Literary Theory: An Introduction Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. From a structuralist perspective, why could literature could no longer claim to be a unique discourse?

2. What text did Tzvetan Todorov attempt a grammatical analysis of so that the characters were nouns, their attributes adjectives, and actions verbs?

3. What aspect of Jacques Lacan's work is of particular interest to literary theorists?

4. The modern history of literary theory has been characterized by a flight from what?

5. What year did France's student movement strike against the authoritarianism of the educational institutions and in solidarity with the working-class?

Short Essay Questions

1. Who is Ferdinand de Saussure and what was his contribution to the field of literary theory?

2. What is significant about the ways in which Sigmund Freud treated women and men?

3. What does Julia Kristeva define as "semiotic" and why is it significant?

4. What is structuralism and how what does it share in common with formalism?

5. What was the significance of the Prague structuralists?

6. According to Eagleton, why should the notion of literary theory be abolished?

7. How did Northrop Frye attempt to combine the formalist focus on the text with the essence of new American criticism?

8. What are the three stages of development in psychoanalysis and how do they relate to literary theory?

9. Why does Eagleton reject the idea of a disconnected individual in society?

10. How did post-structuralism develop and why is it significant?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast the arguments for and against literary theory.

1) According to Eagleton, why have people opposed literary theory?

2) What is Eagleton's position regarding literary theory?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast structuralism with phenomenology.

1) What are the basic tenets of each school of thought?

2) What are the similarities between them?

2) What are their differences?

Essay Topic 3

Choose one work of literature (a story, essay, poem, play, or novel) and one method of literary analysis (new criticism, structuralism, post-structuralism, phenomenology, psychoanalysis) and examine the work by utilizing a specific literary theory.

(see the answer keys)

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