Download Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide by Lois Tyson PDF

By Lois Tyson

This re-creation of the vintage consultant bargains an intensive and obtainable creation to modern serious thought. It offers in-depth insurance of the commonest techniques to literary research this present day: feminism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, reader-response conception, new feedback, structuralism and semiotics, deconstruction, new historicism, cultural feedback, lesbian/gay/queer concept, African-American feedback, and postcolonial feedback. The chapters supply a longer clarification of every idea, utilizing examples from daily life, pop culture, and literary texts; a listing of particular questions critics who use that concept ask approximately literary texts; an interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's the nice Gatsby during the lens of every idea; an inventory of questions for additional perform to lead readers in making use of every one conception to various literary works; and a bibliography of fundamental and secondary works for extra studying. This booklet can be utilized because the basically textual content in a direction or as a precursor to the examine of fundamental theoretical works. It motivates readers via exhibiting them what serious thought can provide when it comes to their functional realizing of literary texts and by way of their own figuring out of themselves and the realm during which they stay. either attractive and rigorous, it's a "how-to" booklet for undergraduate and graduate scholars new to severe thought and for faculty professors who are looking to increase their repertoire of severe methods to literature.

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Example text

So even when, or especially when, theorists have addressed the sub‑ ject of death directly, they sometimes have done so in ways that tend to keep it at an emotional distance from themselves and, therefore, from us. I think this is the reason—to cite just one example—behind Freud’s theory that death is a biological drive, which he called the death drive, or thanatos. In suggesting that human beings have a death drive, Freud’s attempt was to account for the alarming degree of self-destructive behavior he saw both in individuals, who seemed bent on destroying themselves psychologically if not physically, and in whole nations, whose constant wars and internal conflicts could be viewed as little other than a form of mass suicide.

Of course, I might not win the man this time, and even if I do, once I’ve won him I’ll lose interest in him. Although I probably don’t realize it con‑ sciously, his desirability lies in his attachment to someone else. Once he’s mine, he’s not so exciting anymore. On the other hand, if as a child I felt that I won my father’s affection from my mother (which he may have given me as a way of punishing or avoiding my mother), then I may be attracted to men who already have girlfriends or wives (and who don’t seem likely to leave them) because I feel I need to be punished for “stealing” Dad from my mother.

Thus, I might experience the childhood trauma of losing a sibling to illness, accidental death, or suicide and, in later life, experience the trauma, or crisis, of being flooded by all the guilt, denial, and conflict I’ve repressed concerning that death. And I might also see, for example, the ways in which my parents unconsciously encouraged my guilt in order to relieve their own. In fact, our relationship to death, whether or not we are traumatized by it in childhood, is a principal organizer of our psychological experience.

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