Using Critical Theory How to Read and Write about Literature

ISBN-10: 0415616174
ISBN-13: 9780415616171
Edition: 2nd 2012 (Revised)
Authors: Lois Tyson
List price: $36.95 Buy it from $28.61
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Description: Critical Theory is crucial to any study of literature and also, as this book shows, to most of modern culture. In her friendly, approachable style, Lois Tyson emphasises the importance of Critical Theory to students, explaining its relevance and how  More...

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Book details

List price: $36.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Routledge
Publication date: 9/7/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.430
Language: English

Critical Theory is crucial to any study of literature and also, as this book shows, to most of modern culture. In her friendly, approachable style, Lois Tyson emphasises the importance of Critical Theory to students, explaining its relevance and how to use it. In this new edition, New Criticism is added to the list of six theories #xE2;#xAC;#x1C; psychoanalytic, Marxist, feminist, gay/lesbian, African American and postcolonial #xE2;#xAC;#x1C; which are explained and introduced before Tyson demonstrates how they can be employed to interpret five short literary works in the book: Emily Dickinson's I started Early -- Took My Dog, William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily, Ralph Ellison's The Battle Royal, Alice Walker's Everyday Use,and Jewelle Gomez's Don't Explain. In addition, a chapter on reader-response theory shows students how to understand their personal responses to literature and how to use their personal responses to produce more insightful interpretations while avoiding the typical pitfalls to which their personal responses make them vulnerable. Other new features include more resources for students wishing to further their understanding of specific theories through new sections on #xE2;#xAC;#xDC;further practice#xE2;#xAC;" and #xE2;#xAC;#xDC;further reading#xE2;#xAC;" for each chapter and a #xE2;#xAC;#xDC;next-step#xE2;#xAC;" appendix addressing additional literary works for further study that readily lend themselves to theory. The book is also updated throughout, making it the ideal first step into critical theory for students of literature, composition and cultural studies.

Preface for Instructors
Acknowledgments
Critical Theory and You
What Does Critical Theory Have to Do with Me?
What Will I Learn about Critical Theory from This Book?
Critical Theory and Cultural Criticism
Three Questions about Interpretation Most Students Ask
Why Feeling Confused Can Be a Good Sign
Using Concepts from Reader-Response Theory to Understand Our Own Literary Interpretations
Why Should We Learn about Reader-Response Theory?
Response Vehicles
Personal Identification
The Familiar Character
The Familiar Plot Event
The Familiar Setting
Response Exercises
Personal-Identification Exercise
Familiar-Character Exercise
Familiar-Plot-Event Exercise
Familiar-Setting Exercise
How Our Personal Responses Can Help or Hinder Interpretation
Using Our Personal Responses to Generate Paper Topics
Food for Further Thought
Thinking It Over
Reader-Response Theory and Cultural Criticism
Taking the Next Step
Exercises for Further Practice
Suggestions for Further Reading
Using Concepts from New Critical Theory to Understand Literature
Why Should We Learn about New Critical Theory?
Basic Concepts
Theme
Formal Elements
Unity
Close Reading and Textual Evidence
Interpretation Exercises
Appreciating the Importance of Tradition: Interpreting "Everyday Use"
Recognizing the Presence of Death: Interpreting "A Rose for Emily"
Understanding the Power of Alienation: Interpreting "The Battle Royal"
Respecting the Importance of Nonconformity: Interpreting "Don't Explain"
Responding to the Challenge of the Unknown: Interpreting "I started Early-Took my Dog
Food for Further Thought
Thinking It Over
New Critical Theory and Cultural Criticism
Taking the Next Step
Questions for Further Practice
Suggestions for Further Reading
Using Concepts from Psychoanalytic Theory to Understand Literature
Why Should We Learn about Psychoanalytic Theory?
Basic Concepts
The Family
Repression and the Unconscious
The Defenses
Core Issues
Dream Symbolism
Interpretation Exercises
Analyzing Characters' Dysfunctional Behavior: Interpreting "Everyday Use"
Exploring a Character's Insanity: Interpreting "A Rose for Emily"
Understanding Dream Images in Literature: Interpreting "I started Early-Took my Dog"
Recognizing a Character's Self-Healing: Interpreting "Don't Explain"
Using Psychoanalytic Concepts in Service of Other Theories: Interpreting "The Battle Royal"
Food for Further Thought
Thinking It Over
Psychoanalytic Theory and Cultural Criticism
Taking the Next Step
Questions for Further Practice
Suggestions for Further Reading
Using Concepts from Marxist Theory to Understand Literature
Why Should We Learn about Marxist Theory?
Basic Concepts
Classism
Capitalism
Capitalist Ideologies
Competition
Commodification
The American Dream
Rugged Individualism
Religion
Interpretation Exercises
Understanding the Operations of Capitalism: Interpreting "Everyday Use"
Recognizing the Operations of the American Dream: Interpreting "The Battle Royal"
Analyzing the Operations of Classism: Interpreting "A Rose for Emily"
Resisting Classism: Interpreting "Don't Explain"
Learning When Not to Use Marxist Concepts: Resisting the Temptation to Interpret "I started Early-Took my Dog"
Food for Further Thought
Thinking It Over
Marxist Theory and Cultural Criticism
Taking the Next Step
Questions for Further Practice
Suggestions for Further Reading
Using Concepts from Feminist Theory to Understand Literature
Why Should We Learn about Feminist Theory?
Basic Concepts
Patriarchy
Traditional Gender Roles
The Objectification of Women
Sexism
The "Cult of 'True Womanhood'"
Interpretation Exercises
Rejecting the Objectification of Women: Interpreting "The Battle Royal"
Resisting Patriarchal Ideology: Interpreting "Don't Explain"
Recognizing a Conflicted Attitude toward Patriarchy: Interpreting "Everyday Use"
Analyzing a Sexist Text: Interpreting "A Rose for Emily"
Understanding Patriarchy's Psychological Oppression of Women: Interpreting "I started Early-Took my Dog"
Food for Further Thought
Thinking It Over
Feminist Theory and Cultural Criticism
Taking the Next Step
Questions for Further Practice
Suggestions for Further Reading
Using Concepts from Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Theories to Understand Literature
Why Should We Learn about Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Theories?
Basic Concepts
Heterosexism
Homophobia
Homosocial Activities
The Woman-identified Woman
Homoerotic Imagery
Queer Theory
Interpretation Exercises
Rejecting Lesbian Stereotypes: Interpreting "Don't Explain"
Analyzing Homophobia: Interpreting "The Battle Royal"
Recognizing the Woman-Identified Woman in a Heterosexual Text: Interpreting "Everyday Use"
Using Queer Theory: Interpreting "A Rose for Emily"
Drawing upon Context: Interpreting "I started Early-Took my Dog"
Food for Further Thought
Thinking It Over
Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Theories and Cultural Criticism
Taking the Next Step
Questions for Further Practice
Suggestions for Further Reading
Using Concepts from African American Theory to Understand Literature
Why Should We Learn about African American Theory?
Basic Concepts
African American Culture and Literature
Racism
Forms of Racism
Institutionalized Racism
Internalized Racism
Intraracial Racism
Double Consciousness
Interpretation Exercises
Analyzing the Overt Operations of Institutionalized Racism: Interpreting "The Battle Royal"
Recognizing the "Less Visible" Operations of Institutionalized Racism: Interpreting "Don't Explain"
Understanding the Operations of Internalized Racism: Interpreting "Everyday Use"
Exploring the Function of Black Characters in White Literature: Interpreting "A Rose for Emily"
Learning When Not to Use African American Concepts: Resisting the Temptation to Interpret "I started Early-Took my Dog"
Food for Further Thought
Thinking It Over
African American Theory and Cultural Criticism
Taking the Next Step
Questions for Further Practice
Suggestions for Further Reading
Using Concepts from Postcolonial Theory to Understand Literature
Why Should We Learn about Postcolonial Theory?
Basic Concepts
Colonialist Ideology
Othering
Subaltern
The Colonial Subject
Mimicry
Unhomeliness
Anti-colonialist Resistance
Interpretation Exercises
Understanding Colonialist Ideology: Interpreting "The Battle Royal"
Analyzing the Colonial Subject: Interpreting "Everyday Use"
Exploring the Influence of Cultural Categories: Interpreting "A Rose for Emily"
Appreciating Anticolonialist Resistance: Interpreting "Don't Explain"
Recognizing the Othering of Nature: Interpreting "I started Early-Took my Dog"
Food for Further Thought
Thinking It Over
Postcolonial Theory and Cultural Criticism
Taking the Next Step
Questions for Further Practice
Suggestions for Further Reading
Holding on to What You've Learned
A Shorthand Overview of Our Eight Critical Theories
A Shorthand Overview of Our Literary Interpretation Exercises
A Shorthand Overview of the Range of Perspectives Offered by Each Theory
Critical Theory and Cultural Criticism Revisited
Critical Theory and an Ethics for a Diverse World
Appendices
"I started Early-Took my Dog" (Emily Dickinson, c. 1862)
"A Rose for Emily" (William Faulkner, 1931)
"The Battle Royal" (Ralph Ellison, 1952)
"Everyday Use" (Alice Walker, 1973)
"Don't Explain" (Jewelle Gomez, 1987)
Additional Literary Works for Further Practice
Index

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