Critical Lenses Summaries

1) Psychoanalytic Criticism, Jungian Criticism(1930s-present)

Sigmund Freud theorizes that we have a system that processes our behaviour based on desires and past experiences. In our mind, we have an id, location of our desires, an ego, which battles against our id, and a superego, which serves as judgement between the other two areas. The events of our past play a role in how we react to events in the present. In relation to literature, this criticism is used to interpret the used concepts in a text to develop more understanding of the work. Psychoanalytic criticism gives a perspective of why someone does something by looking at their unconscious.

2) Marxist Criticism (1930s-present)

Karl Marx proposes that our socioeconomic system drives our desires. We are convinced to proceed with an action not for the experience, but the reward that accompanies it. Our position in the class hierarchy also serves as a factor in how we act. Society goes through a cycle of contradiction, tension, and revolution as it evolves. These three aspects are clearly seen in the media, especially literature.

3) Post-Colonial Criticism (1990s-present)

Post-colonial criticism focuses on texts created by those associated with colonization. It exposes the negative impacts that European colonialism had on all the societies it had conquered. Western history and literary canon dominants knowledge making, and western society is centralized, alienating all other societies and degrading them as less significant. Race, religion, class, gender, sexual orientation, cultural beliefs, and/or customs are often indicators of how characters within a text a categorized and segregated. It is important when analyzing a text how it shapes our perception of a character and how they are glorified or demonized.

4) Feminist Criticism (1960s-present)

Feminist criticism states that women are oppressed economically, politically, socially, and psychologically. This affects how literature is analyzed due to the different treatment of women in society and how it can be reflected in many texts. It it significant to how a person’s levels of masculinity and femininity alters how they are perceived to others. Gender inequality is transparent in western civilization as it was built on a patriarchal ideology. Misogyny is a major issue in all forms of media.

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Critical Lenses Summaries

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