My attempt to contemporize and formalize feminist archetypal theory is made in the hope of increasing its acceptance and encouraging its use among scholars of literature.
Feminist Criticism Introduction Literary criticism, starting from Aristotle in the 4th century BCE, studies the art of literature and explores the ways that literature affects us emotionally, intellectually, and esthetically.
Formal Criticism The formalist critic looks at the literary work itself — its forms, designs, or patterns — and assesses how the work functions as a harmonious whole. Formal criticism makes use of the literary terminology and prefers to categorize literature into genres.
The formalist also examines the language, paying special attention to its figurative meaning as it contributes to the artistic whole. It helps us to read the literature carefully and thoughtfully and provides a common vocabulary for the discussion of literature.
Archetypal Criticism Archetypal criticism depends heavily on symbols and patterns operating on a universal scale. Jung identified certain archetypes, which are simply repeated patterns and images of human experience found in literature, such as the changing seasons; the cycle of birth, death, rebirth; the hero and the heroic quest; the beautiful temptress.
The basis of archetypal criticism is that all literature consists of variations on a great mythic cycle within the following pattern: The hero begins life in a paradise such as a garden 2.
The hero is displaced from paradise alienation 3. The hero endures time of trial and tribulation, usually a wandering a journey 4.
The hero achieves self-discovery as a result of the struggles on that journey 5. The hero moves away from home, encounters adventures, and finds a new home better than the first. The hero moves away from home, encounters adventures, and returns home a better person.
It allows us to see the larger patterns of literature Limitation: It tends to ignore the individual contributions of the author and the specific cultural and societal influences.
Historical Criticism Historical criticism examines the culture and the society from which a literary work came and how these influences affect the literature. Questions to ask from the historical approach: How did the political events of the time influence what the writer wrote?
What is the predominant philosophy that influenced the work? Were there any special circumstances under which the work was written? It enriches our understanding of the literature from the historical and societal perspective.
According to Sigmund Freud, the motivations for much of our behavior — our fears, our desires, our ambitions — lay hidden in our unconscious, and certain personality types developed as a result of some childhood experience, good or bad.
The most evident danger in psychoanalytical criticism is in over-reading, in seeing a symbol in every object, in seeing unconscious desires and fears lurking in every utterance.
Feminist Criticism Feminist criticism places its focus on the questions of how gender affects a literary work, writer, or reader through a critical approach.
Questions to ask from the feminist approach: How are women portrayed in the work? Is male superiority implied in the text? In what way is the work affected because it was written by a woman?
A major concern of feminist criticism is the masculine bias in literature. Historically, most works were written from a masculine point of view and for male audiences. The feminist critic looks for societal misconceptions that treat the masculine viewpoint as the norm and the feminine viewpoint as a deviation.
It makes the reader more aware of the complexity of human interaction.Feminist theorists have expanded the definition of patriarchal society to describe a systemic bias against women. As second-wave feminists examined society during the s, they did observe households headed by women and female leaders.
Although there have been women’s advocates dating back to medieval times, the 20th century American suffrage movement gave women the right to vote and marked the beginning of modern feminism.
Its founders, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, collaborated in a way that was an inspiration for a sisterhood today. The Study of Literature. Please read Chapter 3 from Russell, D.
L. Archetypal Criticism. most works were written from a masculine point of view and for male audiences. The feminist critic looks for societal misconceptions that treat the masculine viewpoint as the norm and the feminine viewpoint as a deviation.
The feminist. Archetypal literary criticism is a type of critical theory that interprets a text by focusing on recurring myths and archetypes (from the Greek archē, "beginning", and typos, "imprint") in the narrative, symbols, images, and character types in literary work. In addition, the new feminist narratives encourage a woman-centered perspective.
This point of view requires a redefinition of the feminine, one that, in Virginia Woolf‟s words, asks women to “think back through [their] mothers” in order to discover in their collective survival a legacy of female strength.
The Jungian Society for Scholarly Studies Conference Highlights. The Psyche of the Text: A Post-Jungian Feminist Critical Manifesto. Christine Herold. This purely theoretical paper serves to elucidate my own feminist Post-Jungian approach to literature.