Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Research Paper on Literary Theory

Research Paper on Literary Criticism

After reading and researching the different ways of criticizing literature, I realized that I do not follow with any one way of processing information; I am a mixture of many of them. This is a better way to view literature and life in general because it gives more than one point of view.

When I first read about the psychological way to criticize literature, I thought that explained how I thought. I love novels that have other meanings other than what is blatantly obvious. In high school, I read a book by Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe. The way the book was written intrigued me not only because of the story it told, but the way it was told. The entire story was written in the format of a ballad, not only because the ending and beginning were the same, but the way the language flowed was much like a song, with rhythm and meaning.


During high school, I spent some time in France. I was lucky enough to be able to see both the Louvre and the modern art museum in Paris. These were one of the best parts of my trip. I was able to just look at a sculpture or painting and admire the smooth lines of the piece or the way the artist used color in the landscape. I was content with just looking at something so beautiful, like the Winged Victory, and appreciate it for what it was. I did not have to wonder at why the artist chose such a subject or why he carved what he did. This shows how I can view things from a formalist point of view.

I also think that a novel does have some meaning in and of itself, however, I believe that the person reading it also gives it the majority of its meaning. Although the author may have meant to say one thing, the reader will in most cases interpret it as something completely different. I approach literature with this same notion. I know that I can never know exactly why the author wrote what they did, short of talking to them exclusively. I think that it is important to have a different perspective than someone else, including the author.

In addition, your perceived meaning of a work can and most likely will change if you read the book again. Things may happen in your life that my change the way you view things. For example, if we had read Pattern Recognition before the events of September 11th, the meaning of the book would have been very different from how we viewed it originally.

When I drew the grouping diagram in class of what is important to me, I noticed a major trend. The things such as family, friends, love and happiness were above me. The things that were below me were school, future, career and job. I think that this shows what is really important to me, and what influences me, which are the things above me. The things below me are the things that I influence, in other words, they are what I put myself into. I think that since such things as art and beauty are so important to me, I can appreciate things for their aesthetic value, as stated above.

I included the diagram I made in class to perhaps why I view things the way that I do. Music and art and beauty are especially important to me, and that comes into play when I read any piece of literature. The things such as success, money and future are not as important to me, therefore this shows one of the things I am not. I do not view the world as a struggle between the wealthy and the working class. I especially do not see this in literature. Therefore, I am not a believer in Marxist theory. I am much more interested in how the characters relate to each other, as well as how they change in response to the changing plot.

I also believe that there the world exists in a balance of good and evil, and that there is a sense of karma or that what goes around comes around. When I read a book, I look for that sense of circular continuance. In other words, I look for the "bad guy" to get what is coming to him and the princess to end up with the prince.

Since the beginning of class however, I have begun to take a more philosophical approach to reading literature. Until now, I had not known much about Freud, Derrida or Fossard, but now I see how they can be connected to literature. I agree with Freud that literature is only a day dream made public. After all, dreams are only thoughts, and novels and poems, even articles in the newspaper all start out as thoughts.

Because I have so many ways of looking at literature, I can fit the piece into a certain area of "my world". I can value a book simply because its interesting to read, or I can dissect it and see how the patterns in the book fit the patterns in my life. Either way all the aspects that have influenced me and that u have influence upon play a part in which I process information whether it be a poem or the news.

I think that many critics are like me in that the may believe in any number of theories. The critics on the critical inquiry website showed at least two theories, no one was totally one way or the other. I think that it is better if people view thins from more than one perspective. This works for life as well as for literature. The ability to see things in more than one way makes experiences interesting as well as gives a person a better perspective and understanding.

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on Literary Theory topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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