FFocuses on language, structure, and tone IIntrinsic Reading vs. Extrinsic FFormalists study relationship between literary devices and meaning
Analyze how a work might follow actual events in an authors life. Analyze how characters may be based on people known by the author. Sometimes it can answer questions or further confuse the reader. Can at the very least serve as a control on interpretation.
Sigmund Freud- The founder of psychoanalytic theories. Dreams Unconscious Desires Sexual Repression Aspects of Psyche Id Ego Superego
Oedipus Complex- a boys unconscious rivalry with his father for his mothers love and his desire to eliminate his father in order to take his fathers place with his mother. Electra complex- a daughters unconscious rivalry for her father.
Historical critics use literature as a window into the past because literature often provides hints of the past that are not available in other sources. This strategy uses history as a means of understanding a work of literature better. Historical critics see literature as a product of their times, shedding light on historical situations and times.
This category claims that literature may transcend time to the extent that it may concern readers over the years, even centuries. Followers of this category understand that it remains a part of the past in which it was made, a past that can reveal more fully a work’s language, purposes and ideas.
Marxist readings hold the heightened interest in radical reform. These critics look at literature as a means of aiding the proletarian social and economic goals. Marxist critics focus on the ideological content of a story or book. They focus upon what takes place within the book, implicit and explicit values and assumptions about matters such as culture, race, class, and power. They stress that all criticism is political in some way, and that even if it attempts to ignore class struggles, it is politicized, because it supports that status quo.
Emphasizes the interaction between the historical context of the literature and the modern reader’s understanding & interpretation of the text Read the historical period in all dimensions Stresses that the history we read is reconstructed
Like New Historicists, but pays particular attention to popular ideas present within the work Focus upon what the literary works reveal about the culture; their values, their norms, and what they believed in Use eclectic strategies taken from New Historicism, Psychology, Gender Studies, and Deconstructionism Analyze not only literature, but radio talk shows, comic strips, calendar art, commercials, travel guides, baseball cards, etc.
Postcolonial Criticism is the study of cultural behavior and expression in relation to the formerly colonized world. Refers to the analysis of literary works written by writers who lived in countries that were at one time controlled by a colonial power. The term also refers to the analysis of literary works written about colonial cultures by writers from the colonizing power.
Ask what is masculine and what is feminine A type of Gender Criticism is Feminist, which places literature in a social context like Marxism. It explains how images of women in literature reflect patriarchal social forces that impede full equality.
Also referred to as archetypal Interpret hopes, fears, and expectations of a culture Focus on how humans account for their lives symbolically Since myths try to explain universal experiences, they follow similar patterns Look for underlying, recurrent patterns
What is in reader’s mind not in the writing Meaning evolves with reader, writing does not have a formula or pattern About reader’s feelings not about meaning About how a reader’s experiences, memories, and impressions shape the meaning of the text
Literary works do not have fixed meanings Disestablish meaning rather than establish Focus on gaps, ambiguity, patterns Argues that close examination will reveal conflicting, contradictory impulses that "deconstruct" or break down its apparent unity