Even More Literary Theory

Week 3

What did I do?

Feminist Critical Perspective

This theory follows the feminist perspective of the world being unequal; they wish to see the discrimination of gender and the ideology of patriarchy (superiority of men over women) abolished; they see literature as an agent for social transformation. It assumes that throughout history, the traditional categories and criteria for the anaylis of literary works have been infused with masculine interests, assumptions and paradigms and that patriarchal ideology has pervaded all literature that has been considered ‘great’. Feminist criticism acknowledges the social, economic and cultural aspects of literary works in terms of how the position and influence of women has been conveyed. The symbolism/motif of the male and female archetype is also searched for within a text.

Biographical Perspective

Similarly to how we have studied all Extension 1 English texts in the past, this theory takes into account the context of the author; the circumstances in which a literary work was written and what may have influenced the author’s message and the manner of the subjects included. This aids in considering the how the author’s values were integrated into the work and in understanding the struggles that the author may have gone through in their life. Consideration of this theory can also enhance the reader’s understanding of the time in which a text was written itself; deepening the knowledge of the culture, events, economy, etc. of a specific place/era.

Historical Perspective

This theory considers the time period in which a text was written, analysing the surrounding context of the story to further understand the underlying meaning; searching for events and values infused within the text that may have been influenced by its context.

Old Historicism looks into both the internal (within the story) and the external (contextual) time periods; understanding the characters’ lives to understand the author’s purpose.

New Historicism involves a deeper emphasis on the context of the text, analysing historical documents as intensely as the text being studied, in order to uncover truth within the text.

 

After looking into these theories more specifically, I can now say that I understand them much better and hope to develop my ability to integrate them into my study of prescribed and related texts.

 

Image: http://www.theorycoffeeco.com/

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