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New Criticism. Writing a New Critical Paper and Conclusion. Writing: (Textbook: p. 47). 1. Central idea and Thesis statement; 2. All the other elements should be analyzed in terms of the thesis statement; 3. Quotations; 4.the use of lit. terms;

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new criticism

New Criticism

Writing a New Critical Paper and


writing textbook p 47
Writing: (Textbook: p. 47)
  • 1. Central idea and Thesis statement;
  • 2. All the other elements should be analyzed in terms of the thesis statement;
  • 3. Quotations;
  • 4.the use of lit. terms;
  • 5. Style: first person (? Or third-person) and authoritative.
to a u t umn

(personification+ action, alliteration;sensual images )


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set buddingmore,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

to a u t umn1

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sittingcareless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,

Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook;

Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the lastoozingshours by hours.

to a u t umn2

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--

While barred cloudsbloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

Then in a wailful choir the small gnatsmourn

Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light windlives or dies;

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

to a u t umn3

Thesis Statement:

Nature runs in cycles, but Keats’s “To Autumn” focuses on the sensual beauties of autumn in its very moments--but not what comes before or after.

Autumn’s beauties are shown in its bountiful harvest and storage, in its various and transient music, both of which, though suggesting winter and nearing death, are enhanced and prolonged by the mellifluous sounds and long vowels.

to a u t umn4


1. the sensual beauties of autumn in its very moments--early, mid and late autumn with their specific kinds of beauty.


B. storage

C. music

2. Transience vs. prolonging the effects

A. examples of transience + prolongment:

1. From “never cease” to last oozing,bloom the soft-dying day, stubble-plains, gnats

2. Actions gets smaller and smaller, but accumulated to show autumn’s richness

B. effects prolonged by the mellifluous sounds and long vowels.

C. Long sentences throughout the whole poem.

keats life and world around the time of composing the poem 1819
Keats’ Life and world around the time of composing the poem, 1819
  • Restoration of the monarchy in France in 1815.
  • His brother Tom's death in December, 1818
  • Keats wrote a large amount of poems from 1819 to 1820; his second volume of poems appeared in July 1820.
  • Soon afterwards, by now very ill with tuberculosis, he set off with a friend to Italy, where he died the following February (1821).
other views of to autumn
Other Views of “To Autumn”
  • “The whole point of Keats’ great and (politically) reactionary book was not to enlist poetry in the service of social and political causes. . .but to dissolve social and political conflicts in the mediations of art and beauty.(J. MacGann, 1985: 53)
  • “What Keats said to his readers—and his rulers—is comparable to what Galileo is reputed to have muttered after his forced recantation to the Inquisition: “And yet it moves.”(Hawthorn 1996: 176, 179)
  • A feminist reading of the presentation of autumn as a woman.
new criticism conclusion
New Criticism: Conclusion
  • The relationship between

Theory and Criticism

how you act

the ground beneath your feet; the window or lens through which you look at the world.

new criticism conclusion 2
New Criticism: Conclusion (2)
  • Criticism:

The method of close reading (text-and-only- the-text approach): working from parts to whole and vice versa.

Key words in New Criticism: ambiguities, paradox, irony, tension.

theoretic basis of new criticism liberal humanism
Theoretic Basis of New Criticism: Liberal Humanism
  • 文學有永恆的價值﹒
  • 文學的意義存在於文本內;不須放在社會、政治、文學史、作者生平等脈絡下研究﹒
  • 因此﹐文本需要細讀﹒
  • 人性基本上是不改變的﹒
  • 每個人都有其獨特本質﹒
  • 文學的目的是改進人生、傳播人道價值﹒
  • 形式和內容必須融合成一有機體﹒
  • 誠於中﹐行於外-作家的誠懇表達在他用字遣辭不誇張、不落俗套上﹒
  • 文學貴在具體表現(or enact).
  • 批評者的責任是在做作品和讀者中的媒介﹒
new criticism conclusion 3
New Criticism: Conclusion (3)
  • Theory:

1. Do you think that poetry can be autonomous, detached from its social and historical environment? That literature can have universal meanings?

2. Do you think that we definitely can find out textual unity?

3. For New Critics, the unity in the best literary work is achieved through paradox, irony and ambiguity. Do you agree?

4. Do you think that we can determine our life?

4. Do you agree that life is filled with paradoxes, conflicts and ambiguities?

criticism of new criticism
Criticism of New Criticism
  • 它提供一個簡便的教學方式應付不斷增長的學生人數。
  • 詩導致政治惰性﹐因而也是屈從政治現狀的祕方(T. Eagleton)
  • A text can be open to different interpretations.
  • Close reading is not the only way of reading; nor are ambiguity, tension, etc. the only aesthetic standard.
the theories after new criticism five main points
The theories after New Criticism:Five Main Points
  • Politics is pervasive, 任何事情都是政治的,
  • Language is constructive, 語言為建構,
  • Truth is provisional, 真理是臨時建構,
  • Meaning is contingent, 意義是因時/地制定的,
  • Human nature is a myth 人性的普遍性是虛構的.