Types of Literary Criticism Essay

363 WordsJun 3, 20132 Pages
Sociological criticism: Like historical criticism, sociological criticism examines literature in the cultural, economic, and political context in which it is written or received. This type of criticism may analyze the social content of a literary work—the cultural, economic, or political values a particular text implicitly or explicitly expresses. Reader-response criticism: This type of criticism attempts to describe what happens in the reader’s mind while interpreting a text. A reader-response critic might also explore the impact of a particular text on his or her own ideas or values. For example, one might reflect on how a particular character seems admirable or unlikable and why. One might reflect on how one’s religious, culture, or social values affect readings. It also overlaps with gender criticism in exploring how men and women may read the same text with different assumptions. Gender criticism: This type of criticism examines how sexual identity influences the creation and reception of literary works. Gender studies originated during the feminist movement, when critics began investigating the unexamined assumptions around gender in a piece of literature. Feminist critics explored how an author’s gender might—consciously or unconsciously—affect his or her writing. These critics may also explore how images of men or women in literature might reflect or reject the social norms around gender in a particular society. Mythological criticism: Mythological critics explore the universal patterns underlying a literary work. This type of criticism draws on the insights of anthropology, history, psychology, and comparative religion to explore how a text uses myths and symbols drawn from different cultures and epochs. A central concept in mythological criticism is the archetype, a symbol, character, situation, or image that evokes a deep universal response. For

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