D EFINITIONS OF LITERATURE Noun Writings in prose or verse Writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest The body of written works produced in a particular language, country, or age The body of writings on a particular subject Printed matter A text Novels, books, short stories, poems, screen-plays, dramas
D EFINITIONS OF LITERARY THEORY The methods and ideas readers apply while reading literature Different ways of interpreting a text Several theories exist and have been studied; however, we will talk about 10 of the most popular theories.
M ARXIST THEORY Based on the ideas and concepts of Karl Marx Focuses on social class and economical differences Where have you seen it in literature?
P SYCHOANALYTICAL THEORY Based off the ideas of Sigmund Freud Unconscious vs. Subconscious Desires Defenses Id vs. Ego vs. Superego Oedipus vs. Electra complexes Analysis of character behavior and motivation as it relates to the human psyche
J UNGIAN THEORY Based off the ideas of Carl Jung – a student of Sigmund Freud Jungian theory is one branch of psychoanalytical theory There are a set of archetypes, or molds. How do characters fit into or compare to the archetype? After you’ve asked the “how” questions, ask the “why” question.
J UNGIAN ARCHETYPES The Innocent The Orphan The Hero The Caregiver The Explorer The Rebel The Lover The Creator The Jester The Sage The Magician The Ruler
R EADER RESPONSE THEORY Ideas and theories that a reader brings to a work The lens through which the reader interprets the text. The meaning and significance that a reader applies to literature.
S TRUCTURALISM & S EMIOTIC THEORY Focuses on language, linguistics, patterns, and symbols How does the literature fit the structure of literature similar to it? How does literature fit into the genre that it represents?
P OST - MODERN THEORY Also known as: post-structuralism and deconstruction Based on the ideas of Jacques Derrida The concept that all systems, frameworks, molds, and structures will break down Opposed to structuralism theory This theory thrives on instability
Romanticism/symbolism Form (conjunctive, closed) Purpose Design Heirarchy Mastery/logos Finished work Semantics Signified Genital/phallic Determinacy transcendence Paraphysics/Dadaism Antiform (disjunctive, open) Play Chance Anarchy Exhaustion/silence Process Rhetoric Signifier Androgynous Indeterminacy immanence ModernismPost-modernism
N EW H ISTORICISM & C ULTURAL S TUDIES Historicism asks, “What happened?” New historicism asks, “What happened, why did that happen?” and “What can we interpret about society from what happened?” Focus on how interpretations reflect the time period and culture Frequently see author’s opinions and views on the time period, culture, or politics
P OST - COLONIAL T HEORY Focuses on colonial powers and their influence on “lower” powers Also examines race and ethnicity Question the literary canon
G ENDER S TUDIES Focus on the gender roles and stereotypes given by society Sociology concepts are applied Biology indicates sex, while culture indicates gender Definitions of masculinity and femininity Examines ways that gender roles are portrayed in literature
F EMINIST THEORY Focuses on the oppression of women Political, social, economical, and psychological Exclusion of women from the literary canon Specific branch of gender studies
LGBTQ T HEORY A second branch of gender studies L esbian G ay B i-sexual T ransgender Q ueer Examines sexuality in literature While gender studies focuses on cultural stereotypes and feminist literature focuses on females, LGBTQ focuses on stereotypical sexuality and how it is portrayed in literature