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Literary Criticism Research

As you complete the steps listed below, keep track of your ideas and information regarding your assigned theory of criticism as you will be presenting it to the class on Friday, August 21, 2009.

Step 1: Read about basic foundations and theories regarding literary criticism.

First, each member of your group will need to read and gloss a copy of each of the articles linked below. Ms. Radcliff has printed out each article for you. Each article provides a basic foundation for the study of literary criticism. Read through each piece and use your highlighter to help you interpret important information that stands out to you.

Handout 1: "On Interpretation" by Professor Barry Laga - http://mesastate.edu/~blaga/theoryindex/interpretatiox.html

        On your own, feel free to also look around this site as there is a great deal of information related to literary criticism here.

Handout 2: This information has been adapted from both Professor John Lye http://www.brocku.ca/english/courses/2F55/pt_of_view.html and Bedford/St. Martin's http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/virtualit/fiction/elements.asp?e=4.

This article outlines issues to consider when analyzing the narrator and his/her position within a given text.  An especially important component of literary analysis and criticism involves looking closely at the narrator’s position within a text.

When you reach the end of this article, click on "Go to Point of View exercise" and follow all of the instructions.

    * Which narrative point of view is most realistic?

    * Which is most flexible?

    * Which may demand more interpretation by the reader?

Step 2: Look up definitions for 12 literary terms related to literary criticism and theory.

Use the web sites listed below to look up the definitions for the following 12 literary terms related to literary criticism. Add these definitions to your Literary Terms Notes.

        Glossary of Lit. Terms - http://www.virtualsalt.com/litterms.htm

        Literary Vocabulary - http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/lit_terms.html (you may find this one to

be most thorough, but can use the other for clarification.)

Define the following literary terms:

1)     Bildungsroman

2)     Canon

3)     Dystopian Novel

4)     Hyperbole

5)     Litotes

6)     Novella

7)     Paradox

8)     Persona

9)     Rhetoric

10)  Style

11)  Utopian Novel

12)  Verisimilitude

Step 3: Work in small groups to explore in depth one particular form of literary criticism.

Students will be assigned to small groups, and each group will be assigned a particular literary theory to explore more fully. Members of the group will need to use the links below to research basic information about their particular literary theory and apply the approach to Sylvia Plath’s “The Initiation.” Groups will use the theory cards in addition to the links below to learn more about a particular form of literary analysis. Using this information, groups will create a 5-6 slide PowerPoint presentation to teach the class more about their particular theory. CLICK ON YOUR ASSIGNED APPROACH BELOW TO FIND INFORMATION AND FURTHER DIRECTIONS.

PSYCHOANALYSIS

MARXIST LITERARY CRITICISM

FEMINIST LITERARY CRITICISM

HISTORICAL/BIOGRAPHICALAPPROACH

GENRE THEORY

READER RESPONSE

FORMALIST (NEW CRITICS) APPROACH

STRUCTURALISM

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