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APPROACH

ES TO
LETIRARY
CRITICISM

ST
CRITICIS
M

This approach regards literature as a


unique form of human knowledge that
needs to be examined on its own terms.

A primary goal for formalist critics is to


determine how such elements work
together with the texts content to shape
its effects upon readers.

BIOGRAPHICA
L CRITICISM

This approach begins


with the simple but
central insight that
literature is written by
actual people and that
understanding an
authors life can help
readers more thoroughly
comprehend the work.

focuses on explicating
the literary work by using
the insight provided by
knowledge of the authors
life.... [B]iographical data
should amplify the
meaning of the text, not
drown it out with
irrelevant material.

HISTORICAL
CRITICISM

seeks to understand
a literary work by
investigating the
social, cultural, and
intellectual context
that produced ita
context that
necessarily includes
the artists biography
and milieu.

GENDER
CRITICISM

Gender critics look for


the reinforcement or
deconstruction of
gender stereotypes in
literature. Because
literature is timeless, it
greatly influences the
way society views
gender differences;

Gender criticism examines the influence of gender on the way


literature is written and read. Gender criticism perceives men
and women as different; they write differently and read
differently, and these differences should be valued..

Some gender critics look at


works by men or women to
see what approaches in
these works, including
language use, portrayal of
characters and plots, and use
of images and symbols, are
essentially female or male.
Other gender critics explore
the effect that maledominated cultures exert on
works of literature and on
writers

Other gender
critics explore the
effect that maledominated cultures
exert on works of
literature and on
writers.

PSYCHOLOGICA
L CRITICISM

This approach reflects the


effect that modern
psychology has had upon
both literature and literary
criticism. whose
psychoanalytic theories
changed our notions of
human behavior by exploring
new or controversial areas
like wish-fulfillment,
sexuality, the unconscious,
and repression

psychoanalytic theories changed our notions of


human behavior by exploring new or controversial
areas like wish-fulfillment, sexuality, the unconscious,
and repression

as well as expanding
our understanding of
how language and
symbols operate by
demonstrating their
ability to reflect
unconscious fears or
desires

Psychological
criticism has a
number of
approaches, but in
general, it usually
employs one (or
more) of three
APPROACHES.

Carl Jung, whose theories


about the unconscious are
also a key foundation of
Mythological Criticism.
Psychological criticism has
a number of approaches,
but in general, it usually
employs one (or more) of
three approaches:
An investigation of the
creative process of the
artist:

The psychological study of a particular artist, usually


noting how an authors biographical circumstances
affect or influence their motivations and/or behavior.

The analysis of fictional characters using


the language and methods of psychology.

SOCIOLOGICA
L CRITICISM

isliterary criticismdirected
to understanding (or placing)
literature in its larger social
context; it codifies the
literary strategies that are
employed to represent social
constructs through a
sociological methodology.
Sociological criticism
analyzes both how the social
functions in literature and
how literature works in
society.

METHOLOGIC
AL CRITICISM

This approach
emphasizes the
recurrent universal
patterns underlying
most literary works.
Combining the insights
from anthropology,
psychology, history,
and comparative
religion, mythological
criticism

explores the artists


common humanity by
tracing how the
individual
imagination uses
myths and symbols
common to different
cultures and
epochs.

READERRESPONSE
CRITICISM

literary theorythat focuses onthe reader(or "audience


") and their experience of aliterary work, in contrast to
other schools and theories that focus attention primarily
on the author or the content andformof the work.

DISCONTRUCTIO
NIST CRITICISM

rejects the traditional


assumption that
language can
accurately represent
reality.
Deconstructionist
critics regard language
as a fundamentally
unstable mediumthe
words tree or dog,

undoubtedly conjure
up different mental
images for different
peopleand
therefore, because
literature is made up
of words, literature
possesses no fixed,
single meaning.