Literary Theory: An Introduction Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Eagleton provides the analogy of finding a "scrap of writing from a long-vanished civilization" to make what point about deciphering its meaning?
(a) That we would be able to tell that it was a piece of poetry regardless of access to its language.
(b) That we would be able to learn that it was a piece of poetry by looking at the language.
(c) That we would not know whether it was a piece of poetry or ordinary language.
(d) That we would be able to see that poetry didn't exist by looking at its language.

2. What is the name of the economist Eagleton discusses in his preface?
(a) J. M. Keynes.
(b) I. Fischer.
(c) Adam Smith.
(d) Gordon Tuck.

3. Who developed hermeneutics?
(a) Hans-Georg Gadamer.
(b) Stanley Fish.
(c) Roland Barthes.
(d) E.D. Hirsch.

4. During the last decades of the eighteenth-century, the word prosaic begins to acquire what a kind of connotation?
(a) A unfamiliar connotation.
(b) A positive connotation.
(c) A negative connotation.
(d) A familiar connotation.

5. According to Eagleton, Stanley Fish's model excludes the possibility that there is a ______ of interpretations?
(a) Dominance.
(b) Struggle.
(c) Acceptance.
(d) Rejection.

Short Answer Questions

1. What word does Eagleton discuss that is both a descriptive term to mean "literally untrue" as well as an evaluative term to mean "visionary" or "inventive"?

2. According to Eagleton, Gibbon and the authors of Genesis share what in common?

3. According to Eagleton, what is ironic about those who complain of the difficulty of literary theory?

4. According to Eagleton, what happens when literary theory becomes "turgidly unreadable"?

5. According to Eagleton, literature is definable "not according to whether it is fictional or "imaginative," because it uses language in ____ways."

Short Essay Questions

1. What was the dominant ideology of eighteenth-century England?

2. What is the reach of the "theoretical revolution" and why is it significant?

3. How is Martin Heidegger's philosophy similar to that of the Russian formalists?

4. What kind of thought does a literary education not encourage, according to Eagleton, and what does this signify?

5. How did new criticism emerge in England and America?

6. What period of literature did the critic Roland Barthes focus on and why is it significant?

7. What does "concretize" mean and why is it significant?

8. Who developed reception theory and why is it significant?

9. How does Eagleton define elitism in literary studies and why is it important?

10. What is Eagleton's argument regarding the literary canon as the "unquestioned" great tradition of national literature?

(see the answer keys)

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