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Understanding the stages of literary appreciation

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Understanding the stages of literary appreciation

  1. 1. Understanding theStages of Literary Appreciation Nilsen,A.&Donelson,K.(2009). Literaturefortoday’syoungadult.(8thed.).Boston: PearsonEducationInc.pp.10-16 English 326 Prof. Shirley Santiago de Jiménez Revised 2009
  2. 2. What isliterary appreciation?
  3. 3. It is the ability to:gain pleasure and understanding forliteratureunderstand the value and importanceof literatureesteem, honor, respect, and/oradmire the beauty and complexity ofliterature
  4. 4. What is Literature?Literature (Big L)Classics that have beenread over and over again orhave been acclaimedthroughout the years(literary awards)Works that are consideredexemplary because theyprovide knowledge andunderstanding of the worldand man.
  5. 5. What is literature?literature (little l)Broadly, anythingthat is written (suchasnovels, poems, plays, and articles)Written workswith popular appeal
  6. 6. What are the stages of literary appreciation? They are an approximation ofthe different levels of “ howindividuals develop the personalattitudes and reading, watching , andlistening skills that are a necessarypart of literary appreciation.”
  7. 7. Each developmental stage or level (Nilsen and Donelson, 2009) is characterized by :•An optimal age (or grade level)•Sample literary materials•Sample actions or activities
  8. 8. Level 1: Understanding that Pleasureand Profit Come from Literature ( Ages 0-5: Pre-School)Literature can refer to oralmanifestations (songs and nurseryrhymes) as well as graphic or visualdepictions (picture books, televisionprograms, and appealing signs)
  9. 9. The literary experience is a social oneAdults sharing; going to bookstoresand libraries; talking about T.V.programs and moviesChildren have opportunities for“talking stories" and “grandconversations”
  10. 10. Level 2: Learning to Read (Decode) (Ages 6-8: Grades 1-3)Children are developing literacy (“…aprocess that is never-ending for anyonewho is intellectually active.”)One must not lose sight of those childrenwho are struggling with literacy andsubsequently lose sight of the search forpleasure and enjoyment
  11. 11. Those children who learn to read easilyareundemanding and in a stage of “unconsciousenjoyment” –becoming addicted to one particularbook or character (allowing for the development ofspeed and skill)
  12. 12. Level 3: Losing Oneself in a Story (Ages 9-11: Grades 4-6 )Time outside of school for reading, lesstelevision time, and uninterruptedconversation is essential. (Distractions donot help to develop appreciation forreading!)Children read while engaged in otheractivities.
  13. 13. Reading can become a means of“escaping.”This developmental stage may notoccur until much later than the 4th or 5thgrades, or it may not happen at all.
  14. 14. Level 4: Finding Oneself in a Story(Ages 12-14: Junior High) AdolescenceAt this stage, the more experience youngpeople have with literature (books ormovies), the more discriminatingtheybecome.To receive pleasure, they have to respectthe story; it has to be real!
  15. 15. They want to know not what happened , butwhy; stereotypes are no longer satisfying;characters have to be believable.They are reading to find out aboutthemselves, not simply to escape into someoneelse’s experiences.
  16. 16. They are looking for lives as much like theirown as possible.In addition, they are curious about other sidesof life ( e.g. the bizarre, the unbelievable, thegrotesque)Their purpose is largely that of findingthemselves and where they fit in society.The Bottom Line:Reading is a means of discovering identity.
  17. 17. Level 5: Venturing Beyond Self(Ages 15-18: High School)The person goes beyond his/heregocentrism and looks at the largercircle of society (“going beyond me”).Issues such as conformity, socialpressures, justice, and humanweaknesses and strengths
  18. 18. Teenagers are responsible for assessingthe world around them and where they fitin.This stage is more aboutemotional, intellectual and physicaldevelopment instead of advanced readingskills.
  19. 19. Reading at this level allows for focusingon the person’s psychological needs inrelation to society. (Science fiction andfantasy help to create new ideas about theexisting society.)
  20. 20. Levels 6 and 7: Reading WidelyandAesthetic Appreciation (Ages 18 -Death)At the college level, the young adultreads best-sellers and is involved inacclaimed literary works such asnovels, plays, and films, sharing theseexperiences with peers.
  21. 21. Throughout adulthood, the avid readerwho has developed the skills and attitudesnecessary to enjoy literary experiences atall the previous levels, is ready to embarkon a lifetime of aesthetic appreciation(understanding the beauty and artisticvalue).
  22. 22. What is the importance of understanding thedifferent stages of literary appreciation?In order to appreciate literature, people atany stage must experience pleasure and profitfrom their reading, viewing, and listening.As (future) teachers and parents, we mustmeet young people where they are and helpthem feel comfortable before trying to movethem on.
  23. 23. The Goal: A society of adults who areintellectually stimulated to readfor personal fulfillment andpleasure and understand that it isbeneficial!

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