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University Degree: Literary Criticism

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  1. Functions Of Literary Criticism

    The way a critic sets about his task are innumerable, ranging from the most general statement to a detailed analysis, but usually the main purpose is to quicken and refine the readers perceptiveness. The word "critic" has been derived from the Greek word 'crites', a judge. The first step towards "easing or widening or deepening" our responses to what is best in literature is that the critic himself should recognize quality when he meets it. How does the critic set about his task of judging, by what standards does he judge and how we the reader should know if the critic judgment is better than our own.

    • Word count: 1541
  2. War can do many things to people and there families. Can you imagine if you had been paying on a piece of land, or more modern day, say a house?

    They were just kids then but when they were to grow up they would be nothing but enemies. The Heine family had land that they used for growing strawberries on. This was how the Heine's family made their money. Kabuo's family was trying to buy seven akers of that land. The Miyamoto's were paying Carl and his family in payments that were illegal because it was illegal for Japanese to own land. When the Japaness family had just a few payments left and both Kabou and Carl's fathers were dead, the war broke out.

    • Word count: 1154
  3. 'Discuss The Problematical Nature Of The Concept Of Literature.'

    However we do not get this same emotion from a newspaper article; yet they provide historical records of events that will preserve the past and present. Surely these have just as much literary significance as any other more elevated works? Maybe this concept could be revised. Should we say instead that literature should be deemed a piece of writing that has value to society? `With this reservation, the suggestion that `literature' is a highly valued kind of writing is an illuminating one.

    • Word count: 1624
  4. Abstract of Michel Foucaults "What is an Author?"

    In addition Foucault sees another theme in the quote from Beckett and that would be the relation of writing and death. Foucault deals with this relationship historically. In the Greek epic where writing was used to evade death and making its hero immortal similar as in the Arabian storytelling where the narrator was supposed to lead the audience through the night into the day to keep death away. Writing in modern literature has changed this attitude, not keeping death away from the author but bringing it to him.

    • Word count: 829
  5. Deconstruction of "Catch Me if You Can" by Frank Abagnale.

    Abagnale has an extremely strong opinion of himself and his appearance and image appear to be very significant throughout the text. Abagnale maintains his representation by pampering himself with items such as tailor made suits and Rolls-Royces. "A mans alter ego is nothing more than his favorite image of himself." Abagnale's next leisure pursuit after maintaining his self image is women, and many stereotypes are prominent through out the text. Abagnale exploits women in the text as entertainment. He compliments his female friends, and portrays women as commodities.

    • Word count: 558
  6. In the novel, I Heard the Owl Call My Name, Margaret Craven introduces the reader to the lives, culture and history of the Kwakiutl Native Americans, whose village, Kingcome, is located in British Colombia.

    In the book, they describe Bryan and being very drawn back and patient with the village people as he waits for them to ask him to join in different ceremonies that the village has. He is also very passive with the way he handles himself and is very one with nature and his environment that he is thrown into. He isn't too pushy because he knows that he is a visitor in another word if you will. In the movie however, Bryan is very outgoing and persistent in his intent to change to many things in such a short amount of time.

    • Word count: 1146
  7. Literature: A Mold.

    When you read a comic like "Calvin and Hobbes" does it not express its ideals though the comic? Literature is an art where everyone around the world can participate, for anything they do can be a form it whether it be expressive dancing, music or the commonly used writing. Anything that can be left behind somehow is also a part of its meaning. The art of literature is used everywhere in the world. Bibles use it to tell about god and their beliefs for their people to follow.

    • Word count: 670
  8. How clear is the distinction between love and lust in Renaissance literature?

    Although the quote in the title of this question, taken from Venus and Adonis, seems to have no trouble in drawing up a clear distinction, a closer look at this text and 'The Rape of Lucrece' seems to create more of a blur in the distinction. In 'Venus and Adonis' we can see many conflicting ideas and images relating to certain issues, for example, violence and tenderness, and the contrasts that these conflicting images provoke give us an insight into the distinction made between love and lust in Renaissance literature.

    • Word count: 1821
  9. Touch Me, by James Moloney employs choice/selection of detail to encourage/invite readers to feel empathy and sympathy towards Xavier Mclachlan, the key protagonist of this teenage novel.

    The adjustment Moloney has made to the traditional 3rd person point of view technique is an original addition to this book and it adds the extra ingredient that is needed to make Touch Me a unique novel. Alternating between Xavier and Nuala, who move in and out of limited point of view allows the rugby passages to reinforce and assist the real game that is being played. The story of Xavier Mclachlan, and the unique relationship he has with Nuala Magee.

    • Word count: 2119
  10. Men and their fulfilment of sexual desires play an important role within many novels throughout history.

    In some ways the corresponding male characters are very different, yet they do share many common attributes. To fully understand the characters, their need for sexual fulfilment, and their eventual transformation, one must come to know about the context the story is written in, and the factors that surrounded the author at the time of the publication of the novel. Therese Raquin was written in 1868 in France. It is full of dark, morose, and gloomy topics, which continue from page one until the last sentence of the novel. Each character is shown in one light when they first come into play, but later, they become opposite of what and who you think they are.

    • Word count: 1570
  11. The Meaning of the Narrative Often Resides In the Formand Point of View of the Tale, Rather Than In the Actual Story or Chronicle of Events.  Discuss With Reference To Beloved.

    This structure in the book shows the paradox behind the story, the need to leave the past behind and to move on but also the need to remember, the 'ambivalence of wishing to forget and remember at the same time'7. Secondly the use of multiple narrators is crucial to the book's anti slavery stance, as it does not allow anyone to own the story in the same way as no one must own another person. This allows the characters to have an individual voice something slaves did not possess.

    • Word count: 1851
  12. An Exploration of Conflict within Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts.

    Will his wife, Isa, act on hers for the mysterious Haines? Will it rain on the pageant? Part of the anticipation of action in the novel revolves around the forthcoming war: not necessarily for the characters, but for the reader who realises that less than two months after the novel is set, Britain is at war. One is able to examine how, despite the war only being explicitly mentioned half a dozen times or so, it permeates the tone of the book.

    • Word count: 3272
  13. Analyse several poems by one poet. Establish what makes that poet's style distinctive through a close examination of particular formal elements.

    Her punctuation and syntax (or lack of), word choice, use of rhyme, meter and form are what sets her apart and makes her work so nonpareil. Ted Hughes reflected that Emily Dickinson "is one of the oddest and most intriguing personalities in literary history"4. Despite the upheavals in her lifetime, which included American Civil War (a Nation on the brink of suicide or rebirth), the ruthless battle of the frontier at its apex, as well as puritan revival struggling against the new age of Transcendentalism in religion while Darwinism spread the world over, Dickinson remained a sceptical level-headed spectator.

    • Word count: 2001
  14. How does Shaw ridicule love and war in "Arms and the Man"?

    Her mind is engulfed with the romantic thoughts of her hero Sergius. Raina and her Catherine are equally enthralled by the news that Sergius, the epitome of Raina's 'higher love' has become the hero of the war, by leading a successful cavalry charge against the enemies. But with the entrance of Bluntschli, a middle aged man, mundane looking soldier, we come to know the other side of heroism. Bluntschli has run away form the battle field which Raina's 'Byronic hero' Sergius has won.

    • Word count: 1152
  15. Philosophical Moderation.

    Lyle portrays his Father as a very noble and strong character whose most outstanding characteristic is the nobility of his spirit. However, just like the Nobility of society, this nobility subsisted on the blood, sweat and tears of others and wouldn't have lasted without the help of people such as Jay Beard and Ely. Sydney simply would stoop to defending himself during his trial for a crime he is innocent of, as "...he sat in court by himself for the first three days.

    • Word count: 1268
  16. Discuss the representation of rebellion in the work of one or more Anglo-Irish poet or dramatist. I have chosen the work of Patrick Pearse, and W.B. Yeats.

    Pearse for example seems obsessed with the idea of the 'authentic' and 'real' Irishman, and takes pains to remind his audience that in the end, if you have any pride in you country at all you will easily take up the banner and fight to prove your loyalty. O'Casey on the other hand, shows us the reactions of the peasantry to the conflict, and is there to show that in the end it is the community which will survive the tense political environment, not the institutions that spring up around it or because of it.

    • Word count: 1684
  17. La Fiesta del Chivo by Mario Vargas Llosa.

    Added to this, Santa Domingo, where she has come to is 'mejor dicho...Ciudad Trujillo'. In this way not only is our protagonist without name, but so is the place in which she is. This lack of naming obviously demonstrates the gap between Trujillo's reign of 'Ciudad Trujillo' and the liberation of the city, re-named 'Santa Domingo', but for the uninformed reader it is unclear. The confusion continues throughout the novel. Urania's father, Agust�n Cabral, is labelled 'Cerebrito' by Trujillo and is referred to as 'Cerebrito' by everyone except Urania. Trujillo has indeed taken control of the city itself by naming it after him, including all landmarks.

    • Word count: 1538
  18. Does the reader make up the text he or she is reading? Colloquially stated, this is a central question posed by Stanley Fish in his post-modern essay, "How to Recognize a Poem when You See One."

    Fish states he previously argued that, "...meanings are the property...of interpretive communities that are responsible both for the shape of a reader's activities and for the texts those activities produce. In this lecture I propose to extend that argument so as to account not only for the meanings a poem might be said to have but for the fact of its being recognized as a poem in the first place" (Fish 268). He follows this general claim by offering an anecdote where such a hypothetical situation could occur, postulating that a reader recognizes a text first for what type of literature it is, then moves forward to notice the distinguishing features which characterize it as such.

    • Word count: 1465
  19. A close look at the assigned poem by Howard Nemerov 'D-Day and all the years' and focused mainly on the identity of the speaker, his or hers relation to the author, and the poetic techniques that Nemerov has used to achieve his aims

    Firstly, the fact that the speaker keeps referring to the father as 'Daddy'. But moreover because of the way in which the speaker describes everything and particularly elaborates on what her father was wearing during the operation. This fairly detailed description of his clothes goes on for the whole last stanza. Also the whole poem seems to have a chattering ring to it, which is enhanced by the fact that it is written in free verse. One might object that a iambic pentametre can be discerned, for instance in the first four lines and in the eigth to eleventh line, alternated with some anapests.

    • Word count: 1210
  20. What was new about Modernist literature? Explain with reference to two or more texts.

    Therefore due to the characters' taciturn and the minimal plot, the stream of consciousness technique is vital to the novel's characterisation; She makes her Mrs. Ramsay- by giving us her stream of consciousness -amazingly alive; and she supplements this just sufficiently, from outside, as it were, by giving us also, intermittently, the streams of consciousness of her husband, of her friend Lily Brisco, of her children: so that we are documented, as to Mrs. Ramsay, from every quarter and arrive at a solid vision of her by a process of triangulation (Aiken 1958: 17)

    • Word count: 3041
  21. Angela Carter Re-inventor of folk tales a close literary analysis of "The Bloody Chamber" The Bloody Chamber is the one of Carter's most prominent tales and is the core of the collection being the

    The world salvation is significance because she seems it as a sexual and spiritual experience. Such eloquence words about a sexual act a word of religious connotations shows her almost overwhelming enjoyment which may illustrate her apparent sexual pleasure. This sexual content appears to be an illustration of Carter's use of folktales to incorporate as Freud would put it "the hopes and dreams of a culture" in direct connotation with the heightening feminism and sexual liberation of the 70's. This is description of the act is typical Carter and would come under the term used to describe her descriptive style.

    • Word count: 1546
  22. The Home and Family in The House on Mango Street and Cry, the Beloved Country

    For example, she says, "I knew then I had to have a real house. A real house. One I could point to. But this isn't it. The House on Mango Street isn't it. For the time being, Mama says. Temporary says Papa. But I know how those things go" (Cisneros, 5). For Esperanza, a real home is something distant and cloudy, something she can only look forward to in her dreams. Esperanza really desires a home where she can feel like she belongs, a home not just solid on the outside, but on the inside as well.

    • Word count: 1002
  23. Points of interest in 'Mother' and 'Empty Sky'

    Or, does he crumple beneath the pressures of the world around him? This is where I feel 'recovery' becomes an evident part of the poem; by over-coming the shock of being alone and conducting his life ton the conventions know to society as 'normality' he has 'recovered' from this event in his life. The 'recovery' of America and rest of the world mirror this in 'Empty Sky' rather obviously after the nine-eleven tragedy. Though 'Empty Sky' is, in fact, a song, its lyrics can be analysed to uncover meanings and motives like any piece of poetry.

    • Word count: 1009
  24. What features of Cloudstreet contribute to its textual integrity? In your response you should make close reference to the text.

    It is important that past events be recognised as they are an essential part of the story. Such is when Quick is out shooting roos and Fish comes to him in a "Harvey oranges" box with "tomato stakes" for oars. "Across the still waters of the sunburnt crop wherein lies Quick Lamb breathing without help...He took my bloody dog" (page 201). This shows that the water essence is always with each character. The fact that the house was originally inhabited by Indigenous girls who subsequently were abused, helps the reader to understand why 'Spiritual Fish' hears the house breathing and crying and how he talks to 'dark ghosts'.

    • Word count: 1292
  25. Examine Synge's treatment of the theme of escapism in Playboy of the Western World.

    As a result, the people who were left largely consisted of those that had no optimism or ambition. This explains why in the play, the location is so isolated and remote, and the society we are invited into is both small in size and lacks vitality. Within this society, it can be seen that the characters lead monotonous, tedious lives, and it is clear in the play that as a result the characters have found their own individual forms of escapism.

    • Word count: 1404

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