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Literature theories and others.doc

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Christa Zeller Thomas

AutobiographyA purportedly truthful account of a persons life written by him or herselfAn effort to create a coherent narrative about ones life and past that adds up to a pattern or trajectory eg from rags to riches overcoming adversity making mistakes and being redeemed etcAs such its purported truth value becomes a big question markMemoir a form of autobiography that is limited to a specific event or period in the lifeBiographical CriticismBegins with the simple but central insight that literature is written by actual people who lead actual livesThe authors experience shapes his or her writing Understanding an authors life may help readers better to understand the workDanger for readers if the authors life story is particularly unsettling eg great unhappiness as in Hemingways case it might overwhelm and eventually distort the work Critical Race Theoryfocus on the representation of the poor white trash the Snopeses and the apparently more privileged black servants in de Spains house Cultural StudiesExplore cultural artifacts such as film television music and literature to understand the nature and impact of social forcesExamine the moral ideological and political assumptions in such artifacts in order to determine who individual people social classes a gender benefits from these assumptions being regarded as trueCultural studies shed light on the values underlying societies that inform cultural practices Cultural studies help to determine whose views in society are dominantFantasyNarratives that depict events characters or places that could not exist in the real worldFantasy emphasizes the possibilities of the imaginationFantasy also includes elements of magic or the supernatural in Carters story there is only one such detail ie the heartshaped imprint on the heroines forehead left by the bloodsoaked keyFormalist Criticism New CriticismAn interpretive approach that argues that literature may only be discussed on its own terms without outside contexts or information Key methods used in formalist criticismclose reading a stepbystep analysis of the elements in a text eg symbolism characterization imageryexplication careful and indepth analysis of individual words and sentences eg specific utterances by characters word repetitions parts of dialogue or in a poem of individual lines
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