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SCHOOLS OF LITERARY CRITICISM Library Exercise Directions (out-of-class exercise). LIT 201-200 Professor Sarah L. Dye 17 March 2008. NOTE: A left mouse click will advance you to the next page. “Raising Duncan” by Chris Browne. REMINDER.

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schools of literary criticism library exercise directions out of class exercise

SCHOOLS OF LITERARY CRITICISMLibrary Exercise Directions (out-of-class exercise)

LIT 201-200

Professor Sarah L. Dye

17 March 2008

NOTE: A left mouse click will advance you to the next page.


You need to work on this LITCRIT exercise and complete the required worksheets tonight.

Your two worksheets for two separate short stories are due when you return to class tonight by 9:00 PM.

This is a graded assignment worth 10% of your final grade by the way.

what is literary criticism
What is literary criticism?
  • Literary criticism is the evaluation, analysis, description, or interpretation of literary works. It is usually in the form of a critical essay, but in-depth book reviews can sometimes be considered literary criticism. Criticism may examine a particular literary work, or may look at an author's writings as a whole. Finding literary criticism can be challenging.
project directions

You will work in assigned groups tonight to get this exercise researched, recorded, and presented.

step one
Step One

First, carefully examine the materials on the assigned web site directory and learn about the various dozen or so schools of literary criticism. Take notes on the material you are studying.

step two
Step Two

Review the stories assigned to your group to determine any TWO literary criticism schools or approaches which could be used with each of those stories.

step three
Step Three

Go to the RLRC to find at least

ONE resource (book, journal article,

magazine article, CD-Rom reference

source, Internet source, audio visual

source, etc.) for each literary

criticism approach which could be

used in analyzing the story with the

two selected methods.

visit this website now
Visit this WEBSITE now!


Prof. Siegel’s website contains MUCH information on literary criticism theory. You do not have to memorize the information there, but you do need to get an overview though.

elgin community college literature resources
Elgin Community College:Literature Resources
  • Go to the RLRC/library (preferably in person or electronically) to discover the resources available to literature scholars here at ECC.
literary criticism

Literary Criticism

Additional notes to study about some Schools of Interpretation after you have visited the previously assigned web site(s). There are varieties of names used for the various schools by the way.

psychoanalytic criticism
Psychoanalytic Criticism

Note: If you have taken any psychology, sociology, or political science/government courses in college, you may recognize some of the following schools of thought though you may not have known that they could be applied to literary criticism too!

psychoanalytic criticism 4 types
Psychoanalytic Criticism (4 types)
  • Freudian Criticism
  • Jungian Criticism
  • Laconian Criticism
  • Gestalt and Transactional Theories
freudian criticism1
Freudian Criticism:
  • Studies are based on the conventions and terminology of Freud’s theories, including terminology such as libido, id, ego, super-ego, Oedipal conflict, repression, latency, and so forth. Freudian studies are often used to explain sexual behavior and abnormal or aberrant behavior of characters.
jungian criticism1
Jungian Criticism:
  • Based on the theories of Carl Jung
  • Terms and theories include the following:
  • “Anima” (female principle in the universe) and “animus” (masculine principle in the universe); the “collective unconsciousness”; “archetypal symbols”; “the undiscovered self.”
  • Fairy tales and folk tales contain profound and deep-seated meanings for life and art
  • Patterns such as youth/age, life/death, and seasonal dichotomies important
  • The femme fatale, the “spiritual man,” and the “father figure,” the “earth mother” become types pervading all art.
gestalt transactional theories
Gestalt & Transactional Theories:
  • The theories of Erik Erikson and

other eclectic psychologists are becoming important for literary criticism.

sociological criticisms 3 types
Sociological Criticisms(3 types)
  • Broadly defined, sociological criticism may refer to any focus on economic, political, social, or ethnic groupings within the novel or story. For example, class groupings, or occupational groupings, or educational groupings may be defined and discussed in relation to each other. Some pervasive groupings and conflicts are as follows:
rural urban groupings
Rural-Urban Groupings:
  • An ancient source of conflict, the rural-urban (also called the Pastoral/anti-pastoral) pattern is still important in modern fiction.
class stratification
Class Stratification:
  • Rich/poor, lower-class/upper-class groupings tend to focus on the implications of economics and education.
marxist criticism
Marxist Criticism:
  • Related to class, emphasis on the conventional conflicts of Marxist philosophy (proletarian/capitalist, worker/bourgeois), Marxist critics often find these conflicts “buried” in the plotting and action of almost all art and literature.
new criticism aka formalistic
New Criticism (aka Formalistic)
  • Work is viewed in isolation from its historical, biographical, and social contexts
  • Focuses only on the work itself, treating it like an archaeological artifact.
  • Analysis of language foremost, and the connotations of words and word clusters important.
type 1 of formalistic studies
Type 1 of formalistic studies:
  • Imagery Patterns: Isolation and delineation of certain repeated images or word pictures. Studies like this account for critical studies on, say, animal imagery, light imagery, color imagery, or any repeated motif, which is repeated in a special way to create a given effect.
type 2 of formalistic studies
Type 2 of formalistic studies:
  • Structural Patterns: Analysis of the ways in which the parts or “building blocks” of the novel or story are juxtaposed and arranged. Elements such as framing, flashbacks, chapter arrangement, and so forth are important in structural studies.
type 3 of formalistic studies
Type 3 of formalistic studies:
  • Stylistics: Analysis of the rhetorical patterns (length of sentences, adjective use or omission, diction, and connotative language) becomes the mode for critical analysis.
some other general literary theory websites
Some Other General Literary Theory Websites:
  • Undergraduate Guide to Critical Theory by Dino F. Felluga of Purdue University
  • Literary Resources - Theory by Jack Lynch
  • Peter Krapp's Theory Page
  • Swirl - Theory Resources at Southern Oregon University by Warren Hedges
  • The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism
more general literary theory websites
More General Literary Theory Websites
  • Internet Public Library: > Literary Criticism

  • Dino Felluga’s Introductory Guide to Critical Theory website

  • Warren Hedges’ Timeline of Major Critical Theory in the US