"Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten."
     -B. F. Skinner
Before that happens, it's time to recollect, synthesize, absorb and think critically.
Literary Criticism 1, Fall 2000
Final exam
 Online Multiple-Choice questions
1.  For New Critics, the unity in the best literary work is achieved through paradox, irony and ambiguity.  Do you agree?  Use a literary text we have discussed in class to illustrate
1) how it's unity is or is not formed through one of the three elements above,
2) whether the statement above (the underlined part) is an (or the) important factor in deciding the work's value.
2. Freudian psychoanalysis teaches us, among other things, how to analyze a text's characters through uncovering  their unconscious motives and wishes and finding their causes in the characters' childhood development.  Use one of our texts to practice this approach and then discuss whether there are any limitations to this approach.

3. Some believe that the author is dead after his/her work is finished.   How will you look at this statement from one of the following three approaches: New Criticism, Freudian Psychoanalysis and Reader Response.  Again, use an author(film director included) and his/her text as an example to illustrate your views of the relationship between the author and his/her text.

4. What is patriarchy?  What kind of sex/gender hierarchy is implied in traditional literature and language?  Give two examples and briefly explain them.  How does ®L¦t subvert traditional patriarchal values?  How does she deal with the binary oppositions between male/female, active/passive, human/beastly?

5. For some feminists, the personal is political and cultural representations construct our gender.   Use one or two texts  (including music videos, paintings, films and literary texts) to explain the statement above.  You are not limited to the texts we have dealt with.

 6.  New Critics' argument that form and content are inseparable still holds true to a certain degree.  However, both form and content can be pluralized by writers or readers: a psychoanalytic critic may uncover from literary form sublimation or condensation of the author's repressed desires; a contemporary feminist writer may use multiple form (e.g. fairy tale, dramatic monologue) to convey multiple  messages.  Choose one text (we have dealt with) to discuss its multiple (or dual) form and/or message from a psychoanalytic or feminist perspective.

7.  There are different kinds of mothers in some of the texts we have read: ¡q¥À¿Ë¡r¡A"The Jilting of Granny Weatherall," Psycho, "Should Wizard Hit Mommy?" "Araby," The Piano, "The Baby-Sitter" (and?).  Choose two to compare and make sense of your comparison. 

8.  What is Literary Criticism?  Some Reader Response critics believe that there is no text in the classroom; only readers who form a reading community.  Therefore, there is no "correct" reading of a text; only what the reading community agrees on.   Do you agree?  (In other words, what do you think are the possible relationships between a text and its readers?)  Use one text to illustrate your reasons.