A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-02-10
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Ranging from traditional approaches to the most contemporary perspectives, such as feminist and gender studies, cultural studies, and postcolonial studies, A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature offers readers a variety of clearly articulated approaches to interpreting literature. This thoroughly updated sixth edition applies these diverse approaches to the same six classic works--"To His Coy Mistress," "Young Goodman Brown," "Everyday Use," Hamlet, Huckleberry Finn, and Frankenstein--in a way proven to elicit student analysis by enriching their response to and understanding of the individual works and critical theory. (Andrew Marvell's poem "To His Coy Mistress," Nathaniel Hawthorne's story "Young Goodman Brown," and Alice Walker's story "Everyday Use" are included in full within this volume.) New to this edition: · Three new chapters--Materialisms (Chapter 4), Literature and Linguistics (Chapter 5), and Postcolonial Studies (Chapter 10)--present some of the latest theory and criticism, including ecocriticism, Literary Darwinism, third-wave feminism, and black maternal theory, as well as expansion of foundational topics such as Marxism · Expanded discussions of film and visual texts link analysis of images--such as Velázquez's Las Meniñas (front cover) and Picasso's interpretations of this painting--to analysis of literature · Summaries of key points at chapter ends reinforce concepts · A glossary of literary terms (boldfaced at their first appearance in each chapter) helps students master and apply these terms in criticism · Updated Quick Reference sections at chapter ends reflect the latest research · A companion website (www.oup.com/us/guerin) features essay assignments, self-tests, PowerPoint presentations, and helpful links

Author Biography

Wilfred L. Guerin, Professor Emeritus of English, Louisiana State University
Earle Labor, George A. Wilson Professor of American Literature, Centenary College
Lee Morgan, Professor Emeritus of English, Centenary College
Jeanne C. Reesman, Ashbel Smith Professor of English, University of Texas at San Antonio
John R. Willingham, Late, Professor Emeritus of English, University of Kansas

Table of Contents

Getting Started: The Precritical Response
Traditional Approaches
First, a Note on Traditional Approaches
First Things First: Textual Scholarship, Genres, and Source Study
Textual Scholarship: Do We Have an Accurate Version of What We Are Studying?
General Observations
Text Study in Practice
Matters of Genre: What Are We Dealing With?
An Overview of Genre
Genre Characteristics in Practice
Source Study: Did Earlier Writings Help this Work Come into Being?
Historical and Biographical Approaches
General Observations
Historical and Biographical Approaches in Practice
To His Coy Mistress
Huckleberry Finn
Young Goodman Brown
Everyday Use
Moral and Philosophical Approaches
General Observations
Moral and Philosophical Approaches in Practice
To His Coy Mistress
Huckleberry Finn
Young Goodman Brown
Everyday Use
Summary of Key Points
Limitations of Traditional Approaches
The Formalist Approach
The Process of Formalist Analysis: Making the Close Reader
A Brief Overview of Formalist Criticism
The Course of Half a Century
Backgrounds of Formalist Theory
The New Criticism
Reader-Response Criticism: A Reaction
Constants of the Formalist Approach: Some Key Concepts, Terms, and Devices
Form and Organic Form
Texture, Image, Symbol
Point of View
The Speaker's Voice
Tension, Irony, Paradox
The Formalist Approach in Practice
Word, Image, and Theme: Space-Time Metaphors in To His Coy Mistress
The Dark, the Light, and the Pink: Ambiguity as Form in Young Goodman Brown
Virtues and Vices
Symbol or Allegory?
Loss Upon Loss
Romance and Reality, Land and River: The Journey as Repetitive Form in Huckleberry Finn
Dialectic as Form: The Trap Metaphor in Hamlet
The Trap Imagery
The Cosmological Trap
Seeming and Being
Seeing and Knowing
Irony and Narrative Voice: A Formalist Approach to Everyday Use
Frankenstein: A Thematic Reading
Summary of Key Points
Limitations of the Formalist Approach
British Cultural Materialism
New Historicism
Literary Darwinism
Materialisms in Practice
A New History of To His Coy Mistress
Hamlet's Evolution
Frankenstein: The Creature as Proletarian
The Lore of Fiends: Hawthorne and his Market
Fathers and Sons, Gods and Slaves in Huckleberry Finn
But they're priceless! Material versus Exchange Value in Everyday Use
Summary of Key Points
Limitations of Materialist Approaches
Literature and Linguistics
Structuralism and Post-structuralism, Including Deconstruction
Structuralism: Contexts and Definitions
The Linguistics Model
Russian Formalism: Extending Saussure
Structuralism, Levi-Strauss, and Semiotics
French Structuralism: Coding and Decoding
British and American Interpreters
Post-Structuralism, Deconstruction
Linguistic Approaches in Practice
Deconstructing To His Coy Mistress
The Deep Structure of Hamlet
Language and Discourse in Frankenstein
Huck and Jim: Dialogic Partners
Speak of the Devil!: The Sermon in Young Goodman Brown
Asalamalakim! Linguistic Distortion in Everyday Use
Summary of Key Points
Limitations of Linguistic Approaches
The Psychological Approach: Freud
Aims and Principles
Abuses and Misunderstandings of the Psychological Approach
Freud's Theories
Other Theories
The Psychological Approach in Practice
Hamlet: the Oedipus Complex
Rebellion Against the Father in Huckleberry Finn
Prometheus Manqué: The Monster Unbound
Young Goodman Brown: Id over Superego
Sexual Imagery in To His Coy Mistress
Morality Principle Over Pleasure Principle in Everyday Use
Summary of Key Points
Other Possibilities and Limitations of the Psychological Approach
Mythological and Archetypal Approaches
Definitions and Misconceptions
Some Examples of Archetypes
Archetypal Motifs or Patterns
Archetypes as Genres
Myth Criticism in Practice
Anthropology and Its Uses
The Sacrificial Hero: Hamlet
Archetypes of Time and Immortality: To His Coy Mistress
Jungian Psychology and Its Archetypal Insights
Some Special Archetypes: Shadow, Persona, and Anima
Young Goodman Brown: A Failure of Individuation
Creator or Creator: Who is the Real Monster in Frankenstein?
Syntheses of Jung and Anthropology
Myth Criticism and the American Dream: Huckleberry Finn as the American Adam
Everyday Use: The Great [Grand]Mother
Summary of Key Points
Limitations of Myth Criticism
Feminisms and Gender Studies
Feminisms and Feminist Literary Criticism: Definitions
First-, Second-, and Third-Wave Feminisms
The Literary Woman: Created or Constructed?
Feminism and Psychoanalysis
Feminists of Color
Marxist and Materialist Feminisms
Feminist Film Studies
Gender Studies
Feminisms and Gender Studies in Practice
The Marble Vault: The Mistress in To His Coy Mistress
Frailty, Thy Name Is Hamlet: Hamlet and Women
The Workshop of Filthy Creation: Men and Women in Frankenstein
Mary and Percy, Author and Editor
Masculinity and Femininity in the Frankenstein Family
I Am Thy Creature. . .
Men, Women, and the Loss of Faith in Young Goodman Brown
Women and Sivilization in Huckleberry Finn
In Real Life: Recovering the Feminine Past in Everyday Use
Summary of Key Points
The Future of Feminist and Gender Studies: Some Problems and Limitations
Cultural Studies
What Is (or Are) Cultural Studies?
United States Ethnic Studies
African American Writers
Latina/o Writers
Native American Literatures
Asian American Writers
Postmodernism and Popular Culture
Popular Culture
Cultural Studies in Practice
Two Characters in Hamlet: Marginalization with a Vengeance
To His Coy Mistress: Implied Culture
From Paradise Lost to Frank-N-Furter: The Creature Lives!
Revolutionary Births
A Race of Devils
The Frankenpheme in Popular Culture: Fiction, Drama, Film, Television
A Postmodern Goodman Brown
Telling the Truth, Mainly: Huck and Twain as Tricksters
Cultures in Conflict: A Story Looks at Cultural Change
Summary of Key Points
Limitations of Cultural Studies
Postcolonial Studies
Postcolonialism: Definitions
Some Key Figures
Postcolonial Critical Practices
Seventeenth-Century English Colonization and To His Coy Mistress
Hamlet: Postcolonial Adaptations
Frankenstein: Are There Any New Worlds?
Jim's Superstitions in Huckleberry Finn
Salem: A City Upon a Hill?
The End of an Era: Everyday Use
Summary of Key Points
Limitations of Postcolonial Studies
Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress
Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown
Alice Walker, Everyday Use
Glossary of Literary Terms
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