Literary Theory And Queer Theory Essay

974 Words Dec 11th, 2015 4 Pages
There are many different schools of literary theory but this essay will focus on both pre and post-Structuralist literary theories, including Formalism, Feminist Literary Theory and Queer Theory. In my opinion, Feminist, and Queer Theory are better than Formalism when it comes to reading and understanding literature in a critical setting. Both Feminist, and Queer Theory differ from Formalism and New Criticism in the way that they look at both the text and the world in which they were created. I find this is crucial to analyzing a text because, contrary to the Formalist school of theory, literature should not be read in a vacuum.
By vacuum I am referring to the way Formalists look at the text and only the text, regardless to the outside world. Bennett and Royle address this in An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory when they state the following:
“literary texts belong to no particular time, they are universal and transcend history: the historical context of their production and reception has no bearing on the literary work which is aesthetically autonomous, having its own laws, being a world unto itself [emphasis]”, (117).
For Formalists, literary texts exist outside of history, therefore there is no need to look at the historical context; the meaning of the text can be found directly on the pages of said text. Because literary texts are said to exist in a world of their own, Formalist critics like R. S. Crane argue that a text can be understand in any age and…

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