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ERIC Number: EJ819075
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
Paulo Freire, Social Change, and the Teaching of Gothic Literature
Tropiano, Carmelo
College Quarterly, v11 n2 p1-10 Spr 2008
Constructions of power are latent everywhere; the nature of the concept of power, as it finds its expression in and through literature, is presented in all its forms, notably power's implications and its consequences. Far too many college students approach literature anemically and conclude that reading literature and writing about it are meaningless exercises that hold little practical value, particularly as they pertain to the social contributions they can make to the world around them. Arguably lulled into this state of indifference by traditional teaching methods, teachers can stem the tide by altering how one approaches literature, an approach that coincides with a specific pedagogy. Paulo Freire's teaching approach to impoverished Brazilian citizens, for instance, made social change its aim. These citizens, who lacked access to literacy education, found themselves increasingly out of power and, as a consequence, felt powerless to change their world. Students, when encouraged to see political constructs within the confines of literary texts that they can dissect and analyze, can then turn to their immediate surroundings for change that they too can endeavour to achieve. Naive utopianism aside, change is endlessly desirable, but often impractical. Critical awareness of political and structural impositions, such as those expressed in Gothic literature, unravel those systems of power that are assumed to be normal, and hence functionally true. The empowerment that students experience from this precise literary analysis can then be used to procure a greater sense of awareness of the innumerable implications of power at work in their lives, and the lives of those around them. (Contains 5 endnotes.)
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2J 2X5, Canada. Tel: 416-491-5050; Fax: 905-479-4561; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A