Realism And Formalism In Art

1236 Words 5 Pages
When you go to the museum, and you spot a painting, what do you look for first? Do you look at the description of the picture on the side, the history of the picture, or do you look at the picture itself? Chances are you look at the picture itself. Its aesthetic, its art, the picture as a whole, is what catches most people’s eye. Now imagine doing the same thing to literature. Look at the art, look at the aesthetic of the literature piece, look at the piece as a whole. What you would be doing is a process called formalism or formalist criticism. Formalism is a style of analysis that focuses solely on literary text itself, without any thought of biographical, historical, or political backgrounds. Formalists do not want to look at the history …show more content…
They want you to simply look at the literature, the art. What can you get from the art, what is the deeper meaning? But is it enough?
Based on my knowledge and experience with reading and analyzing writing in a formalist way, I am fairly pleased with it. When I first learned about formalism, I was a bit skeptical because I was so used to looking for outside information to tie back into the meaning and theme of a piece of literature, but when I fully understand the reason of formalism, I completely understand it and enjoy it. While I do enjoy reading in a formalist point of view, there are some setbacks to the criticism.
Formalism is a great way to analyze literature. When authors write their work, they write to entertain and get a meaning out to their audience. There are many ways that successfully get the point across without having to reference to any outside information. By using this method, one is able to stray away from mistakes that are made because of either incorrect outside information, irrelevant outside information, or useless outside information. It also forces one to get the deeper meaning of the work from the page. The title, lines, and stanzas, can all be used to interpret the meaning. One can also look deeper into the lines or
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(21-24) The mother’s child was sent to all the African Americans safe place at the time: church. That was the only place African Americans could go and not feel judged, feel free, and feel safe. She knew that her child would be safe. However, the safehaven was completely preyed upon, and bombed. It doesn’t flat out say that it was bombed, and with formalist criticism, one probably wouldn’t be able to connect the dots together to get the full idea of what happened. Without looking at a little outside information, one probably wouldn’t have come to the conclusion, and if so, it was probably a lot more vague.
Formalist criticism is a good way to analyze different work. All one has to do is look at the work. Then, use critical thinking skills to fully understand the art and aesthetic of the literature. There is no need to look at the history of literature, or the politics, or ethical meaning. There is also no need for any outside information, because everything needed is in the work. While I do appreciate the idea of formalism, it only works with certain

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