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The Different Perspectives of Literary Criticism on the Current Events in Various Works of Literature

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The world is a dynamic place. There are constantly new events unfolding, new stories being told and new adventures taking place. Events of all kinds take place, like something exciting as winning the lottery, something important like a job promotion, or something devastating like war. Every event happens for a reason or multiple reasons, but not every cause is the same. That is why it is important to take a look at these events and figure out why they happened, and there are many different ways to determine the answer using different types of criticisms and theories.

The narrator from the short story “Cathedral” took a formalist, or new criticism, perspective on the world events. This character took the formalist perspective because he was a relatively narrow-minded character based on his actions in the story (Carver). With this in mind, the narrator analyzed and responded to events based solely on the facts presented in piece of writing. The “Cathedral” narrator taught readers that analyzing events through a formalist view point can be very limiting. More often than not, it is necessary to look at outside information, like looking at historical events for the Russia/Ukraine conflict, to fully understand why something is happening.

Daisy from the short story “Teenage Wasteland” viewed current events using the reader-response theory, which relies on the reader to interact with the text (Using 1697). She was chosen for the reader-response theory because in the short story, Daisy is very concerned about her son, Donny. Since she is worried about him, she takes action to help improve his life which includes increasing her interaction with her son (Tyler 644). Through the Facebook conversations, Daisy showed readers that the reader response theory is a great way to make a story or current event personal to the person reading it. This is because the reader’s criticism or analysis of the story is based solely on the reader’s reaction to it. However, Daisy also showed reader’s that reader response theory is limiting in the sense that it is subjective and may not be seen as credible as some other literary criticisms.

Tessie Hutchinson from the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson took a feminist viewpoint of the current events. She used this perspective because in “The Lottery” Tessie was the only character to question the tradition of the annual lottery in the town, which is what the feminist theory is about: questioning traditional female stereotypes and fighting against them (Jackson 421). From the Facebook conversations, Tessie taught readers that while feminists mean to do well, sometimes the things they say can come off as annoying, like the points she tried to make in The Hobbit conversation, which could be why many people have a negative view of feminism. Tessie tried to make some valid points in the current events she analyzed, but the way she stated her opinions came across as petty. This goes to show that the way a person states their point can determine whether or not other people will find that point worth listening to or not.

Mr. Summers, also from the short story “The Lottery”, used the structuralism criticism because he views the lottery as part of tradition and culture, not just some random event that occurred for no reason (Jackson). Mr. Summers taught readers that all events happen for a reason and are a part of something bigger. With the Russia/Ukraine conflict, Mr. Summers stated that this conflict could be part of a much bigger plan that could happen in the future, like Russia rebuilding the Soviet Union. He showed that it is important to look at surrounding and related events that could have a connection to the one event being analyzed.

Montresor, from the short story “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, took the new historicism criticism. The reason for this is because Montresor justified his actions in the story based on the history between him and Fortunado (Poe 325). Montresor showed readers how important it is to know and understand history and how it can affect the world today. He said that history often repeats itself, so understanding events from the past could help people today to understand current events and possibly predict what will happen in the future.

Also from the short story “Teenage Wasteland” is Cal, Donny’s psychologist and tutor. Since Cal is a psychologist, it is understandable why he would use the psychoanalytic criticism (Tyler 645). Cal taught readers that it is important to consider psychological reasons to understand why people do the things the way they do, like if they have some sort of mental illness that is going on or if it is innate human behaviors that explain someone’s actions, like in the Kurt Busch suspension case. Understanding brain patterns and how the brain functions can help people understand why people take certain courses of action.

The narrator from the short story “I Stand Here Ironing” took the Marxist criticism point of view because she was economically oppressed (Olsen 297). From her analysis of the current events, readers learned that money is a huge factor in the world. For example, she talked about Russia having more money than Ukraine, being able to spend more money on the military and ultimately having more power over Ukraine. Economic status can drive a lot of people to take certain courses of actions. For instance, poor people work hard to enter the middle class while the middle class work hard to keep from becoming poor. The wealthy, on the other hand, work to maintain their status or become even wealthier, like Peter Jackson making three movies instead of two to make more money.

All in all, every one of these criticisms serve an important role in literary analysis. Each criticism enlightens readers to one specific aspect of a story. It is important to have multiple perspectives on stories and events because then people can have a more complete, round, and comprehensive understanding about the story or event. Having only one or two perspectives does not tell the whole story because more often than not, events happen for a number of causes, not just one.

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GradesFixer. (2018, September, 14) The Different Perspectives of Literary Criticism on the Current Events in Various Works of Literature. Retrived April 9, 2020, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-different-perspectives-of-literary-criticism-on-the-current-events-in-various-works-of-literature/
"The Different Perspectives of Literary Criticism on the Current Events in Various Works of Literature." GradesFixer, 14 Sep. 2018, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-different-perspectives-of-literary-criticism-on-the-current-events-in-various-works-of-literature/. Accessed 9 April 2020.
GradesFixer. 2018. The Different Perspectives of Literary Criticism on the Current Events in Various Works of Literature., viewed 9 April 2020, <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-different-perspectives-of-literary-criticism-on-the-current-events-in-various-works-of-literature/>
GradesFixer. The Different Perspectives of Literary Criticism on the Current Events in Various Works of Literature. [Internet]. September 2018. [Accessed April 9, 2020]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-different-perspectives-of-literary-criticism-on-the-current-events-in-various-works-of-literature/
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