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Historical and Biographical Lenses. Liza Dee Eve Lee Sophie Marion. Definition. Historical approach to literary criticism… How does the work reflects the author’s time? Must be truly placed in historical context

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historical and biographical lenses

Historical and Biographical Lenses

Liza Dee

Eve Lee

Sophie Marion

definition
Definition
  • Historical approach to literary criticism…
    • How does the work reflects the author’s time?
    • Must be truly placed in historical context
    • Should consider various types of history (social, economic, political, intellectual, etc.) to understand the text
  • Biographical approach to literary criticism…
    • How does the work reflects the author’s life?
    • Should analyze the work against the author’s life for meaning
    • Should not take into account irrelevant facts
questions considered
Questions Considered
  • Historical approach:
    • What events concurrently occurred in history?
    • How did history affect the author’s views/opinions?
    • How did history affect content, style, language, and tone?
    • Did the author alter historical events? How? Why?
  • Biographical approach:
    • What biographical facts are included in the text?
    • Have any facts been changed? How? Why?
    • What does the text tell us about the author’s life?
    • Do these insights increase or diminish our understanding of his/her life?
    • Does the author consider his/her life as typical or significant?
advantages
Advantages
  • Gives information about the author and the time period
  • The ability to make comparisons
  • May approach a text from numerous perspectives and schema
    • Culture
    • Discourse
    • Ideology
disadvantages
Disadvantages
  • Equating the work's content with the author's life (or the character with the author
  • Less-than-credible sources of information, particularly works that tend to be highly speculative or controversial unless verified by several sources.
  • No history can be truly objective or comprehensive because history is constantly written and rewritten
  • Loss of the ability to be creative in analyzation
where how to apply this lens in your life
Where/How to Apply This Lens In YOUR Life
  • Viewing Art
  • Analyzing Literature based on the Publication Date and/or Author
  • Reading Periodicals
  • English and History Classes
  • Screenwriting
examples
Examples
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner
  • In television: Mad Men
  • The Diary of Anne Frank
slide8
Uses
  • English class
    • My Pet Virus
      • Shawn Decker’s life
    • The Scarlett Letter
      • Historical context (1850)
  • History class
    • Lincoln’s Inaugural Address
      • Historical context of the time period (1861)
      • Lincoln’s point of view
    • Hammurabi’s Code
      • Historical context of the time period (1792 B.C.)
      • Hammurabi’s philosophy as a leader
  • CI (Social studies)
    • Columns
      • Point of view on the issue
        • Paul Krugman and the Bush tax cuts
an example where you can apply the historical lenses boardwalk empire
An example where you can apply the historical lenses – Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire Trailer #1 (HBO). YouTube. 20 Sept. 2010. Web. 18 Oct. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDyKgRCjf_U>.