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literary theories and approaches simplified version
Text can be read as an author’s unresolved issues in life, resulting in
his/her evident work.
Views works through the lens of psychology.
Looks either at the psychological motivations of the characters or of the
Three parts in an individual’s psyche:
the id: the instinctual, pleasure seeking part of the mind
the superego: the part of the mind that represses the id's
the ego: the part of the mind that controls but does not repress
the id's impulses, releasing them in a healthy way
Literature is a reflection of the unending and
irreconcilable and ongoing class struggle of ruling class
and proletariat in a particular society.
Karl Marx perceived human history to have consisted of
a series of struggles between classes--between the
oppressed and the oppressing.
Feudalism exploits workers to the point of revolt.
This leads to bourgeois capitalism.
In bourgeois capitalism, the privileged bourgeoisie rely
on the working proletariat.
Workers are exploited to the point of revolt.
Literature may be judged according to how the reader
perceives it instead of what the author intends.
The text itself has no meaning until it is read by a
The reader creates the meaning.
Analyzes the reader's role in the production of meaning
makes someone's reading a function of personal
Recognizes that different people view works
differently and that people's interpretations change
Literature may be interpreted as a battle of the sexes or
a reaction or result of oppressive patriarchy.
Concerned with the impact of gender on writing and
Usually begins with a critique of patriarchal culture.
Concerned with the place of female writers.
Concerned with the roles of female characters within
It is a reaction to tradition, works that may be interpreted or judged purely
from what is apparent in the texts.
Involves a close reading of the text all information are essential to the
interpretation of a work must be found within the work itself.
Focuses on analyzing irony, paradox, imagery, and metaphor.
No need to bring in outside information about the history, politics, or
society of the time, or about the author's life
Terms Used in New Criticism:
intentional fallacy - the false belief that the meaning or value of a
work may be determined by the author's intention.
affective fallacy - the false belief that the meaning or value of a work
may be determined by its affect on the reader.
external form - rhyme scheme, meter, stanza form, etc.
It assumes that there is a collection of symbols, images
and motifs that is archetypes that evokes basically the
same response in all people.
Identifies these patterns and discusses how they
function in the works.
Asserts that these archetypes are the source of much of
Carl Jung states that mankind possesses a
"collective unconscious" that contains these
archetypes and that is common to all of humanity
Literature is concerned with the language,
culture and society.
You can base the texts from the origin of
Language, culture and society depict the
structure where it was written.
Work may be seen as autobiographical in nature and
highly subjective that is lacking of objectivity.
The work is seen as a mirror of the author’s life.
You can purely judge the work by merely basing the
texts from the author’s life.
Objectivity of the work may not be seen in the texts.
Literature is judge according to its role or
use from practical to profound in daily life
of a given culture.
Texts serve as basis for practicality of the
Works are said to be cultural when it applies
in day to day way of living of a particular
Negative reaction to modernism, it means a text may
be reinterpreted with the reader being doubtful of
the ways it has been interpreted before.
Deeply committed on the re-understanding on the
texts of other readers.
Can have a multiple meaning according to the
interpretation of the readers.
Negatively opposes the past meaning of the texts.
It views literature as a reflection of an
author’s life and time or of the
characters’ life and times.
It is necessary to know about the author
and the political, economical, and
sociological context of his times in
order to truly understand his works.
Texts must be read many times to be able to get
the real meaning of a text.
The texts can have multiple meaning .
Readers can have their own interpretation.
Real meaning conceals in the texts.
Texts can be reinterpreted many times.
Decoding of texts can be a difficult task to do.