• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

New Criticism

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

NEW CRITICISM New Criticism is an approach to literature, which was developed by a group of American critics, most of whom taught at southern universities during the years following the First World War. Like Russian Formalism, following Boris Eikhenbaum and Victor Shklovskii, the New Critics developed speculative positions and techniques of reading that provide a vital complement to the literary and artistic emergence of modernism. The New Critics wanted to avoid impressionistic criticism, which risked being shallow and arbitrary, and social/ historical (Marxist) approaches, which might easily be subsumed by other disciplines. They were given their name by John Crowe Ransom, who describes the new American formalists in his book The New Criticism (1941). The movement took its first inspirations from TS Eliot and IA Richards' thoughts on criticism. The far-reaching influence of New Criticism stems less from theoretical or programmatic coherence than from the practical appeal of a characteristic way of reading. The theoretical differences among the critics commonly described as New Critics( I. A. Richards, William Empson, F. R. Leavis, Kenneth Burke, John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, Yvor Winters, Cleanth Brooks, R. ...read more.

Middle

The more complex the themes are and the more closely they contribute to a central theme (unity) the better the work. Usually, the New Critics define their themes as oppositions: Life and death, good and evil, love and hate, harmony and strife, order and disorder, eternity and time, reality and appearance, truth and falsehood, emotion and reason, simplicity and complexity, nature and art. The analysis of a text is an exercise in showing how all of its parts contribute to a complex but single (unified) statement about human problems. New Criticism is distinctly formalist in character and the method the reader must use is "close analysis." The reader must look at the words, the syntax, the structure (usually, "the argument"),the rhythm, the meter, the theme, the imagery, metaphor etc. The interpretation of a text shows that these aspects serve to support the structure of meaning within the text. The New Critic will ask the following types of questions while analyzing a piece. How DOES a succession of images suggest a DIRECTION in a poem? How DOES a METAPHOR link some words with a deeper set of ideas suggested in others? ...read more.

Conclusion

The New Critics privileged poetry over other forms of literary expression because they saw the poem as the purest exemplification of the literary values, which they upheld. However, the techniques of close reading and structural analysis of texts have also been applied to fiction, drama, and other literary forms. These techniques remain the dominant critical approach in many modern literature courses. Because New Criticism is such a rigid and structured program for the study of literature, it is open to criticism on many fronts. First, in its insistence on excluding external evidence, New Criticism disqualifies many possibly fruitful perspectives for understanding texts, such as historicism, psychoanalysis, and Marxism. Since New Criticism aims at finding one "correct" reading, it also ignores the ambiguity of language and the active nature of the perception of meaning described by poststructuralists. Finally, it can even be perceived as elitist, because it excludes those readers who lack the background for arriving at the "correct" interpretation. However, defenders of New Criticism might remind us that this approach is meant to deal with the poem on its own terms. While New Criticism may not offer us a wide range of perspectives on texts, it does attempt to deal with the text as a work of literary art and nothing else. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Advertisements section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Advertisements essays

  1. Marketing Media and Audience Feedback

    However, many advertisements of The Sun are print and cost a lot less, attracting a local, regional and national audience. When The Sun advertises, it also uses the Internet to a great extent. Over the past few years there has been a shift from traditional print media advertising to electronic.

  2. Does the hardsell to distributors work in a new competitive scenario? Is there a ...

    You have done it for me in the past. I am sure that you will be able to sell the quantity I am giving you. In fact, soon you are going to ask for more." The next day Desai met Kapoor and ran his eye over the offstakes of Valley by the various distributors appointed over Girjee's orders.

  1. To read a work of literature as literature is also to read it as ...

    information too broad to be specific, and often constrained to the provenance of the historical information available to a reader. The honesty of the author themselves may also affect the reliability of a given text as a historical document, as authors may have had ulterior motives for writing their works.

  2. The Historical Critical Approach to the Bible requires the text to be read in ...

    'abuses' of the Church, his hermeneutical reformulation differed little in essence from that which he had dismissed. The Old Testament was still interpreted Christologically, and history and reason were all but denied on the grounds that they had no relevance to the 'power of Christ'.6 Anomalies within the Biblical texts

  1. Discus the revival of a new era magician chic.

    Goals and Objectives Keith was relatively unknown to the general public until the beginning of this year where his rise to fame has been nothing short of amazing. In recent weeks, the Irish public has been left awed by Keith's outrageous stunts and illusions on his new show Close Encounter with Keith Barry.

  2. How Media Texts Persuade Us.

    The word savaging is very violent, aggressive and emotive. The choice of words tends to come across as exaggerated for a dramatic effect, as we are informed how she is given the "thrashing of her political life." This, yet again, represents a chaotic government and suggests that the Education Secretary has been humiliated.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work