The Importance of Context in Understanding Literature Essays

The Importance of Context in Understanding Literature Essays

Length: 3000 words (8.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

From the onset of the twentieth century there has been an ongoing debate on context and text. Literary theorists all over the world propounded many theories that either divorced the two or made their bond stronger. From the 1920s there came a wave of critical theories, the New Critics pleaded for critical monism. The New Criticism took the poem as a work of art, a structure having an independent existence. They completely divorced the work of art from the biographical, sociological context; removed the piece of literature from time and space and made the work an independent, autonomous and self-contained entity. Criticism, according to the Structuralists, is an activity and it is not concerned about the world but with certain linguistic formulations. Deconstruction presumes that literature is a form of writing. A poem or a novel or a story is a structure of traces. A critic who makes an attempt to discover the meaning of a word in a poem or the poem as a whole does one thing- that is, he substitutes one word for another or indulges in a play with words.
Reader Response critics believed that the meaning lies not in the texts but in the minds of the reader. For them, a text does not exist without a reader. They, too, focused on a context but from a point of view of the reader. The readers according to his/her own experience connotes the meaning, which is to say that his /her own context, era in which the reader is living has edge over that of the author’s. The Feminist Critics approach the text from a woman’s point of view. The context remained a women’s world, her roles and duties, her sufferings, according to which she could interpret the text. New Historicism resituates the text in the context. Postcolonial criticism, particular...


... middle of paper ...


... : A Critical Approach. Routledge:New York:2007.
20. Iyengar, K R Srinivas. Indian Writing in English. Sterling Publishers Private Ltd. New Delhi: 1987.
21. Louis Althusser, Ideology and Ideological State Appratus
22. Prasad, Amar Nath. The Plays of Vijay Tendulkar: Critical Explorations. Sarup and Sons. New Delhi: 2008.
23. Premchand, The Shroud and Twenty Other Stories. Sagar Publication:1972.
24. Ratra, Amiteshwar et.al. Marriage and Family. Deep and Deep Publications Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi: 2006.
25. Said, Edward. Orientalism. Vintage Books: 1979.
26. Senapati, Fakir Mohan, Six Acres and a Third. Penguin: New Delhi: 2006.
27. Tendulkar, Vijay. Five Plays. Oxford University Press, New Delhi: 2010
28. Wolfreys, Julian, Ruth Robbins and Kenneth Womack. Key Concepts in Literary Theory. Edinburgh University Press, Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi:2002.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The World of Importance: Context in The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich

- What do you believe the most important element of a piece of literature is. Is it the characters. The plot. The use of imagery. These are all-important elements and add to the overall piece to give the reader some understanding of the story. One thing many readers pass over though is the underlying context of a story. Context is defined as anything beyond the specific words of a literary work that may be relevant to understanding of the story's meaning. Context can include but is not limited to: culture, economics, and history....   [tags: literature, cultural context, plot]

Research Papers
1131 words (3.2 pages)

The Importance of Education Essay

- Most people will argue that college education in fields like traditional liberal arts and career-oriented subjects such as business, engineering and science is a stepping stone to success, and I agree because it provides one with broad knowledge, increased opportunities and greater potentials to succeed in life. The traditional liberal arts have been the foundation of advanced learning since dateless times. The idea that traditional liberal arts education at college level gives broad knowledge aims at broadening the mind....   [tags: Importance of Education]

Research Papers
1423 words (4.1 pages)

Social Work Literature Review Essay

- Literature Review INTRODUCTION It is of paramount consideration that social workers are conscious of, aware and sensitive to the cultural demands of their clientele. This is because culture is a pivotal factor upon which a great deal of conduct, norms, social connections and mindsets of clients revolve. For social workers there is need to understand and appreciate how cultural traditions influence relationships with a diverse panorama of client needs and demands....   [tags: Literature Review]

Free Essays
1904 words (5.4 pages)

The Importance Of New Zealand Organizations And The Context Of Which They Operate

- 97% of enterprises in New Zealand are small businesses, of these 459,300 organisations, 326,000 of them have zero employees, 97,400 (micro businesses) have 1-5 employees and 35,900 (small businesses) hire between 6-19 employees (Small business report, 2014). Despite the fact that the majority of organisations in New Zealand are small organisations it contributes to nearly 30% of New Zealand’s GDP (Small business report, 2014). In order to compete in any marketplace we must firstly consider the nature of New Zealand organisations and the context of which they operate....   [tags: Human resource management, Management]

Research Papers
2237 words (6.4 pages)

The Importance of Setting in Literature Essay

- ... Marriage, children, and a steady job were these the consequences Kreb’s spoke of when he mentioned courting the women in this town. Possibly, and he knew that he wasn’t going to live a lie any longer. Second, what is the mood of this story trying to portray with the setting. The importance of setting could add atmosphere and tone. Another really great point made by Meredith Bond, “atmosphere and tone: it gives a feeling to the story. It establishes an atmosphere so you know what kind of story it is going to be (Bond).” The setting created a very somber and regretful mood for Kreb’s....   [tags: story elements]

Research Papers
905 words (2.6 pages)

Framing Apologies in a Political and Diplomatic Context Essay

- Introduction This essay is an analysis of the 2005 paper, by Janna Thompson, “Apology, justice and respect: a critical defence of political apology.” A paper presented at the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics 12th Annual Conference, Adelaide, September 28–30. This paper can be found at http://www.unisa.edu.au/hawkeinstitute/gig/aapae05/documents/thompson.pdf. Summary This paper critically evaluates the importance of negotiations and expansive discourse in framing apologies, especially in a political and diplomatic context....   [tags: critical defence of political apology]

Research Papers
794 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on The Importance of Distinction in Literary Theory and Criticism

- It has been said, From the hour of the invention of printing, books, and not kings, were to rule the world. Weapons forged in the mind, keen-edged, and brighter than a sunbeam, were to supplant the sword and battle-axe. Books. lighthouses built on the sea of time. Books. by whose sorcery the whole pageantry of the world's history moves in solemn procession before our eyes. From their pages great souls look down in all their grandeur, undimmed by the faults and follies of earthly existence, consecrated by time (Whipple 386)....   [tags: Literature]

Research Papers
1353 words (3.9 pages)

Importance Of Science Fiction ( Sf ) Essay

- 1.1. The importance of science fiction (SF) in our time is on the increase. First, there are strong indications that its popularity in the leading industrial nations (United States, USSR, United Kingdom, Japan) has risen sharply over the last 100 years, despite all the local and short-range fluctuations. SF has particularly affected such key strata or groups of modern society as college graduates, young writers, and the avant-garde of general readers appreciative of new sets of values. This is a significant cultural effect which goes beyond any merely quantitative census....   [tags: Fiction, Literature, Utopia, Genre]

Research Papers
803 words (2.3 pages)

Literature in the ESL Curriculum Essay

- The place of literature in education Why read literature. To many of us, such a question seems as strange as asking “why breathe?” as literature has been part of our life, family, school, and community for as long as we can remember. Of course, there are those who argue that what today’s students need is preparation for the “real world,” but in the push for practical preparedness we sometimes overlook the importance of educating students’ imaginations. Literature offers windows to worlds outside students’ experience as well as mirrors onto the world they already know....   [tags: English as a second language]

Research Papers
1866 words (5.3 pages)

Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion Essay

- "Any critical reading of a text will be strengthened by a knowledge of how a text is valued by readers in differing contexts." Discuss this statement and show how your critical understanding of the text has been strengthened by at least two different readings. Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion is a text that is given new meaning when viewed from differing perspectives. Readers approach the text with their own unique past and experience, which influences their perception and interpretation of the novel....   [tags: Ondaatje Skin Lion Context]

Free Essays
1140 words (3.3 pages)