Free literary criticism papers, essays, and research papers.

Literary Criticism – Sample Essays

Essays & Literary Criticism .

"It is a shift from seeing the poem or novel as a closed entity, equipped with definite meanings which it is the critic's task to decipher, to seeing literature as irreducibly plural, an endless play of signifiers which can never be finally nailed down to a single center, essence, or meaning" (Eagleton 120 - see reference below under "General References").

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Essay on The Function of Literary Criticism - 123HelpMe

Lewis, Wyndham. An old essay by Wyndham Lewis, on idealists and materialists in English literature, which casts Woolf as the exemplary idealist. "In the present chapter I am compelled, however, to traverse the thorny region of feminism, or of militant feminine feeling. I have chosen the back of Mrs. Woolf--if I can put it in this inelegant way--to transport me across it. I am sure that certain critics will instantly object that Mrs. Woolf is extremely insignificant--that she is a purely feminist phenomenon--that she is taken seriously by no one any longer today, except perhaps by Mr. and Mrs. Leavis--and that, anyway, feminism is a dead issue."

The concept of Archetypes in literature has been the subject of extensive examination in Literary Criticism.

All of these literary criticisms have one main similarity; they all state that one of the main themes in Wise Blood is how religion is a negative force in society because religion has become a way to make a profit, not to express one’s spiritual self....

The library subscribes to a number of online databases that help you locate literary criticism articles.


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Literary scholars Matthew Arnold and Alexander Pope both have differing views concerning the necessity of the critic, his role, and his power that he wields over the work/text.

Literature and Literary Criticism Articles & Databases

One of the many anecdotes about the fraught relationship between Edmund Wilson and his third wife, Mary McCarthy, dramatizes beautifully the problem of Wilson's legacy. When Reuel, their son, was 9, he heard McCarthy, for once, praising her former husband. Reuel responded: "Mommy, you mean my father is a great critic?" He smiled, clearly remembering her previous invectives against his father, and added: "I always thought he was just a two-bit book reviewer." Wilson, for over 50 years, produced work that was brilliant but uneven. He published extensively in Vanity Fair, The New Republic and The New Yorker, as well as in influential journals like The Dial, and some of his pieces have dated badly. Yet because of his fascinating, restless mind and his habit of being right some of the time, he remains a central figure in the intellectual history of the United States in the 20th century. As Lewis M. Dabney makes clear in "Edmund Wilson: A Life in Literature," Wilson's influence as a writer and editor at The New Republic in the 1920's and 30's and as a critic writing in The New Yorker in the 1940's, 50's and 60's would scarcely be possible now.

Essays on Literature and Criticism, 1953-2005

"[T]his collection spans the course of Girard's career and provides a concise way to gain some perspective on his legacy . . . One the whole, this volume confirms Girard's reputation as a first-rate literary critic, devoted to the close study of literary texts but avoiding the pitfalls of formalism by asking extra-literary, essentially anthropological, questions of them, and emphasizing the insights and lessons that literature has to offer us in those matters that are of greatest import to us."—Eric Prieto,

An English Garner Critical Essays And Literary F

Different libraries have different sources. Your school or public library will have some good resources for literary criticism, but if you need more, you may be able to do some research at an academic library near you. This pathfinder suggests some online and print sources, to show you what kinds of things are available on the Web and in libraries. If you can't find a particular title at your library, don't worry; just ask a librarian your question, and he or she can help you locate a similar resource.