applying three theoretical lenses to the book When the Emperor was Divine

timer Asked: Oct 20th, 2018
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Question Description

For your midterm you will be applying ALL three theoretical lenses we have learned about so far to When the Emperor was Divine. You will be submitting them through the Turnitin link in a word document.

**Note that you can use either Jungian or Freudian psychoanalysis (or both).

For each theoretical approach, New Criticism/Formalism, Structuralism, and Psychoanalytic Criticism, you will need to do the following:

  1. Tell me what theoretical lens you are using, and in a sentence or two, define what critics using that lens focus on.
  2. You must identify and analyze one concrete aspect of that lens. Include the text and cite it with a page number. For example, if you were using Formalism/New Criticism, this could be identifying a metaphor in the text.
  3. Explain how that aspect adds to the meaning of the text. For example, what does the metaphor add? How does it impact the reader?
  4. You need to write one paragraph (7-10 sentences) per approach.

**You can use the handouts and ONLY the handouts to develop your analysis. You will be graded on the material that I provided and how you apply it to the readings.

Let me know if you need access to the book.

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Structuralism Why We Read— Generally speaking, a structuralist reads to identify and understand fundamental structures in absolutely anything by seeing a text (object, event, document, action, etc.) as part of an even larger system. Of course, a literary structuralist focuses on structures in "literary" texts (and a structuralist would help define "literary" by studying the deep structure in texts we label "literary"). The project is pseudoscientific because a structuralist supposedly only maps what is there. She does not evaluate; she only charts and compares or links one structure with another. A grammarian is a perfect example of a structuralist because she doesn’t care about the content of the sentences she maps. She cares about how certain words function within a sentence. A structuralist does the exact same thing with literary texts; she wants to map the "grammar" of the text she studies. How We Read— You may want to consider these questions. While the questions here will help you, my writing hints also provide a kind of step-by-step methodology. 1. Look for repetitions, patterns, echoes, and oppositions in people, places, language, objects, movement, and decisions. 2. Uncover the implications of the repetitions and oppositions by exploring the relationships of similarity and difference that link the story’s events and actions. This is where you look for the metaphorical content in the people, places, language, objects, movement, and decisions. This is where you try to identify the allusions, the "subtexts," the connections between other texts. 3. Use your observations to come up with your claims as to the text’s function, not meaning. Or put another way, the text's function is its meaning. Interpretation depends heavily on your ability to make connections, and this ability will improve as you read, study, and observe. One could argue that education is the process of learning to make connections. More connections become possible as you learn more. Glossary of Structuralist Terms Internal Text Analysis repetition- what words, ideas, images repeat? rhyme-Are there rhyming words? Are there patterns of rhyming words? stanza structure- What is the structure of the stanzas (only relevant when analyzing poetry or songs) Whole Text Analysis— fragmented—going back and forth in time with combinations of chronologies in media res—beginning more or less in the middle of events projections chronological—linear telling of events backward—starting at the end and working toward the beginning forward—starting at the beginning and working toward the end circular—a reflection that begins anywhere, goes to the end, works its way to the beginning, and eventually gets back to where it started flashbacks—looking back into time Typical questions: • • • • • What patterns or repetition do you see within the text? What is the structure of the text? Is the structure of the text similar to other texts you can think of? Analyze the text's narrative operations...can you speculate about the relationship between the...[text]... and the culture from which the text emerged? In other words, what patterns exist within the text that make it a product of a larger culture? What patterns exist within the text that connect it to the larger "human" experience? In other words, can we connect patterns and elements within the text to other texts from other cultures to map similarities that tell us more about the common human experience? This is a liberal humanist move that assumes that since we are all human, we all share basic human commonalities. Adapted from Psychoanalytic Criticism (1930s-present) Psychoanalytic criticism adopts the methods of "reading" employed by Freud and later theorists to interpret texts. It argues that literary texts, like dreams, express the secret unconscious desires and anxieties of the author, that a literary work is a manifestation of the author's own neuroses. One may psychoanalyze a particular character within a literary work, but it is usually assumed that all such characters are projections of the author's psyche. One interesting facet of this approach is that it validates the importance of literature, as it is built on a literary key for the decoding. Freud himself wrote, "The dream-thoughts which we first come across as we proceed with our analysis often strike us by the unusual form in which they are expressed; they are not clothed in the prosaic language usually employed by our thoughts, but are on the contrary represented symbolically by means of similes and metaphors, in images resembling those of poetic speech" (26). Like psychoanalysis itself, this critical endeavor seeks evidence of unresolved emotions, psychological conflicts, guilts, ambivalences, and so forth within what may well be a disunified literary work. The author's own childhood traumas, family life, sexual conflicts, fixations, and such will be traceable within the behavior of the characters in the literary work. But psychological material will be expressed indirectly, disguised, or encoded (as in dreams) through principles such as "symbolism" (the repressed object represented in disguise), "condensation" (several thoughts or persons represented in a single image), and "displacement" (anxiety located onto another image by means of association). Despite the importance of the author here, psychoanalytic criticism is similar to New Criticism in not concerning itself with "what the author intended." But what the author never intended (that is, repressed) is sought. The unconscious material has been distorted by the censoring conscious mind. Sigmund Freud Psychoanalytic criticism builds on Freudian theories of psychology. While we don't have the room here to discuss all of Freud's work, a general overview is necessary to explain psychoanalytic literary criticism. The Unconscious, the Desires, and the Defenses Freud began his psychoanalytic work in the 1880s while attempting to treat behavioral disorders in his Viennese patients. He dubbed the disorders 'hysteria' and began treating them by listening to his patients talk through their problems. Based on this work, Freud asserted that people's behavior is affected by their unconscious: "...the notion that human beings are motivated, even driven, by desires, fears, needs, and conflicts of which they are unaware..." (Tyson 14-15). Freud believed that our unconscious was influenced by childhood events. Freud organized these events into developmental stages involving relationships with parents and drives of desire and pleasure where children focus "...on different parts of the body...starting with the mouth...shifting to the oral, anal, and phallic phases..." (Richter 1015). These stages reflect base levels of desire, but they also involve fear of loss (loss of genitals, loss of affection from parents, loss of life) and repression: "...the expunging from consciousness of these unhappy psychological events" (Tyson 15).To keep all of this conflict buried in our unconscious, Freud argued that we develop defenses: selective perception, selective memory, denial, displacement, projection, regression, fear of intimacy, and fear of death, among others. Id, Ego, and Superego Freud maintained that our desires and our unconscious conflicts give rise to three areas of the mind that wrestle for dominance as we grow from infancy, to childhood, to adulthood: • • • id - "...the location of the drives" or libido ego - " of the major defenses against the power of the drives..." and home of the defenses listed above superego - the area of the unconscious that houses Judgment (of self and others) and "...which begins to form during childhood as a result of the Oedipus complex" (Richter 1015-1016) Oedipus Complex Freud believed that the Oedipus complex was " of the most powerfully determinative elements in the growth of the child" (Richter 1016). Essentially, the Oedipus complex involves children's need for their parents and the conflict that arises as children mature and realize they are not the absolute focus of their mother's attention: "the Oedipus complex begins in a late phase of infantile sexuality, between the child's third and sixth year, and it takes a different form in males than it does in females" (Richter 1016). Freud argued that both boys and girls wish to possess their mothers, but as they grow older "...they begin to sense that their claim to exclusive attention is thwarted by the mother's attention to the father..." (1016). Children, Freud maintained, connect this conflict of attention to the intimate relations between mother and father, relations from which the children are excluded. Freud believed that "the result is a murderous rage against the father...and a desire to possess the mother" (1016). Freud pointed out, however, that "...the Oedipus complex differs in boys and girls...the functioning of the related castration complex" (1016). In short, Freud thought that "...during the Oedipal rivalry [between boys and their fathers], boys fantasized that punishment for their rage will take the form of..." castration (1016). When boys effectively work through this anxiety, Freud argued, "...the boy learns to identify with the father in the hope of someday possessing a woman like his mother. In girls, the castration complex does not take the form of anxiety...the result is a frustrated rage in which the girl shifts her sexual desire from the mother to the father" (1016). Freud believed that eventually, the girl's spurned advances toward the father give way to a desire to possess a man like her father later in life. Freud believed that the impact of the unconscious, id, ego, superego, the defenses, and the Oedipus complexes was inescapable and that these elements of the mind influence all our behavior (and even our dreams) as adults - of course this behavior involves what we write. Typical questions in doing psychoanalytic criticism: • • • • • • How do the operations of repression structure or inform the work? What is repressed? Why? How does it impact the characters? Are there any oedipal dynamics - or any other family dynamics - are work here? How can characters' behavior, narrative events, and/or images be explained in terms of psychoanalytic concepts of any kind (for example...fear or fascination with death, sexuality - which includes love and romance as well as sexual behavior - as a primary indicator of psychological identity or the operations of ego-id-superego)? What does the work suggest about the psychological being of its author? What might a given interpretation of a literary work suggest about the psychological motives of the reader? Are there prominent words in the piece that could have different or hidden meanings? Could there be a subconscious reason for the author using these "problem words"? Adapted from and ...
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Tutor Answer

School: UC Berkeley

Attached final. Cheers!!!!

Surname 1
When the Emperor was Divine
When analyzing a text or a composition, there are specific issues that a reader should look at.
The structure of the text will be defined by how the reader interprets the writers mind through an
analytical move. Different theoretical lenses are used including structuralism which I will
analyze in the below paragraph. Structuralism lens focuses on the aspects of human recognition
and experiences based on the contrast between elements in a conceptual system. The lens defines
the aspect that structure is more important in a context as compared to the function of the text.
The main task by the lens is to compare and link one structure to the other.
‘The girl did not answer. The lake had been dry for two years but she did not know that. She had
never seen the lake before and although she had been a good but not outstanding student who
had learned the meanings of many words she had yet to learn th...

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