Critical and Literary Theory Question Grid Critical theories were developed as a means to understand the different “ways” people read the world. Literary theory grew out of critical theory as a way for people to understand literature. The question grid is helpful for your to recognizing what theory or lens you are using when you ask specific questions. Reader’s Response Feminist/Gender Social Class Critical Race Theory Examines the relationship between the text and the reader (you!) personal reactions, how the reader creates meaning Examines power, gender, and how they interact Examines power, social class, and money in order to show social injustice. Based on the theories of Karl Marx Examines how people of different races are portrayed What am I thinking as I read? How do I feel about what I am reading? What personal characteristics, qualities, or elements of my personal history might be relevant to how I read this text? What properties of the text(vocabulary, sentence length, punctuation, structure, etc) affect my reading or response? Why? What meaning did I find in the text? Why am I reacting in a certain way (positively or negatively) to the text? Examples: Gender roles, how different genders are portrayed, etc How are women portrayed or represented? How are men portrayed or represented? How are the relationships between men and women shown? What are the power relationships between men and women? Which gender has power? How are female and male roles defined? Do characters take on traits of the opposite gender at any point? Who benefits if the text is accepted or believed? (those with money, those without money) What is the social class of the author? What social classes do the characters represent? What values does the text support? What values does the text criticize? How do the characters from different classes interact, communicate, or conflict? How do the more powerful characters hold the other ones down? What races are represented in this text? Does this text portray any stereotypes? Is this text “good” for people of color? How does the text portray people of color? Does this text exclude people of color? Does this text silence people of color? Is this text historically accurate?