Write an essay that provides a critique of the formalism of the New Criticism and/or Structuralism. Your critique must be informed by the theory of Marx, Freud, Iser or Kolodny. (By definition, a formalist literary theory is one that maintains it is unnecessary to consider any extrinsic/external factors in the analysis of a literary text. For a variety of reasons, which you need to explain, formalist literary theories focus on the literary text in itself.) what might one of these non-formalist literary theorists say about the methods of the New Criticism and/or Structuralism? What does the non-formalist theory say about the nature or definition of the literary object of study? The essay assignment will require that you first explain the formalist theory before you critique it. Be sure to use and dine those important concepts that make possible a particular theory or idea.

Do not feel compelled simply to pit one of the theories against formalism. Rather, where possible, suggest points of agreement and common concerns. You will need to argue, explain, and support your ideas.

Choose one or both

New Criticism:
John Crowe Ransom – Criticism, Inc

Tzvetan Todorov – Structural Analysis of Narrative

Choose only one

Karl Marx — From Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
From The German Ideology (1845-46)
From Grundrisse (1857-58)
From Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859)
Sigmund Freud — From the Interpretation of Dreams ( Chapter V and VI)

Wolfgang Iser — Interaction between Text and Reader (1980)

Annette Kolodny — Dancing through the Minefield: Some Observations on the Theory, Practice, and Politics of a Feminist Literary Criticism (1980)

Underline thesis Statement
Underline topic sentence (one topic, point or idea per paragraph)
Do NOT use quotes as topic sentences
DO NOT use outside sources
Please use direct quotes from the texts to support your critique
You must quote each of the theorists that you are working on

6 pages MLA

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