Literature texts and contexts 1


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Literature texts and contexts 1

  1. 1. Literature: Texts and Contexts<br />IB programme<br />Language and Literature<br />
  2. 2. Learning outcomes<br />Consider the changing historical, cultural and social contexts in which particular texts are written and received.<br />Demonstrate how the formal elements of the text, genre and structure cannot only be seen to influence meaning but also be influenced by context.<br />Understand the attitudes and values expressed by literary texts and their impact on readers.<br />
  3. 3. What does it mean to be able to read?<br />More than decoding words.<br />We all need to bring knowledge and experience our reading of the text.<br />To be an informed reader means to understand the forces on an author, on the meaning and interpretation of a work, and on our own personal reactions.<br />
  4. 4. What are contexts?<br />Context can be defined simply as the circumstances that surround a given text and help to specify its meaning.<br />How a short passage is significant to the whole or how the whole affects the whole passage.<br />Or<br />All the possible circumstances that somehow contribute to the meaning of a text.<br />
  5. 5. Why contexts?<br />Because of the wide variety of external forces that affect the general reception or understanding of a work.<br />Why may this be problematic?<br />Because it is difficult to decide what information is necessary to better understand a text and it is also difficult to decide where to stop and turn back to the text itself.<br />
  6. 6. The context and the reader<br />You, as the reader, are part of the context. The meaning that is communicated is influenced by everything you bring to it, from your reading to your personal experiences and biases.<br />
  7. 7. The life and times of the author<br />It is a straightforward step to think about:<br /><ul><li>The life and times of the author
  8. 8. The broad cultural, political, and aesthetic concerns of the day.</li></ul>Taken from:<br />Allison, R. And Chanen B. (2011). English A: Language and Literature, Course Companion. Oxford University Press.<br />
  9. 9. General questions about context<br />What is the cultural and educational background of the author?<br />What views on writing or culture has the author expressed?<br />What are the values and aesthetic concerns of the culture of the author?<br />What historical events may have influenced the ideas in the work?<br />
  10. 10. General questions about context<br />What are the political or economic issues of the times?<br />What cultural issues may have influenced, challenged, or inspired the author?<br />