looking at a text in terms of power  Oftentimes, power is related to money  Who has money; who doesn’t  Who has power; who doesn’t  Who is “rich”; who is “poor”

18 How to Look Through the Marxist Lens  Consider who has the power and who doesn’t  Consider who has the money and who doesn’t

19  What role(s) do power, money, or class play in this work?  What happens as a result of these differences?

20 Formalism  Looks at the text AS a TEXT.  Meaning is discovered through close reading  NOT by examining outside sources

21 How to Look Through the Formalist Lens  Look at words, literary terms, symbols.  Analyze how parallels are established and create a unity within the text.

22 Reader Response LLooks at how the reader responds to the text. IIndividual meaning is derived as the reader reads

23 How to Look Through the Reader Response Lens  Ummm….just read (no…seriously)  Track what you think and interpret the text to mean!  Bring your own thoughts, moods, and experiences to the text.

24 So What is the Point?  Literal level  Notice these structures for each lens  Point out the history, the women, the powerful  Interpretive level  Answer the “so what…” question  What might the author be implying with a powerful woman, a class conflict, or similes throughout….. the THEME

25 Example to Ponder - The Lion King  Historical  Made in 1990s  Time of great political upheaval in world  Theme – “right” governments can overcome adversity?

26 The Lion King  Feminist  Helpless females  Females provide food and care for the young yet males have ALL the power  Nala is stronger than Simba, but she does not inherit the crown  Theme – Strong men should rule in the world while women support them?

27 The Lion King  Marxist  Males have all the power (Mufasa, Simba, Scar)  When Mufasa dies, Simba is the ONLY one considered for the crown.  Lions retain power over all other animals  Hyenas are weak (lower-class)  Class rebellion leads to the conflict of the film  Theme – Class distinction should be eliminated?

28 The Lion King FFormalist EExamine songs and messages? EExamine artwork? DDifferent with movies than with written texts.

29  Reader Response  I like it because….  It reminds me of….  This connects to Hamlet….

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