Literary Criticisms Project


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English 10 Literary Criticisms Group Project


Project Work

(I'm not sure which (if any, or both) is for this project. --00:48, 23 January 2012 (EST))



In relation to literature, this term is half-seriously applied to those works generally accepted as the great ones. A battle is now being fought to change or throw out the canon for three reasons. First, the list of great books is thoroughly dominated by DWEM's (dead, white, European males), and the accusation is that women and minorities and non-Western cultural writers have been ignored. Second, there is pressure in the literary community to throw out all standards as the nihilism of the late 20th century makes itself felt in the literature departments of the universities. Scholars and professors want to choose the books they like or which reflect their own ideas, without worrying about canonicity. Third, the canon has always been determined at least in part by political considerations and personal philosophical biases. Books are much more likely to be called "great" if they reflect the philosophical ideas of the critic.

dystopian novel

An anti-utopian novel where, instead of a paradise, everything has gone wrong in the attempt to create a perfect society. See utopian novel. Examples:

  • George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
  • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World


deliberate and obvious exaggeration used for effect. ex."I could eat a million of these"

[15th century. Via Latin < Greek huperbolē "excess," literally "overthrow" < ballein "to throw"]


A prose fiction longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. There is no standard definition of length, but since rules of thumb are sometimes handy, we might say that the short story ends at about 20,000 words, while the novel begins at about 50,000. Thus, the novella is a fictional work of about 20,000 to 50,000 words. Examples:

  • Henry James, Daisy Miller
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Henry James, Turn of the Screw
  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness


self-contradictory statement: a statement that contradicts itself.

[Mid-16th century. < Latin paradoxum < Greek paradoxos "contrary to opinion" < doxa "opinion" < dokein "think"]


The person created by the author to tell a story. Whether the story is told by an omniscient narrator or by a character in it, the actual author of the work often distances himself from what is said or told by adopting a persona--a personality different from his real one. Thus, the attitudes, beliefs, and degree of understanding expressed by the narrator may not be the same as those of the actual author. Some authors, for example, use narrators who are not very bright in order to create irony.


speech or writing that communicates its point persuasively.

[14th century. Via Old French rethorique < Greek rhētorikē (tekhnē) "(art) of public speaking" < rhētor "speaker"]


The manner of expression of a particular writer, produced by choice of words, grammatical structures, use of literary devices, and all the possible parts of language use. Some general styles might include scientific, ornate, plain, emotive. Most writers have their own particular styles.

utopian novel

A novel that presents an ideal society where the problems of poverty, greed, crime, and so forth have been eliminated. Examples:

  • Thomas More, Utopia
  • Samuel Butler, Erewhon
  • Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward


How fully the characters and actions in a work of fiction conform to our sense of reality. To say that a work has a high degree of verisimilitude means that the work is very realistic and believable--it is "true to life.".


PowerPnt 2003.pngA PowerPoint slideshow of this work is available here: Image:Feminist Criticisms.ppt


Mrs. Bennet found, with amazement and horror, that her husband would not advance a guinea to buy clothes for his daughter....That his anger could be carried to such a point of inconceivable resentment, as to refuse his daughter a privilege, without which her marriage would scarcely seem valid, exceeded all that she could believe possible. She was more alive to the disgrace, which the want of new clothes must reflect on her daughter's nuptials, than to any sense of shame at her eloping and living with Wickham, a fortnight before they took place.(Austen 310-311)

Here Austen most clearly depicts Mrs. Bennet's estrangement from the patriarchal view. She feels no shame that her daughter has flouted the legal and moral imperatives of the patriarchy because she herself has never really acknowledged the validity of its dictates. Her sense of shame is evoked by her husband's cruel and unnatural disowning of his child. This denial of affection she finds incomprehensible although her husband's family has long made it a practice in the form of an entail.

The kinds of text used for feminist criticism is mainly fiction stories, ex. Pride and Prejudice Shakesphere's work

Works Cited

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Presentations Notes: Other Groups Litertary Terms Page 1.JPG Other Groups Litertary Terms Page 2.JPG