What’s your lens?
Take a look at the image below. Describe what you think it is?
What might determine what you see in the above shape? Is there a right answer?
This illustrates the concept of CRITICAL LENSES.
A LENS is the perspective we use to interpret and assign meaning to a story or event. There are many different lenses, but as we read The Odyssey we will be applying the following FOUR lenses:
In most English classes, stories are interpreted through a LITERARY PERSPECTIVE. By analyzing literary elements like mood, tone, imagery, etc., we come to understand the author’s purpose for writing. We also come to understand the universal meaning of the text. Cultural Lens
CULTURE is one of the primary forces that shapes how we view the world. The CULTURAL LENS interprets a story by looking at the culture and time period in which the story was written. It also examines how power is distributed in within cultures. Elements of culture include religion, values, customs, economics, and forms of communication. WHAT ELSE CONTRIBUTES TO SOMEONE’S CULTURE? Feminist Lens
The FEMINIST LENS focuses on the issues of gender that are depicted or implied and identifies how gender roles or stereotypes are represented or challenged in a text. It is interested in how gender empowers or constrains characters in a text. HOW ARE MEN AND WOMEN OFTEN PORTRAYED DIFFERENTLY IN LITERATURE? Archetypal Lens
An ARCHETYPE is a type of SYMBOL this is universal. Some symbols we are taught be our culture. (A cross is symbol for God in Christianity while the Moon and Star are the symbol of the divine for Islamic cultures.) But some symbols are the same regardless of when or where a person lives. Light and dark are two examples of archetypes. Almost all cultures have similar interpretations of these symbols. Light represents purity, clarity, and understanding while darkness represents confusion, fear, and perhaps evil. CAN YOU THINK OF OTHER EXAMPLES?
The Critical Lens Standards Based Assessment
As we read the odyssey, you will interpret the stories through many lenses. When we finish the Odyssey, you will choose ONE of these lenses and write an essay in which you analyze ONE book from the story.
Let’s see how applying the above lenses can change how we interpret a familiar nursery rhyme. Jack and Jill
Went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down
And broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Jack and Jill is a nursery rhyme, a form of writing popularized in the 18th century. It was usually used to entertain or to teach lessons to children. It follows the rhyme scheme AABCCB. It includes imagery and the tone is light and playful despite the serious content. Cultural Lens
Jack and Jill clearly represent children in a rural agricultural society. We can see this because they are made to fetch water, presumably from a well, as part of their expected chores. Children in such society are often subjected to child labor which can endanger them, as we see when both Jack and Jill tumble down the hill. Feminist Lens
In the Nursery Jack and Jill, the sister, Jill, is always made to follow after her brother. She Follows him diligently up the hill and then, though he is the one to fall, she too throws herself Down the hill choosing to suffer the same fate. This is an example, perhaps, of the tendency Of women to sacrifice their own well being in an attempt to remain loyal to men Archetypal Lens
There are several archetypes evident in Jack and Jill. First, Jack and Jill represent the male And female pair which is present in every culture. Hills are often seen as desired places of enlightenment (Where Moses, or the Buddha, or Jesus are...
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