English Composition II: ENGL 112
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Plan for Today
 Section 1 (5:15-6:30)
– Week 7 Quiz
– Discussion of Critical Lens and Schools of Criticism
 Section 2 (6:45-7:45)
– Peer Review Workshop
 Section 3 (8:00-9:00)
– Review for Final Exam
– Assign Homework
 Section 4 (9:00-10:15)
– Individual Conferences on Essay 3
Week 7 Quiz
Schools of Criticism
Formalism & New Criticism (pp 2045-2047)
 Formalism
– Stresses the importance of literary form to the meaning of a
– Considers each work in isolation
– Relies on
close textual reading
organization and structure
verbal nuances (word choices and figurative language)
multiple meanings
– Considers biographical, historical, and social matters to be
irrelevant to the real meaning of a play, short story, novel or
 New Criticism is American version of Formalism
 Ex: Formalist Reading of “The Storm”
Reader-Response Criticism (pp 2047-2049)
 Reader-Response Criticism
– Opposes formalism
– Sees reader’s interaction with text as central to interpretation
– Does not believe that a work of literature exists as a separate,
closed entity, but rather based on a reader’s experiences and
– Important concepts include
• different personalities and histories
• recursive readings (coming back to the text with a new interpretation at a
different time in life)
• reception theory (generations reading a text differently)
– Stanley Fish, an American critic, writes that no two readers read
the same book
 Ex: 3 Reader-Response Readings of “The Storm”
Feminist Criticism (pp 2050-2051)
 Feminist Criticism
– Recovers female and under-represented voices in literature that
have been repressed due to patriarchal control
– Focuses not on anatomical sex but gender, which is socially
– Two Focuses
• Reinterpreting traditional works in the canon
• Adding and redefining the canon
 Ex: Feminist Reading of “I Stand Here Ironing”
Marxist Criticism (pp 2052-2053)
 Marxist Criticism
– Believes dominant middle class will be overthrown by working
– Until then, sees middle class as exploiting working class
– Considers the effects of middle-class capitalism on the working
– Sees literature as supporting cultural elite and suppressing the
working class
 Ex: Marxist Reading of “I Stand Here Ironing”
Psychoanalytic Criticism (pp 2054-2056)
 Psychoanalytic criticism
– Sees literature as an expression in fictional form of the inner
workings of the human mind
– Uses theories of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis,
• believed that we are forced to repress much of our experiences and many
of our desires in order to coexist peacefully with others
• believed that literature could often be interpreted as the reflection of our
unconscious life
– If using Psychoanalytic criticism, should read terms on p 2055
 Ex: Psychoanalytic Reading of “The Cask of Amontillado”
Structuralism (pp 2057-2059)
 Structuralism
– Sees literature as a system of signs that have no inherent
meaning except for conventional relation to one another
– Ignores the individuality of the text and instead looks at patterns,
systems, and structures
– Some critics propose that all narratives can be charted as
variations on certain basic universal narrative patterns
• Monomyth
• Initiation/Coming of Age
 Ex: Structuralist Reading of “Barn Burning”
New Historicism (pp 2063-2065)
 New Historicism
– Relates text to the historical context of
• the period in which it was created
• the periods in which it was critically evaluated
– Cannot interpret literature without reference to the time and
place in which it was written
– Sees history as open to interpretation
 Ex: New Historicist Reading of “The Yellow Wallpaper”
American Multiculturalism (pp 2070-2071)
 American Multiculturalism
– Studies interactions between members of different cultures
– Increases visibility of literature produced by minority groups
– Creates critical environment where these works can be
– Like Feminist Criticism, focuses on
• Texts left out of canon
• Rereading texts included in canon
– Is suspicious of categories of high/low art
– Texts shaped by societal conditions
 Ex: American Multiculturalist Reading of “Everyday Use”
Peer Review Workshop
Review for Final Exam
Review for Final Exam
 Three Sections
– Matching (Literary Terms)
– Short Answer (choose three of four)
– Essay (choose one of two)
 Studying for Final Exam
– Review literary terms from each week and examples of each
from the stories
– Review stories themselves for plot, character, theme, etc.
– Focus on connections among stories – How do they fit together?
 Study for Final Exam
 Finish Essay 3
– Submit a copy to TurnItIn.com
– Submit a copy by email or as a hard copy by the beginning of