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Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
Ewrt 1 c class 4
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Ewrt 1 c class 4

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  • 1. EWRT1C Class 4
  • 2. Agenda • Lecture: Text-Oriented Approaches: Formalism/New Criticism Discussion: Formalism/New Criticism • Group Activity: Participation 10 points • “My Papa’s Waltz” and “My Papa’s Waltz: A New Critical Approach. • Identify and discuss qualities of New Criticism as it is applied in this essay. Provide specific examples from the essay, the poem, or the definition/description of New Criticism.
  • 3. Group Discussion: New Criticism and Formalism • What made New Criticism new? What is the critical focus of New Criticism? Of Formalism?
  • 4. Text-OrientedApproaches: Formalism/ New Criticism • The school of New Criticism was made up of an early 20th-century (predominantly American) critics who were focused on form (literary structures), especially in poetry. These new critics (predominantly men) determined that the best way to analyze literature is to imagine that it exists in a vacuum.
  • 5. • Neither the reader's response or the author's intentions matter to the new critic. Add to that a purposeful disregard of the text's historical time period and political context. For New Criticism, a literary work is a timeless, self-sufficient verbal object. Readers and readings may change, but the literary text stays the same. The text is a self- referential object that exists in its own sanitized environment, waiting for us to analyze without any of our own experiences, views, or prejudices complicating the single best interpretation of a piece.
  • 6. Why Study New Criticism? • While their view of literature might have been a bit limited, the New Critics developed close reading, a style of analysis that focuses close attention to the form and structure of texts. This skill of close reading is fundamental to every other kind of theory. T.S. Eliot essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic.
  • 7. • For New Criticism, the complexity of a text is created by the multiple and often conflicting meanings woven through it. And these meanings are a product primarily of four kinds of linguistic devices: paradox, irony, ambiguity, and tension. I. A. Richards New Critic
  • 8. Paradox 1. a situation or statement which seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics; 2. a statement or idea that contradicts itself; 3. a person who has qualities that are contradictory; 4. something that conflicts with common opinion or belief
  • 9. “Allanimalsareequal,butsomearemoreequalthanothers.” • In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, one part of the cardinal rule is the statement above. This statement seems to not make any sense. However, on closer examination, it gets clear that Orwell points out a political truth. The government in the novel claims that everyone is equal but it has never treated everyone equally. It is the concept of equality stated in this paradox that is opposite to the common belief of equality.
  • 10. “I must be cruel to be kind.” • This statement by Hamlet seems contradictory at first. How can an individual treat others kindly even when he is cruel? However, Hamlet is referring to his mother and his intention to kill Claudius (his father’s brother *and murderer+ and his mother’s husband) to avenge his father’s death. This act will be a tragedy for his mother, but Hamlet does not want her to be with his father’s murderer any longer; he believes that the murder will be good for his mother.
  • 11. IRONY-Spendyourentire politicalcareerfighting centralbankingandthey'll putyourfaceontheirmost circulatedbill. Irony, in its simple form, means a statement or event undermined by the context in which it occurs. Irony involves a difference or contrast between appearance and reality. Irony exposes and underscores a contrast between A. what is and what seems to be B. what is and what ought to be C. what is and what one wishes to be D. what is and what one expects to be
  • 12. Therearethreecommontypesofironyinliterature: 1. Verbal irony occurs when people say the opposite of what they mean. This is perhaps the most common type of irony. The reader knows that a statement is ironic because of familiarity with the situation or a description of voice, facial, or bodily expressions which show the discrepancy. • There are two kinds of verbal irony : • Understatement occurs when one minimizes the nature of something. • Overstatement occurs when one exaggerates the nature of something. • Verbal irony in its most bitter and destructive form becomes sarcasm . • Someone is condemned by a speaker pretending to praise him or her. 2. In situational irony , the situation is different from what common sense indicates it is, will be, or ought to be. Situational irony is often used to expose hypocrisy and injustice. (The pickpocket being pickpocketed). 3. Dramatic irony occurs when a character states something that they believe to be true but that the reader knows is not true. The key to dramatic irony is the reader's foreknowledge of coming events. • Second readings of stories often increases dramatic irony because of knowledge that was not present in the first reading.
  • 13. Thefollowingdescriptionofawealthyhusband’s senseofmoralrectitude,fromEdithWharton’s HouseofMirth(1905), isanexampleofanironic statement. Once in the winter the rector would come to dine, and her husband would beg her to go over the list and see that no divorcées were included, except those who had showed signs of penitence by being remarried to the very wealthy (57). Part of the ironic implication of this passage is that the husband is a hypocrite: he condemns divorce only if it is not followed by the acquisition of equal or greater wealth, so what he really condemns, under the guise of moral principles, is financial decline (Tyson)
  • 14. New Criticism, however, primarily valued irony in a broader sense of the term, to indicate a text’s inclusion of varying perspectives on the same characters or events (Tyson) Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1811) offers us perspectives from which we may utterly condemn Willoughby for his treachery to Maryanne; forgive him because his behavior resulted from a combination of love, financial desperation, and a weakness of character which he himself laments; sympathize with him for the severity of the punishment his behavior has brought upon him; and see the ways in which Maryanne’s willful foolishness contributed to her own heartbreak. Such a variety of possible viewpoints is considered a form of irony because the credibility of each viewpoint undermines to some extent the credibility of the others. The result is a complexity of meaning that mirrors the complexity of human experience and increases the text’s believability
  • 15. Ambiguity Ambiguity occurs when a word, image, or event generates two or more different meanings.
  • 16. Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) • For example, in Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987), the image of the tree produced by the scar tissue on Sethe’s back implies, among other things, suffering (the “tree” resulted from a brutal whipping, which is emblematic of all the hardships experienced under slavery), endurance (trees can live for hundreds of years, and the scar tissue itself testifies to Sethe’s remarkable ability to survive the most traumatic experiences), and renewal (like the trees that lose their leaves in the fall and are “reborn” every spring, Sethe is offered, at the novel’s close, the chance to make a new life). • In scientific or everyday language, ambiguity is usually considered a flaw because it’s equated with a lack of clarity and precision. In literary language, however, ambiguity is considered a source of richness, depth, and complexity that adds to the text’s value.
  • 17. Tension • Finally, the complexity of a literary text is created by its tension, which, broadly defined, means the linking together of opposites. In its simplest form, tension is created by the integration of the abstract and the concrete, of general ideas embodied in specific images.
  • 18. Tension in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman For example, the concrete image of Willy’s tiny house, bathed in blue light and surrounded by enormous apartment buildings that emanate an angry orange glow, embodies the general idea of the underdog, the victim of forces larger and more numerous than itself. Similarly, the concrete image of Linda Loman singing Willy to sleep embodies the general idea of the devoted wife, the caretaker, the nurturer. Such concrete universals—or images and fictional characters that are meaningful on both the concrete level, where their meaning is literal and specific, and on the symbolic level, where they have universal significance—are considered a form of tension because they hold together the opposing realms of physical reality and symbolic reality in a way characteristic of literary language. In other words, the Loman home and the character of Linda Loman represent both themselves and something larger than themselves.
  • 19. Tension is also created by the dynamic interplay among the text’s opposing tendencies, that is, among its paradoxes, ironies, and ambiguities (Tyson). For example, we might say that the action of Death of a Salesman is structured by the tension between reality and illusion: between the harsh reality of Willy Loman’s life and the self-delusion into which he keeps trying to escape. Ideally, the text’s opposing tendencies are held in equilibrium by working together to make a stable and coherent meaning. For example, the tension between harsh reality and self-delusion in Death of a Salesman is held in equilibrium by the following meaning: so great is Willy’s desire to succeed as a salesman and a father that his only defense against the common man’s inevitable failures in a dog-eat-dog world is self-delusion, but that self-delusion only increases his failure. Thus, the play shows us how harsh reality and self-delusion feed off each other until the only escape is death.
  • 20. Figurative language is language that has more than, or other than, a strictly literal meaning. • Because of New Criticism’s belief that the literary text can be understood primarily by understanding its form (which is why you’ll sometimes hear it referred to as a type of formalism), a clear understanding of the definitions of specific formal elements is important. In addition to the formal elements discussed above—the linguistic devices of paradox, irony, ambiguity, and tension— we should also take a moment to briefly define a few of the most frequently used kinds of figurative language: images, symbols, metaphors, and similes.
  • 21. images, symbols, metaphors, and similes • An image consists of a word or words that refer to an object perceived by the senses or to sense perceptions themselves: colors, shapes, lighting, sounds, tastes, smells, textures, temperatures, and so on. Clouds can suggest both weather and a depressed mood. • A symbol is an image that has both literal and figurative meaning, a concrete universal, such as the swamp in Ernest Hemingway’s “Big, Two-Hearted River.” The swamp is a literal swamp, but it also “stands for,” or “figures,” something else: the emotional problems of the protagonist. • A metaphor is a comparison of two dissimilar objects in which the properties of one are ascribed to the other. For example, the phrase “my brother is a gem” is a metaphor. Obviously, it has no literal meaning. • To get from metaphor to simile requires one small step: add like or as: “my brother is like a gem.”
  • 22. Group Activity: Participation 10 points • Discuss the poem, “My Papa’s Waltz” and the essay, “My Papa’s Waltz: A New Critical Approach.” • Identify and discuss qualities of New Criticism as it is applied in this essay. Provide specific examples from the essay, the poem, or the definition/description of New Criticism.
  • 23. Homework Review: New Criticism and Formalism

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