Analytical analysis and comparism of an everyday text with a literary text

Topics: Philip Larkin, Poetry, The Reader Pages: 10 (3829 words) Published: October 6, 2014
Choose one every day and one literary text. Using at least two analytical techniques from E301, analyze and compare your two texts in terms of their creativity and literariness, drawing on material from both parts of the module. In this paper I will analyze and compare a literary text and an everyday text, in terms of their creativity and literariness. I chose Philip Larkin’s (1964) poem, ‘Self’s the man’ (see Appendix, Text 1), as the literary text for analysis because it is not only smooth and pleasing to the eye and mind that it seems effortless to read and contain within one’s self but also because it arouses so many emotions which makes it ideal for analysis. In ‘Self’s the man’ Larkin (1964), is being cynical towards relationships and through the satirization of marriage; he contrasts himself with a mythical other, Arnold, with a view of talking about who is more selfish, claiming that married people are as selfish as single ones, that is, for their own comfort as well as fear that they will be left alone for the rest of their lives, people jump into marriage. The everyday text that I have chosen to analyze and compare with the poem, is an advertisement by DEBEERS (see Appendix, Text 2), targeting men, persuading them to buy a diamond ring for their lady, since diamonds, just like marriage, are an investment. Diamonds are a symbol of eternal love and devotion and men are aware of this symbolism, hence, DE BEERS exploits that in the advertisement by ingraining in the minds of men that if they want to stop ‘a woman getting away’ (Larkin, 1964), they should make their 'two months' salary last forever' (DE BEERS, 2004). Although at first glance the two texts seem completely different, they are seemingly connected by the same theme of ‘relationships’, however, from two different contrasting contexts, with Text 1, being a poem by Philip Larkin (1964), and Text 2, being an advertisement by DE BEERS (2004). In order to evaluate the creativity and literariness of a text, a thorough analysis of the language the writer has used is of supreme importance. However, before analyzing the texts, it is necessary to have a broad interpretation of creativity and literariness. According to Sternberg (1999:3), 'Creativity is the ability to produce work that is both novel (i.e. Original, unexpected) and appropriate (i.e. Adaptive concerning task constraints). Furthermore, Swann (2006: 7) asserts that ‘creativity is not restricted to literary texts but is a common aspect of our interactions with others’, which links closely to Papen’s and Tusting’s (2006:315) claim that 'all meaning making processes have a creative element’. Hence, it can be said that creativity can be found in all literacy practices, in the way that texts are constructed, read and interpreted. Creativity has textual, socio-cultural and cognitive aspects (Carter, 2004) and in this paper both chosen texts will be analyzed in terms of all three. Literariness, on the other hand, is defined by the Russian Formalists as a sum of special linguistic and formal ‘properties that could be located in literary texts’ (Maybin & Pearce, 2006:6). The Formalists elucidate the observable ‘devices’ by which literary texts, especially poems, foreground their own language, in rhyme, and other patterns of sound and repetition. Hence, literariness is to be perceived in terms of defamiliarization, as a series of deviations from ‘ordinary’ language, ‘in which our routine ways of seeing and thinking are disrupted; our perceptions freshened; and our awareness of the world heightened’ (Shklovsky, in Hawks, 1997:62). Cook (1994) asserts that literariness is based on the notion of schema disruption where the reader’s views and perspectives are challenged in some way. He proposes that literariness results when a text and linguistic deviation cause schema disruption, refreshment or even change, however, whether a text generates schema refreshment ultimately depends on the reader’s desire for it to...


References: Carter, R (1997) in Goodman, S & O’Halloran, K. (2006) The art of English: Literary creativity, Open University, Milton Keynes, pp. 60-89
Carter, R (2004) Language and Creativity: The Art of Common Talk, London, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, pp
Grice, P. (1975) in Goodman, S & O’Halloran, K. (2006) The art of English: Literary creativity, Open University, Milton Keynes
Jakobson (1960) in Goodman, S & O’Halloran, K
Larkin, P (1964), The Whitsun Weddings, Faber & Faber Ltd, London, UK, p. 26
Maybin, J
Papen, U. & Tusting, K. (2006), in Maybin, J & Swann, J. (2006) The art of English: everyday creativity, Open University, Milton Keynes, pp. 312-331
Short, M
Sternberg, R.J. (1999) in Carter, R. (2004) Language and Creativity: The Art of Common Talk, London, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p.47
Thornborrow, J
Widdowson, H. (2006) in Goodman, S & O’Halloran, K. (2006) The art of English: Literary creativity, Open University, Milton Keynes, pp. 30-37
APPENDIX
Larkin, P (1964), The Whitsun Weddings, Faber & Faber Ltd, London, UK, p. 26
Word Count: 209
Text 2
Advertisement for ‘DE BEERS’ diamonds (2004), [online], http://lessisabore.com/main_files/writing/04_diamond.html (Accessed on 2 April 2012)
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