First, begin by selecting one (1) short story from the short story modules. It is important to pick one that you have the most to say about–that is, the one that you feel has the most depth, is the most interesting, is complex, or most engages you. You want to have plenty to say to help you fill up your 3-5 pages! Keep in mind that choosing the story you liked most can sometimes be helpful, but is not always the best choice: just because you like something does not necessarily mean it is a great story to analyze with frameworks for criticism or academic research!
Then, select one (1) of the frameworks for criticism listed in our textbook. Make sure that you are comfortable with the framework that you choose–do not choose a framework that you do not understand! Please closely review your chosen framework in the textbook again before you start your essay.
o Formalist Criticism
o Biographical Criticism
o Historical Criticism
o Psychological Criticism
o Mythological Criticism
o Sociological Criticism
o Gender Criticism
o Reader-Response Criticism o Cultural Studies
o Deconstructionist Criticism
Develop an argument about your chosen story that matches your chosen framework and 3 literary elements (point of view, character, setting, tone, style, diction, irony, theme, symbols).
o For example:
Formalist Criticism: A criticism of a work based on its form: its plot structure, writing
style, or literary devices. You might examine how the author’s use of one or two literary devices (such as foreshadowing, flashbacks, metaphor, etc.) helps to tell the story more effectively, creates a specific tone, or impacts the audience in a surprising way, etc.
Biographical Criticism: A criticism of a work based on the author, such as how the author’s past and attitudes might have influenced the work. You might examine how the author’s political or religious views shaped and affected the story.
Historical Criticism: A criticism of a work based on the time period in which it was written. You might examine how major historical events, attitudes, artistic movements, or experiences might have affected or influenced a story, character, plot, theme, etc.
Psychological Criticism: A criticism of a work based on psychological principles such as using Freud’s theories to analyze a scene in which a character has a strange dream. This could also include analyzing a character’s mental state, such as to prove they are not a reliable narrator.
Mythological Criticism: A criticism of a work based on its spiritual or mythological contents. This might include examining symbolism or allusion in the work to find connections between this story and other, earlier stories.
Sociological Criticism: A criticism of a work based on the culture/society the story comes from. This might include analyzing how political or economic values or events from the author’s society impacted the story.
Gender Criticism: A criticism of a work based on the gender values or issues expressed in the work. These could be issues related to feminism, but also issues related to men’s rights, LGBT+ issues, etc. A criticism would examine how and why these values and issues appear in the text
Reader-Response Criticism: A criticism of a work based on the ways in which the reader might interpret the text, rather than what the author might have originally intended. For example, a text written during the Civil War might portray African Americans in a way very differently than readers see African American people today. This type of criticism examines places where the modern readers’ response might be different than the reader of the past.
Cultural Studies: A criticism of a work based on the culture that produced the work, particularly the elements of social class, race, and gender, and how these three issues are often combined. This type of criticism investigates the cultural values found within a work–the moral, ethical, political, and economic beliefs that the author expresses–in order to examine what these values mean for both the characters in the story and the readers who read that story.
Deconstructionist Criticism: A criticism that flips traditional theories on their heads. Deconstructionists believe that written language cannot probably express “reality,” and therefore any written story will inevitably include contradictions and conflicts. This form of criticism focuses on the conflicts or contradictions in a story–places where something “doesn’t add up” in order to find hidden meanings or hidden depths.
State your argument–prove your point!–in a well thought-out and clearly articulated 3-5 page research paper. Your paper must follow the literary analysis essay frame.
Note: Please use the UT-RGV library database online to find credible, scholarly sources. Do not use website sources.
I selected the story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson ,for the criticism I selected “Sociological Criticism”, for the three literary elements I selected” Point of view, theme, symbols” and I will send the 2 sources and for the word count there isn’t really one just as along as it has what its asking for and its 3 pages .