EWRT 1C Class 5
Online Email me if
you need
help!
Agenda
• Text Oriented approaches
• Read “Formalism” and “New Criticism” (under
“course readings” and “theory texts.)
• Po...
Read
• Bedford/St.
Martin’s “Definition
of the New
Criticism” and
“Definition of
Formalism (Course
readings; theory
texts;...
Text-OrientedApproaches: Formalism/
New Criticism
• The school of New Criticism was made up of
an early 20th-century (pred...
• Neither the reader's response or the author's
intentions matter to the new critic. Add to that a
purposeful disregard of...
Why Study New Criticism?
• While their view of literature
might have been a bit
limited, the New Critics
developed close r...
Figurative language is language that has more than, or other
than, a strictly literal meaning.
• Because of New Criticism’...
images, symbols, metaphors, a
nd similes
• An image consists of a word or words that refer to an object
perceived by the s...
Alliteration, Hyperbole, and Personification
Alliteration
The repetition of initial stressed, consonant sounds in a series...
Read
• “My Papa’s Waltz” (link)
• Then look for
images, symbols, metaphors, similes, alliteration,
hyperbole, and personif...
Read
• Read “My Papa’s Waltz: A New Critical Approach.
(course readings; theory texts; new criticism)
• Note the images th...
Homework
Post #4: Choose one
• What made New Criticism new? What is the critical focus of New
Criticism? Of Formalism?
• O...
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Ewrt 1 c class 5 online

  1. 1. EWRT 1C Class 5 Online Email me if you need help!
  2. 2. Agenda • Text Oriented approaches • Read “Formalism” and “New Criticism” (under “course readings” and “theory texts.) • Poetry Reading: • “My Papa’s Waltz” • Critical Essay Reading: • “‘My Papa’s Waltz’: A New Critical Reading.”
  3. 3. Read • Bedford/St. Martin’s “Definition of the New Criticism” and “Definition of Formalism (Course readings; theory texts; formalism/new criticism)
  4. 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. 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. 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, play wright, literary and social critic.
  7. 7. 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 some formal elements that we will discuss on Monday, I would like to remind you of some with which you are likely familiar: images, symbols, metaphors, similes, alliteration, pe rsonification, and hyperbole.
  8. 8. images, symbols, metaphors, a nd 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, temperature s, 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.”
  9. 9. Alliteration, Hyperbole, and Personification Alliteration The repetition of initial stressed, consonant sounds in a series of words within a phrase or verse line. Alliteration need not reuse all initial consonants; “pizza” and “place” alliterate. Example: “We saw the sea sound sing, we heard the salt sheet tell,” from Dylan Thomas’s “Lie Still, Sleep Becalmed.” Browse poems with alliteration. Hyperbole A figure of speech composed of a striking exaggeration. For example, see James Tate’s lines “She scorched you with her radiance” or “He was more wronged than Job.” Hyperbole usually carries the force of strong emotion, as in Andrew Marvell’s description of a forlorn lover: Personification A figure of speech in which the poet describes an abstraction, a thing, or a nonhuman form as if it were a person. William Blake’s “O Rose, thou art sick!” is one example; Donne’s “Death, be not proud” is another. Gregory Corso quarrels with a series of personified abstractions in his poem “The Whole Mess . . . Almost.” Personification is often used in symbolic or allegorical poetry; for instance, the virtue of Justice takes the form of the knight Artegal in Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.
  10. 10. Read • “My Papa’s Waltz” (link) • Then look for images, symbols, metaphors, similes, alliteration, hyperbole, and personification. • If you are familiar with other conventions, feel free to note those as well. • What do these figures of speech bring to mind? • What do they say about the poem?
  11. 11. Read • Read “My Papa’s Waltz: A New Critical Approach. (course readings; theory texts; new criticism) • Note the images the writer uses to make his points. • Look at your own list of figures of speech. Did you see these? What other conventions did you see that might reinforce or disrupt this author’s reading of this poem? • Do you agree with the assertion the writer makes about the meaning of the poem? (Look at the last line of the poem).
  12. 12. Homework Post #4: Choose one • What made New Criticism new? What is the critical focus of New Criticism? Of Formalism? • Or QHQ • Bring copies of “My Papa’s Waltz” and “My Papa’s Waltz: A New Critical Approach” to class.

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