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These approaches represent the major trends in literary theory.
Among the most commonly used scholarly approach, which begins with the simple but central insight that literature is written by actual people and that understanding an author’s life can help readers more thoroughly comprehend the work. Not simply a matter of reconstructing or reading the biography of an author to elicit or heighten interest in a literary work but entails the use of biographical information to illuminate various aspects of the text. Involves the use of biography as a tool for literary analysis. Not concerned with recreating the record of an author’s life but is rather focused on explicating the literary work by using the insight provided by knowledge of the author’s life.
Sociological and Historical Approaches.
Seek to understand a literary work by investigating the social, cultural, political, and intellectual context that produced it- a context that necessarily includes the artist’s biography and milieu. These are based on the idea that one cannot separate literature from society.
Application of specific psychological principles to the study of literature. It may focus on the writer’s psyche, the study of creative process, the study of psychological types and principles present within works of literature or the effect of literature upon its readers
.the style. The class would then pay attention to the formal features of the text. Started with the feminist movement. Since formalists believe that the various stylistic and thematic elements of literary work influence each other. a teacher using this approach would direct the class to the words of the text rather than facts about the author’s life. This idea led to the so-called feminist criticism which aims to define the position of women in narratives. Vital to this approach is close reading. a careful. To a formalist. and to expose the male biases that are possibly hidden in the text. or the historical milieu in which it was written. Formalist Approach The natural and sensible starting point for work in literary scholarship is the interpretation and analysis of the works of literature themselves. It has expanded beyond its original feminist perspective due to the rise of a men’s movement which emerged in response to feminist criticism. these critics insist that form and content can not be meaningfully separated. etc.Gender Criticism Examines how sexual identity influences the creation and reception of literary works. The men’s movement does not seek to reject feminism but to discover masculine identity in an authentic contemporary way. To analyze a poem or a story. a poem or a story is not primarily a social. a group of critics who believed that culture has been so completely dominated by men that literature is full of unexamined “male-produced” assumptions. it is a literary work that can be understood only be reference to its intrinsic literary features. structure. step by step analysis and explication of a text. tone. historical. imagery. or biographical document. The complete interdependence of form and content is what makes a text literary. The purpose of close reading is to understand how various elements in a literary text work together to shape its effect on the reader.those elements found in the text itself.
it only exists when it has entered the mind of a particular reader” (Bonnycastle.Reader-response Approach Instead of studying the literary work. it attempts to describe what happens in the reader’s mind while interpreting a text. Moralistic Approach The teacher/reader/critic utilizing more or less “requires” that the piece presents man as an essentially rational. It has no objective existence. or the piece does not misinterpret the nature of man. 1991). “The central idea behind reader-response criticism is that a work of literature does not exist as words on a page. In this approach. the inevitable plurality of readings by the students is recognized. . that is endowed with intellect and free-will. This approach is primarily concerned with morality issues in literature: the questions of ethical goodness or badness.