Literary Approaches

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•Choose six of the following approaches and find one article for each approach. •Writing:
One page per article
2 pgs summary

Critical approaches important in the study of literature:

•Concerned with content and values
•Used not only to discover meaning, but also to determine whether works of literature are both true and significant. •To study lit from this perspective is to determine whether a work conveys a lesson or a message and whether it can help readers lead better lives and improve their understanding of the world. •Answer these questions:

What ideas does the work contain?
How strongly does the work bring forth its ideas?
What application do the ideas have to the work's characters and situations? How may the ideas be evaluated intellectually? Morally?

•Stresses the relationship of lit to its historical period •Investigates relationships of this sort, including the elucidation of words and concepts that today's readers may not immediately understand. •Common criticism is that in the extreme, it deals with background knowledge rather than with lit itself.

•Focuses on literary texts as formal works of art, and for this reason it can be seen as a reaction against the topical/historical approach. •Most brilliant in the formal analysis of smaller units such as poems and short passages. •Discussions of point of view, tone, plot, character, and structure are formal ways of looking at lit from this point of view.

•Stems from the attempt to find relationships and connections among elements that appear to be separate and discrete. •Attempts to discover the forms unifying all lit
•Important because it enables critics to discuss works from widely disparate cultures and historical periods. •Furnishes an ideal approach for comparative lit and the method also enables critics to...
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