Guide to Week 13: Last Class
We will use the Hemingway and Wyatt texts to practice justifying the use of a critical method or combination of methods by appeals to theory and the appropriateness of the text. What critical theories lend themselves best to analyses of these texts, and what dangers attend the application of any of our critical methods to each of them? There is no "Working with..." written assignment due for this week, but you should review Tyson, your notes and "Working with" papers, and the course web pages for the main critical methods we have studied: psychoanalytic criticism, Marxist criticism, New Criticism (especially E. D. Hirsch's revision of NC to allow historical/biographical evidence to inform the meaning of words), Structuralist criticism, Deconstructionist criticism, Reader-Response criticism, Feminist criticism, and New Historicism/Cultural Criticism. Based on your "Working with" paper scores and your class discussion, I have assigned you in pairs to theories whose methods you have used with at least some success. You will have the first twenty minutes of class to confer with your partner to choose which text works best for your theory, and to develop a basic outline of how the theory would select its data, manipulate it, and assign meaning and significance to the text. You may combine methods to produce hybrid interpretive strategies, but pay attention to representing your primary assigned theory and be careful not to combine methods whose basic theoretical assumptions about the text or the interpretive act differ beyond hope of reconciliation.