literary criticism

Length: 4 Pages 901 Words

It is quite fascinating how one single piece of literature can adopt numerous morals, meanings and hidden messages depending on how it is analyzed. It is then left up to the reader to extract what he or she believes to be correct. This is precisely where literary criticism enters the picture along with a great deal of controversy. Each separate approach to literary criticism is unique and individual. Examining three of the approaches that are each effective in their own way, one clearly stands out in efficacy. While the Freudian approach analyzes works with great depth and scrutiny, the mythological approach effectively relates literature to history with the use of archetypes. Lastly, the reader-response approach gives the reader himself freedom for open analysis. Without a reader, literature would cease to possess meaning at all. It is what the reader gains and learns from a piece of literature that is essential. Reader-response criticism is most effective merely because it bestows power upon the reader himself to discover a meaning that will possess validity in his eyes. The Freudian approach is an excellent tool for reading in between the lines of any piece of literature. It provides the reader with an in depth and detailed Continue...


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Even if history is found in a piece of literature, the interpretation of this literature using the mythological approach will not always be accurate. Also, it is quite true that a reader"tms experience governs the effects the text produces on them. This particular discipline provides a broad and meaningful analysis as an outcome. According to Wolfgang Iser, a German critic, the critic should not explain the text as an object, but rather as its effect on the reader. The ID serves as the completely unconscious zone, referred to as the pleasure principle. The psychological approach in practice mainly revolves around Freud"tms theories and analyzes literature upon their basis. It boldly pronounces that without a reader, text has no meaning. Even so, history is an interpretation of selected facts; this is why it is not always a concrete primary or secondary source. Also, Freudian criticism is often over analytical in the sense that it will extract absurd and unintentional meanings. Reader-response criticism allows for freedom when analyzing literature. Its main philosophy can be easily summarized by declaring, "Without a reader, there is no text". It was Aristotle who argued that literature exerts a good psychological influence by effecting audiences through a purging of emotions. Reader-response criticism states that the reader is the main concern when it comes to interpreting any given piece of literature. Psychological criticism on its own is associated with Sigmund Freud"tms psychoanalytical theories as black is associated with white.

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