Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction Test | Mid-Book 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. According to Chapter 2, literature must contain ____________ in order to qualify as literature.

2. In Chapter 1, "What is Theory?" Culler defines theory as the opportunity to __________.

3. What is the significance of published literature, according to Culler?

4. Examining the time period prior to modern literature, in what fashion are these works of fiction analyzed for literary theory?

5. To what types of topics did Foucault attempt to give historical relevance?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Rousseau's argument, what does writing have the power to clarify?

2. Why does Culler believe that Shakespeare has remained widely read and discussed while other writers from that time period have not?

3. Does pop culture change the relevance of classical literature?

4. According to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, what does language determine?

5. According to Chapter 4, "Meaning and Interpretation," what does society have to do with the understanding of words?

6. What types of writing topics have been used to create literary theory and why?

7. According to Chapter 3, how have cultural studies expanded the literary canon?

8. Why did Foucault consider "The History of Sexuality" to be repressed?

9. Compare the approach used by theorists when analyzing cultural studies versus literary theory.

10. Based on Chapter 1, what is the purpose of the critique that often comes from literary theory?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Literary performatives shape the words and phrases used in literature and conversation. Write a brief essay supporting or refuting the following statement, citing examples from the text to support your theory: Literary performatives have the power to change the way society communicates.

Essay Topic 2

As time changes perspectives, many of the ideas that appear in literary theory from past centuries seem outdated. Yet, others have managed to remain relevant. Choose an example of literary theory that has held the test of time, citing support as to why this objective has been achieved.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the differences between constative and performance utterances.

1) What are the rules behind these two devices?

2) How do they affect the meaning of literature?

3) In what ways do they conflict with one another?

(see the answer keys)

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