ERIC Number: ED217462
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Subjective Criticism: From Cognition to Morality.
Goldberg, Marilyn K.
Reflecting on the contributions to individual education that literature study should make, this paper synthesizes some major directions taken by contemporary literary critics, examines the cognitive requirements for real learning, and puts these considerations into perspective as a goal for the teaching of literature. The major theories of literary criticism that are discussed include the New Criticism, structural criticism, the subjective theories of literary response, Louise Rosenblatt's transactional theory, and deconstruction. In summarizing these theories, the paper notes how they fall along a spectrum of attitudes toward individual independence in reading, ranging from extremely authoritarian to extremely subjective, with the more recent ones tending toward the subjective. Next the paper considers the use of these theories to acquaint students with literary procedures and to develop in students a literary competence that leads not only to personal pleasure in responding to literature but also to a facility in discussing topics, including arguments about literature, with others. The paper concludes with the observation that the ideal goal of teaching literature is to have students learn to read and think for themselves, so that they can make personal decisions and defend these decisions during discussions with their peers. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (13th, Houston, TX, April 15-17, 1982).