1 Responding Rhetorically to Literature and Survey of Literary Criticism Lemon Bay High School AP Language and Composition Mr. Mark Hertz
2 Goals of this Unit and Pre-Rating Understand the concept and practice of practical criticism. Learn three major critical and literary theories of the 20 th century. Conduct a rhetorical analysis of a literary text. Review key rhetorical terminology and identify terminology in the context of a text. Investigate the themes, concepts, and symbols present in Kurt Vonnegut s novel Slaughterhouse V. Complete a group project critical rhetorical analysis of one chapter of Vonnegut s novel Slaughterhouse V.
3 Lesson 1: Practical Criticism Please take out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Please write your name, the date, and the title at the top of the paper: Lesson 1: Practical Criticism On the next slide you will answer a writing prompt asking your knowledge and background of basic criticism. Please write your answer using complete sentences and complete thoughts. Following the prompt we will share responses and write class notes.
4 Writing Prompt: What is a Critic? Take a moment and think about what it is to be critical of something anything. When you are acting as critic, what are you doing? What are the methods you are using to critique something? Is criticism related to any other discipline (science, history, math, etc.)? You will have 3 minutes to respond to this prompt. Please answer honestly and to the best of your ability. We will take 3 minutes to share responses and take class notes after we have completed writing.
5 Critic and Criticism Defined: Critic one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique. borrowed from Latin criticus, borrowed from Greek kritikós, "discerning, capable of judging," Criticism The analysis and judgement of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work (traditional). The goal of this type of criticism is to understand the possible meanings of cultural phenomena, and the context in which they take shape. (however) criticism can occur in any area of human life and can take many different forms.
6 Practical Criticism and I.A. Richards It began in the 1920s with a series of experiments by the Cambridge critic I.A. Richards. He gave poems to students without any information about who wrote them or when they were written. The objective of his work was to encourage students to concentrate on 'the words on the page', rather than relying on preconceived or received beliefs about a text. Practical criticism today is more usually treated as an ancillary skill rather than the foundation of a critical method. It is a part of many examinations in literature at almost all levels, and is used to test students' responsiveness to what they read.
7 Literary Criticism: Goals of the Literary Critic Unlock the author s message or meaning. Discover the truth of the literature Establish criteria for what is great literature Examine and judge the literary techniques employed Figures of speech and rhetorical structures Style, word choice, dialogue, etc. Discover what the text is Reader is passive recipient of knowledge
8 Reader-Response Criticism Emerged during the 1970s Poses the question, If a book sits on a shelf and is never read, does it have meaning? Focus on what the text does to, or in the mind of, the reader. Multiple experiences with a text; multiple truths. Tries to understand and define what is off the wall and what is the wall Value texts that make readers work to discover meaning Reader constructs truth or meaning, not author.
9 Conclusion of the Lesson and Exit Question: Exit Questions: 1. What is the job of a critic? 2. Who is I.A. Richards? What form of criticism did he develop? Please show your work to your instructor for credit. The lesson/activity in this unit will ask you to work with a group and investigate a concept or idea from selection of topics related to the novel Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut.
10 Lesson 2: The Modern and Postmodern Please take out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Please write your name, the date, and the title at the top of the paper: The Modern and Post-Modern We will be taking notes and discussing the Modern and Post- Modern eras, as well as looking at some examples in art and architecture. Please record notes on your paper. At the conclusion of the lesson we will check work for credit.
11 The Modern Movement: Response to the previous eras (Victorian, Romantic) though still contains elements. Time of wild experimentation Political movements communism, fascism, Nazism, anarchy Art and Literature movements Surrealism, Dadaism, Cubism, Expressionism Philosophical Existentialism, Primitivism, Minimalism Questioning of Enlightenment / Victorian values: Religion, progress, capitalism, new imperialism, empires, industry
12 Self-reflexivity: artist/characters examine self Exploration of psychological and subjective states: Reject objectivity and realism in favor of expressionism and subjectivity Alternate ways of thinking about representation and form Cubism sees subject from multiple perspectives at the same time Breakdown in traditional genres poetry and prose intermingle Breakdown in high and low art forms pop culture appears in works of art Use of parody and irony
13 The Postmodern Movement: 1945-Present Possible continuation of Modernism or radical break? Technological influence (TV, film, computer, radio) Extreme self-reflexivity Scary Movie character debate the rules of a scary movie Foe, by J.M. Coetzee writes about the act of writing (Vonnegut in SHV) Irony and Parody (retell old story in a new light) Simpsons and South Park Extreme breakdown between high and low culture Andy Warhol s reproduction of Campbell s Soup cans Spiegelman's Maus, graphic novel depicting Holocaust wins Pulitzer Prize
14 Questioning grand narratives Breakdown of status quo morals, expectations, religion, government Late Capitalism General sense there is no option besides capitalism Result in fear and paranoia (Matrix, Bladerunner, 1984, Fight Club, etc.) Disorientation Lack of historical understanding, blurring of reality and fiction (reality television, MTV culture)
15 Quiz on Slaughterhouse V Chapters 1-3 Please take out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Please write your name, the date, and the title at the top of the paper: Quiz SHV: Chapters 1-3 You will be answering some questions from chapters 1-3 of Slaughterhouse V. Please answer your questions using complete sentences and complete thoughts. Following the quiz we will grade it as a class and record scores.
16 1. Who is the narrator in the first chapter? How can we be sure? What is different about the narrator and this chapter in general from your typical novel? 2. How does the author feel about anti-war novels? Use and cite one quote from the text to help you answer this question. 3. What is the narrators reasoning about why this novel is jumbled and jangled (19)? Use and cite one quote from the text to help you answer this question. 4. What are the alternate titles to this novel? Why are they significant? 5. What is Billy Pilgrim s profession? 6. What is the Tralfamadorin philosophy on time and death? Use and cite one quote from the text to help you answer this question. 7. Describe Roland Weary? What kind of guy is he? Use at least one example from the novel. Directly quote it and cite in-text. 8. Who are the Three Musketeers? 9. What religious figure did Billy see in the reflection of the German s boots?
17 Lesson 3: Psychoanalytic Criticism Sigmund Freud born May 6, Austrian Empire (Czech Republic). Father of psychoanalytic thought. Popular psychological ideas: Id, Ego, Superego, repressed memories, interpretation of dreams, talk therapy. Escaped Austria during the Nazi expansion into Europe. Writing Prompt: Please do your best to describe your dreams. Are there any commonalities? Re-occurring dreams? Good? Bad? Nightmare? Then do your best to separate your self from yourself and interpret your dreams. What do they mean? Symbols? What do they reveal about your personality? Following our writing prompt, we will share responses. We will write some commonalities on the board as we attempt to delve into the psyche. Please take notes.
18 Basics of Psychoanalysis Dualities of the human mind: Id unconscious realm, irrational, and unknown mind. Reveals itself through dreams. Contains repressed desires. Ego the rational, logical, orderly, conscious mind. Superego a projection of the ego; seems outside of oneself; making moral judgements; telling us to make sacrifices for good causes, even if it seems illogical or irrational; largely learned from societal expectations.
19 The Psychoanalytic Critic: 1. Acts like a psychologist and analyzes either: The main character their actions, thoughts, relationships The author analyze symbols, metaphors, characters, or plot as expressions of the Id, ego, and/or superego 2. Can describe: The desires of the Id The rational of the Ego The judgements/standards of the Superego 3. Often gives a clinical diagnosis to the author or main character: Defines or describes symptoms of the particular neuroses Finds examples, quotes to illustrate each symptom
20 Quiz on Slaughterhouse V Chapters 5 and 6 Please take out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Please write your name, the date, and the title at the top of the paper: Quiz SHV: Chapters 5 and 6 You will be answering some questions from chapters 5 and 6 of Slaughterhouse V. Please answer your questions using complete sentences and complete thoughts. Following the quiz we will grade it as a class and record scores.
21 1. Compare and contrast the condition and morale of the British POWs and the American POWs. 2. What two people visit Billy at the Veteran s hospital? 3. Describe the zoo Billy is kept in on Tralfamadore. 4. How do the Tralfamadorians respond to him? 5. What did Lazzaro do to a dog one time? 6. Describe how Billy Pilgrim dies. 7. How does the narrator describe the city of Dresden when Billy arrives? 8. Describe how Billy and the other Americans appear to the Germans when they arrive in Dresden.
22 Quiz on Slaughterhouse V Chapters 8-10 Please take out a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Please write your name, the date, and the title at the top of the paper: Quiz SHV: Chapters 8-10 You will be answering some questions from chapters 8-10 of Slaughterhouse V. Please answer your questions using complete sentences and complete thoughts. Following the quiz we will grade it as a class and record scores.
23 1. How did Billy s wife, Valencia, die? 2. Describe Billy s wagon ride back to the Slaughterhouse after the bombing of Dresden. How did he feel? How did the narrator describe the wagon? What was the weather like? 3. What prayer is on Montana Wildhack s necklace? If you don t know the name of it, describe what it is about. 4. Why does K.V. reintroduce himself into the narrative at the beginning of chapter 10? 5. What happens to Billy and Vonnegut s stories on page 212? 6. How is the supposed climax of the novel, Derby s execution, presented? What do you think is the climax of the novel? 7. Describe the ending of the novel.
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