Literary Theory

Quiz Week 1

Literary Theory Quiz

C = Correct

W = Wrong

Question #1 - Written response:

Imagine you are teaching a high school class. Please give a short definition of literary theory that explains what it is, who uses it, and how it helps people understand literature. Keep in mind your audience will need this to be simple and understandable.

Question #2 - Multiple Responses:

Which of the following are traits of Formalism? Check all that apply.

  1. Examines literary devices in the text (close reading) - C
  2. Examines the historical context of a work - W
  3. Includes New Criticism - C
  4. Looks at just the text itself, but not the context - C
  5. Is the opposite of Informalism. - W

Question #3 - Written Response:

In your own words, explain two concepts you think are very important for someone trying to understand Formalism.

Question #4 - Written Response:

Written response – Marxist literary theory involves examining economic “class.” In your own words, describe what the term “class” means as it relates to Marxist literary theory. What are “classes”?

Question #5 - Multiple Responses:

Which of the following are traits of Marxist literary theory? Check all that apply.

  1. Examines class conflict in literature - C
  2. Promotes violent revolution - W
  3. Tends to focus on depictions of the struggle of the working class - C
  4. Seeks to demolish distinctions between classes - W
  5. Challenges economic inequalities - C

Question #6 - Written Response:

Explain three differences between Structuralism and Poststructuralism. Which one do modern literary theorists still use today?

Question #7 - Multiple Responses:

Which are traits of New Historicism? Check all that apply.

  1. Looks at a text in the context of the time period it was written; sees a text as an artifact of the time period it was written - C
  2. Rejects the strict, text-only approach of Formalism - C
  3. Is an attempt to rewrite history through examining texts - W
  4. Challenges traditional separations of literary and non-literary texts - C
  5. Applies only to old texts, like Shakespeare and Homer - W

Question #8 - Written Response:

You are a teacher and you’ve assigned an essay requiring students to use New Historicism to examine a text. One student’s essay says racism in Shakespeare’s "Othello" is exactly the same phenomenon as racism in the modern media. In terms of New Historicism, would you support or oppose this thesis? Briefly explain why or why not.

Question #9 - Multiple Responses:

Which are traits of Ethnic Studies? Check all that apply.

  1. Relates to Postcolonial literary theory - C
  2. Looks at works produced by marginalized or subordinated populations - C
  3. Promotes political overthrow of dominant cultural groups - W
  4. In terms of Postcolonialism, it examines relationships between colonized and colonizing groups - C
  5. Is only relevant when the theorist is of a minority ethnic group themselves.

Question #10 - Written Response:

You are on Twitter. Someone you are following Tweets that Feminism and Gender Studies are about hating men and making up pronouns. In 280 characters, write a Tweet that provides a more accurate definition of these terms including at least two important traits.