The Criticism Of The Western Canon Essay

The Criticism Of The Western Canon Essay

Length: 1418 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The western canon suffers from a disservice in that it is greatly homogeneous. That is most of the authors are dead, white western European men, and the literature reflects, almost, solely western beliefs. By lacking multiculturalism our students are denied a significant amount of insight into other cultures of the world. This among many other attributes of our culture can generate stigma towards outsides and develop xenophobia. Some are against multiculturalism as they view these books and their lessons to be a significant part of American culture (Cope and Kalantzis 285). But this injection into the cannon is inevitable, Kayhan Irani aspires for a global canon which envelops other cultures of the world though, this will require hard work ("THE BIG QUESTION: Is There a Global Canon?" 4). Embracing multiculturalism by developing our canon could deter ignorance among students and improve our culture for the better. The wester canon is far too homogenous, as a result this closes off our students from other cultures which can be of great benefit and interests to them. While acts of the hegemony of the United States would prefer to keep it in its current state for the sake of cultural tradition all the while such nationalism only plants seeds of xenophobia in our increasingly open and global society.
There is a consensus that the canon is a reflection of American culture or rather the predominate American culture. Which focuses on white middle class men who are, more likely than not, protestant. It can be safely assumed that the canon reinforces this stereotype, as experts such as Bailin observe. While the setting in most literature novels is vastly different from our own. The central characters are almost always white men,...


... middle of paper ...


...ed them to become more connected to the text.
A popular mantra in regards to education is that students are the future. Yet Americans are less concerned with investing in the future. Most would rather cut funding for education and continue teaching using conservative methods, especially in regards to the usage of the canon. This should not be accepted in the increasingly interconnected world students live in. Students need to understand and even appreciate other cultures. Even more so they should be able to observe their own from the different perspectives offered by literature. As is the canon cannot accomplish this, while the literature held within it hold value in the form of self-enrichment they no longer even remotely relate to students’ culture. Through the teaching of diverse of classical texts this can be achieved. Students gain insight into the

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Trilling: On Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness Essay

- Trilling on Conrad’s Heart of Darkness In the analyses of both Trilling and Achebe, the merit of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is contemplated intricately. Unlike the accusatory criticism of Achebe’s essay which considers the novella an incompetent and offensive gesture that is unfit for canonical recognition, Trilling’s analysis wrests the various themes and implications of the story, greatly rendering the ambivalent dispositions of the characters and emphasizing the historic relevance and transcendence of the content....   [tags: Literacy, Criticism]

Strong Essays
935 words (2.7 pages)

Quest for Self-Identity in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing and The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

- As the post-colonial criticism developed, the theorists have agreed upon the fact that the role of feminism in the post-colonial practice is crucial. Moreover, these two theories clearly have the same goals. On the one hand, the main objective of both of them is to disclose the traditional power structures, both patriarchal and imperial. On the other hand, both feminism and post-colonial criticism aim to show the way the writers challenge the respective forms of authority. The main concerns of the post-colonial criticism are the formation of canon, the phases through which imperialism and decolonization have gone, as well as how these processes are expressed in literature....   [tags: history, post-colonial criticism]

Strong Essays
2151 words (6.1 pages)

The New Testament Canon Is Not One Universal Bible Essay

- There is not one universal Bible, just as there is not one universal Christian church. There is actually a separate canon for each major division of the church such as, Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox, however each has the same New Testament of 27 books. The New Testament canon is the compilation of four books called gospels, one book that is the foundation of the early church, twenty-one letters, and one book of prophecy. This paper focuses on some of the contributing factors to creating this compilation....   [tags: New Testament, Bible, Christianity, Biblical canon]

Strong Essays
1495 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Feminist Criticism And Post Colonial Criticism

- Through the excerpts from Pixley, Carvalho and Kim, the basis of both liberation theology/liberation criticism and post-colonial criticism stem from their focus on the marginalized, whether that be natives or “The Other” and the interplay between these two criticism can be observed through their opposition to the dominant culture, the necessity of educating the marginalized and giving them a voice, and their analysis of the text through hermeneutics and its application in each criticism. Both Liberation Criticism and Post-Colonial Criticism are rooted in their opposition to the dominant culture and while Post-colonialists might prominently be concerned with western ideologies permeating thr...   [tags: Sociology, United States, Western culture]

Strong Essays
710 words (2 pages)

All Quiet on the Western Front Essay: Effective Criticism of War

- All Quiet on the Western Front:  Effective Criticism of War              All Quiet on the Western Front was a sad tale of Paul Bäumer, a lad just entering adulthood, who fought in a war that he did not even believe in. Erich Maria Remarque wrote this novel to show the war through the eyes of Paul, who saw everything that happened; every death, every horror, and all the bloodshed. Remarque denounced war by showing how it destroys human lives and, more  importantly, how it devours the human soul....   [tags: All Quiet on the Western Front Essays]

Free Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)

The Canon of Scripture Essays

- Most Christians do not think about the canon of scripture or know what it is or means in theology. Most take for granted the Bible they have and never question how it came into being. Today, we have 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament. There was a time, however, that we did not have a canon. Bruce defines canon as books of the Bible that were recognized to be considered scripture (p. 17). The importance of the canon and how it was developed was intriguing to professor and author F.F....   [tags: Bible, New Testament]

Strong Essays
1185 words (3.4 pages)

Lady Mary Wroth as Proto-Feminist Essay

- Lady Mary Wroth as Proto-Feminist Lady Mary Wroth is one of very few canonized woman poets in the 17th century canon (Strickland lect. Oct 11 94.). This fact alone lends a type of importance to Wroth that sets her off from her male contemporaries. Wroth wrote poems at about the same time that Robert Herrick, John Donne, Andrew Marvell, and Sir Philip Sidney (to name a few) wrote their courtly lyrics. Wroth wasn't the only woman writer from the time, instead, she was simply one of very few that were saved from historical anonymity....   [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]

Strong Essays
3171 words (9.1 pages)

Essay about Analysis of The Canon's Yeoman's Tale

- Summary and Analysis of The Canon's Yeoman's Tale (The Canterbury Tales) Prologue to the Canon's Yeoman's Tale: When the story of Saint Cecilia was finished and the company continued on their journey, they came across two men. One of them was clad all in black and had been traveling quickly on their horses; the narrator believes that he must be a canon (an alchemist). The Canon's Yeoman said that they wished to join the company on their journey, for they had heard of their tales. The Host asked if the Canon could tell a tale, and the Yeoman answers that the Canon knows tales of mirth and jollity, and is a man whom anybody would be honored to know....   [tags: Canterbury Tales The Canon's Yeoman's Tale Essays]

Strong Essays
760 words (2.2 pages)

Anatomy of Criticism Essay

- Anatomy of Criticism   Introduction In his Anatomy of Criticism, Northrop Frye offers a complex theory that aspires to describe a unifying system for literary criticism. It can be argued, however, that in attempting to delineate such an all-inclusive structure, Frye's system eliminates identity in literature. The present essay takes up this argument and offers examples of how identity is precluded by Frye's system as outlined in Anatomy of Criticism. Structure Vs. Identity In Frye's system, the organizing principles that give literature coherence and structure are derived from the myths of ancient Greece and the archetypal imagery found in the Bible....   [tags: Anatomy of Criticism Essays]

Strong Essays
1252 words (3.6 pages)

Canon Essay

- Can we rest assured that the writings of the New Testament are accurate, and do we know for certain that the canon of the New Testament is complete. The question is profoundly significant, and it bears eternal consequences, because in order to trust and obey God, it’s imperative that we are one-hundred percent certain that we have God’s words. The Biblical canon can be defined as follows: “The canon is the list of all the books that belong in the Bible” (Grudem, 54). Moreover, the New Testament canon begins with the apostolic writings, because the apostles were given special help by the Holy Spirit to recall and interpret the sayings and teachings of Jesus (John 14:26; 16:13-14)....   [tags: Philosophy, Religion, God, The Bible]

Free Essays
912 words (2.6 pages)