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Literary CriticismA Brief Guide to Major Branches What is Literary Criticism The study of literary works through varioustheoretical lenses The Branches . Every work of literature can be analyzed in adifferent way by each reader critic Not every branch applies to every work Genre Criticism Argues how a work conforms to and rejects .the guidelines of a particular genre Best applied to a work that is not clearly inone genre Example The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn hasbeen recommended for and also banned from.schools and can be argued to be a realist novel ora romantic novel Author Criticism Analyzes a work of literature according to theauthor s life experience . This lens looks to see what happened to anauthor that influenced him her to write thework as a whole major elements of itincluding tone and style Ex Herman Melville s experience as a whaler led.to his writing of Moby Dick and the character ofCapt Ahab New Historicism This approach asks critics to examine the era inwhich a work was written to see what elements.influenced its creation Elements from the time period are referred to asHistorical Context This could include othernovels artwork music poetry philosophy andpolitical events . Example The industrial revolution was exploding whenMary Wollstonecraft Shelly wrote Frankenstein Marxist Criticism Named for social philosopher Karl Marx whoexamined class relationships and peoples .relationship to money and property capital Critics are to look at the relationship of howcharacters start and end up according to capitaland how each class is regarded by the author In The Great Gatsby the rich characters are unfeeling.to the emotions of the poor and Gatsby dies for thesin of trying to be wealthy though not born to it Psychoanalytical Criticism Approach asks readers to look at theemotional and psychological issues that.characters demonstrate as though they werereal people Diagnoses characters based on symptoms displayed Example Susie Salmon in The Lovely Bones .though dead deals with the psychological effectsof rape in the same way a real victim would Gender Criticism Examines the role of women in a work ofliterature in terms of their actions treatment.from other characters and outcome The absence of women from various roles oraltogether can reveal as much as theirpresence at times Example In most early Disney movies the female.lead was only to be a loyal daughter cook clean look pretty and to be rescued and then married Gender Criticism Queer Theory This branch of gender criticism searches forsecret and often times not so secret .homosexual or homoerotic themes inliterature Looks at same gendered relationships to see ifthere are possibly other interpretations fortheir behavior and feelings . In the Iliad were Achilles and Patroclus just reallyclose friends or something more Mythological Archetype Criticism Analyzes characters and stories versus prep established archetypes from literature . Compares characters settings symbols andeven plots to archetypes from human history Piggy from Lord of the Flies fulfills the archetypalrole of outcast in the novel due to his personaltraits and mannerisms politeness weight glasses.In the Iliad, were Achilles and Patroclus just really close friends or something more? Mythological/Archetype Criticism Analyzes characters and stories versus prep-established archetypes from literature.