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INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY CRITICISM LITERARY CRITICISM Literary criticism is the art of judging and commenting on the qualities and character of literary.

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Presentation on theme: "INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY CRITICISM LITERARY CRITICISM Literary criticism is the art of judging and commenting on the qualities and character of literary."— Presentation transcript:

1 INTRODUCTION TO LITERARY CRITICISM LITERARY CRITICISM Literary criticism is the art of judging and commenting on the qualities and character of literary works.

2 PURPOSES OF LITERALY CRITICISM To help us solve a problem in reading To help us choose the better of two conflicting readings To enable us to form judgments about literature


4 HISTORICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL APPROACH Author’s life & time Character’s

5 ADVANTAGES This works well for some works which are political in nature Also works in order to place allusions in their proper classical political biblical background

6 DISADVANTAGES New critics criticize it because according to historic approach the value or meaning of the work maybe determines by “Intentional faliacy” This approach tends to make it relative rather than universal.

7 MORAL/PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH These critics believe that the larger purpose of literature is to teach morality and to probe philosophical issues. Mathew Arnold: “high seriousness” Plato: “Literature must exhibit moralism and utilization” Horace:”Literature should be delightful and instructive”

8 ADVANTAGES For works which have obvious moral philosophy When considering themes of works It does not view literature merely as “art” isolated from all moral implications literature.

9 DISADVANTAGES Detractors:This approach is “judgemental”. Literature should be judged on its artistic merit.

10 MIMETIC APPROACH Mimetic critics ask how well the work of literature accords with the real world Is it accurate? Is it correct? Is it moral? Does it show how people really act? Mimetic approach includes: Moral criticism. Psychological criticism. Feminist criticism.

11 FORMALISM/NEW CRITICISM All information essential to the interpretation of a work must be found within the work.No need to bring the information from the outside about author’s life,history and politics of the time. It is not interested in the piece of literature’s effect on the reader. It does not observe a piece of literature through the lens of feminism,psychology & mythology.

12 FORMALIST CRITIC STUDY Irony. Paradox. Imagery. Metaphor. Settings. Characters. Symbols Point of view.

13 TERMS USED IN NEW CRITICISM Tension Intentional fallacy. Affective fallacy. External form. Objective correlative.

14 ADVANTAGES This approach makes literature time less. This can be done without much research. All approaches begin at this.

15 DISADVANTAGES Text in isolation i-e cannot account for allusion. Out of context i-e a collection of rhetorical.

16 PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH Critics look at the psychological motivation of the characters or the author although the former one is considered a more valid approach. (a) Freudian Approach: Discusses influences of a character’s id, ego & superego. Discusses the sexual implications of symbols and imagery. Concave images. Phallic images Oedipus complex. Freud’s philosophy of Child development i-e oral stage,anal stage & genital stage. (b) Jungian Approach: Archetypal criticism. Psychologic critics concerned with Jung’s process of “inviduation” Self including shadow(villian-the darker self),persona(hero-the social self) and the anima(heroine-the soul image).

17 ADVANTAGES Can help in understanding works where characters have obvious psychological image. Knowing about the writer’s psychological approach can give us an insight into his work.

18 DISADVANTAGES A work of art can become a psychological case study. Tend to see sex in everything. Some works do not tend readily to this approach.

19 MYTHOLOGICAL/ARCHETYPAL/SYMBO LIC APPROACH. This approach says that there is a collection of symbols,images,characters and motifs that woke the same response in all people because Jung believes in “collective unconcious”. Myth critics identify these patterns. discuss how they function in the works. Believe that they are the source of literature’s power. e – g Desert:emptiness,death and hopelessness. Red:blood,passion,sacrifice. Green:growth,fertility.

20 ADVANTAGES Universality. Works well with the worls that are highly symbolic.

21 DISADVANTAGES Focus on the archetype and ignore the “art”aspect of a piece of literature.

22 FEMINIST APPROACH Focuses on Impact of gender on writing and reading. Begins with a critique of patriarchal culture. Often political and revisionist They say that gender determines everything or just the opposite. They argue that male fears are portrayed through female characters.

23 ELAINE SHOWALTER’S THEORY She argues that literary sub cultures go through three phasesof development. These stages for literature by/about women are: (a) The feminine stage(immitation of the prevailing modes of domination). (b) The feminist stage(protest against the prevailing standard). (c) The female stage(phase of self discovery). -a turning inward. -a search for identity.

24 ADVANTAGES Women have been underpresented in literature this approach redreses the problem.

25 DISADVANTAGES Turns literary criticims into a political battle field. It ignores other merits of the works they considered “patriarchal” They relegate women literature to a particular class thus removing it from the main stream.

26 READER RESPONSE CRITICISM APPROACH It analyzes the reader’s response and it’s role in the production of meaning. In the case a text has no meaning untill it is read by the reader. This takes into account the strategies employed by the author to elicit certain responses from readers. It denies the possibility that works are universal.

27 ADVANTAGES This critical theory recognizes that different people view works differently. People’s interpretation change over time.

28 DISADVANTAGES It makes the interpretation too subjective.

29 STRUCTURALISM View literature as a system of signs. Try to decipher the organisational codes which they believe in all literature.

30 DECONSTRUCTION They make interpretations based on the political or social implications of language rather than examining an author’s intention.

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