ERIC Number: ED206008
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Is It Relevant and Does It Work? Reconsidering Literature as Rhetoric.
Noting that for some time, the theory of literature has been supplanted by other disciplines as the major influences on the teaching of English in the secondary schools, this paper challenges the assumptions underlying two major principles for selecting and teaching literature: the social relevance of its subject matter and its immediate impact on students. The paper notes that both these criteria espouse a Platonic view of criticism, which regards literature and literary response in terms of its rhetorical effects rather than its aesthetic structure. It then offers analyses of two works, Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers" and Robert Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons," as examples of how "content and feeling" approaches to literature can misconstrue literary meaning, affect the role of the teacher, and influence educational policy. Finally, the paper suggests an alternative approach that argues for the critical response and the perception of literary form as the basis for literary experience and curriculum design. (FL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Killers (The); Man for All Seasons (A)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Council of Teachers of English (14th, Vancouver, Canada, May 11-16, 1981).