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Literary Theory


Submitted By Sanni
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Question: 1

This paper examines the polemical issues in the application of literary theories to the field of literature and literary criticism. Out of the several modern approaches to literary criticism as employed by the critics, four literary theories are strategically chosen for analysis in this paper; Formalism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism/Deconstruction and Marxism.

This work is objectively carried out by consulting articles, journals and books written on the literary theories. The opportunity of information technology via the internet is also utilized.

It is established in the course of writing this paper that literary theories are indispensable tools for literature to achieve its goal of sensitizing its audience towards literary awareness.

The application of literary theories to literature, that enhance better and detail insight into text or literary works, would continue to be relevant and make literature more enjoyable and meaningful to its readers and users. Further research and enquiry into the relationship between the two (literature and literary theory) is open and should further be exploited.

Keywords: literary theory, literary criticism, Marxism, Formalism, Structuralism, Post-structuralism

Literary criticism is the study, evaluation and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals. Though the two activities are closely related, literary critics are not always, and have not always been, theorists. It has become a controversy whether literary criticism should be considered as separate entity from literary theory. For example, Johns Hopkins’ Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism draws no distinction between literary theory and literary criticism, and almost uses the terms together to describe the same

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