The Historical and Biographical Approach. By Mitchell King, Tori Gilliland, & Taylor Rioux. Definition: Historical.
The Historical and Biographical Approach
An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
seeks to understand a literary work by investigating the social, cultural, and intellectual context that produced it: a context that necessarily includes the artist’s biography and milieu.
A key goal for historical critics is to understand the effect of a literary work upon its original readers.
When, where, and why?
literature is written by actual people and understanding an author’s life can help readers more thoroughly comprehend the work
focuses on explicating the literary work by using the insight provided by knowledge of the author’s life
QuestionsTypes of Questions These Types of Thinkers Would Ask
What time period was the piece written in?
How does that time period influence the work?
What cultural impact does the time period have on the piece?
What is the author’s background?
Does the author’s personal history influence the piece? If so, how?
Are any significant historical events described in the work?
Was there a political and or religious message in the work?
Does the author’s political or religious bias influence the piece?
Time period clarifies purpose
A window into a different time
Insight into author’s personal life
Taste of previous culture’s language and society
Comparisons between past and present
Author’s political bias
Religious and political influences from society
Content may be inaccurate
Limits reader’s creativity
Accuracy of timeline
Use in Past ClassesHow have these techniques been used in past classes, and with what materials
A Thousand Splendid Suns- Historical Context (Turmoil in Afghanistan in the late 20th Century). By Khaled Hosseini
Tweak – Biography of a struggling drug addict. By Nic Sheff
The Jungle- Historical Context (Chicago Meatpacking plants in 1906) By Upton Sinclair. Read a 4 page section of the book.
“The Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln- Lincoln’s speech delivered to the nation after the bloody battle of Gettysburg. Reflected the nation’s chaos at the time, and was short and concise, just over two minutes. (1863)
The Pythagorean Theorem- In every math book that deals with this type of arithmetic there is a short piece on the origination of the method. Pythagoras of Samos published the method in the late 6th century B.C.
ExamplesIn Literature and The Real World
The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger
My Pet Virus by Shawn Decker
Boardwalk Empire HBO Television Series
Enemy at the Gates – Movie, The Battle of Stalingrad
Saving Private Ryan Academy Award Winning Movie, Based on a platoon in WWII
American Gangster- Movie, Famous drug dealer Frank Lucas
Gladiator- Move, Graphic depiction of the late Roman Empire
Night by Elie Wiesel
Columbine by Dave Cullen
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
ApplicationHow or where would one apply the Historical Approach