Summary Of C. S. Lewis's An Experiment In Criticism

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C.S. Lewis’s book, An Experiment in Criticism is about the quality of the book depends on how it is read since a book does not have a goal of being “good” or “bad”. Lewis achieves this by defining the differences between a “good” and “bad” reader within each chapter of the book. Lewis claims that “bad work never is nor can be enjoyed by anyone” (Page 21). This contradiction undermines Lewis by stating that there are such things as “good and bad art”. Lewis is logical with his syllogism and arguments. He has coherent structure in each chapter creating a flow and integration of a main theme throughout.
Lewis is intelligent and well-read, which allows the reader of the book to have a humbling experience of knowing their own poverty and wanting to be wealthy, which is the breadth of reading. However, Lewis assumes he is part of the “few” and he makes this same assumption about the reader; creating a narcissistic and pompous tone. Lewis’s methodology of making his claim is by referencing other works of literature. This pouring of references to other literature beleaguers the reader, becoming tiresome. What Lewis should have done was use moderate references to cut down on the quantity of references to strengthen his argument. Lewis’s strength is using many similes, metaphors, and examples throughout the text. Lewis
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Lewis is a historical figure, so he writes for his era. Making a strawman by the distortion of women, creating weak points in Lewis’s argument. The claims towards women make him sound pretentious. Although, the reader needs to read contextually since Lewis is balancing the focus on men and women which comes across as sexist. When Lewis states “we have all known women” (Page 2), it is not meant to offend the reader, it is to be read contextually. Contradicting himself later by referring to women readers as lazy and interested only in reading magazines to distract themselves, creating a tone of

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