Saturday, 31 October 2015

Elements of literary criticism.

Elements of Literary Criticism
1)      Realism
 This term used in two ways. It is a literary movement of the 19th century. It was started by Balzac in France, George Eliot in England and William Dean in America. Secondly the term is used to show an illusion of real experience is created in the readers. Realistic fiction is opposed to romantic fiction in literature. Ex. Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crussoe” and Jane Austen’s novels.

2)      Surrealism
A movement started in France by Andre Breton in 1924. It was a revolution against all restrictions on the functioning of the human mind. Logical reason, standard morality, social and artistic conventions are rejected by the surrealists.  They believe that they do automatic writing encouraged by the unconscious min. Eg. Dylan Thomas’s poetry.
3)      Stock Response
It is a habitual and stereotyped reaction. It may be the response to a situation or topic that the author expresses. It may also be a response of the reader to a passage in a work.
4)      Stream of Consciousness
A phrase used by William James to show the unbroken, continuous flow of thought and awareness in the working mind.  This phrase is used to describe a narrative method in modern fiction  Eg: James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses”


A literary movement started in Germany soon after the First World War.  It is a revolt against realism.  Instead of presenting the world as it is, the author presents it as it appears to his state of mind, or to that one of his characters emotionally troubled and abnormal. Eg: O’Neill’s “The Emperor Jones”


Literary theft – the publication of a literary work in the name of a person other than the author.
Point of View: The way a story is told.  The perspective through which the characters, actions, setting and events are presented in a narrative.
Archetypal Criticism: In literary criticism the term “archetype” denotes recurrent narrative designs, patterns of action, character-types, themes and images which are identifiable in a variety of literature, as well as in myths, dreams and even social rituals. Such recurrent items are held to be the result of universal forms or patterns in the human psyche whose effective representation in literary work makes a deep response from the attentive reader because he or she shares the archetypes expressed by the author.
Empathy : German theorists in the 19th century developed the concept of “feeling into” which has been translated as empathy. It signifies an identification of oneself with an observed person or object, which is so close that one seems to participate in the posture, motion, and sensations that one observes. Empathy is described as an involuntary projection of ourselves into an object.

Objective Correlative:  This term was introduced by T.S. Eliot  rather casually into his essay  “Hamlet and his Problems”. The only way of expressing emotion is by finding and objective correlative in other words, a set of objects, a situation. a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion. According to Eliot, emotion cannot be simply transmitted from the mind of the poet to the mind of the reader. It has to change itself into something concrete like a picture of a person or thing.  The object in which emotion is thus made is its objective correlative.

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