Essay on 5 Critical Approaches to Literature

860 Words Mar 31st, 2007 4 Pages
5 Critical Approaches to Literature

Structuralist- Is a theory of a human kind thought to be parts of a system of signs. It is described as a reaction to "modernist" alteration and despair. It is heavily influenced by linguistics especially by the work of Ferdinand de Saussure. Useful was Saussure's concept of phoneme which is the smallest basic speech sound or unit of pronunciation, the idea that phoneme exists in two kinds of relationships (diachronic and synchronic). Diachronic is a "horizontal" relationship with the other phonemes that precede and follow it in a particular usage, ulterance, or narrative. Synchronic is a "vertical" relationship with the entire system of language within which individual usages, ulterances, or
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Deconstruction arose as a response to structuralism and formalism. Deconstructionists see works in terms of their undecidability. They reject formalists' view that literary work is demonstrably unified from beginning to end or that it is organized around a single center that ultimately can be identified. They also see texts as more radically heterogeneous. Though a deconstructive reading can reveal the incompatible possibilities generated by text, it is impossible for the reader to decide among them.

Formalism- Formalists see literary work as an object in its own right. Concentrating their analyses on the interplay and relationships between the text's essential verbal elements, they study the form of the work. Formalists seek to be objective in their analysis focusing on the work itself and eschewing external considerations. They also pay close attention to literary devices used and the patterns within them, and suggest that everyday language is stale and unimaginative. They argue that "literariness" has the capacity to overturn common and expected patterns, thereby rejuvenating language. Russian formalism was the first major formalist movement.

Sociological- Examines social groups, relationships, and values as they are manifested in literature. It emphasizes the nature and effect of the social forces that

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