I agree with Tyson who explains the two reasons why people avoid theory:

1)Fear of Failure

2) Fear of loosing your connection with reading

The “death of the author” changes the way we look at texts. Readers use to analyze texts so that they could try and have a better understanding about what the author was trying to say. However, now it’s more about how the reader interprets the texts.

New Criticism-no longer practiced by literary critics but it was once the dominant theory in the 1940’s-1960’s. It’s left us with a legacy on how to read literature. It’s taught us how to take specific evidence from the text so that we can give credit to our interpretations.

Ray Canada


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One response to “Tyson

  1. mandygrl101

    I understand that people fear that theory will force a disconnect between them and their text. However, I think this is a difficult argument to make, especially for anyone who hasn’t used critical theories, which can be wonderful lenses through which to read books and the world. I know that theory can be difficult, but at the same time, it is so fascinating and after finally learning theory in college, I wished that I had been introduced to it years ago. Applying theories to the high school canon literature would have made these texts much more interesting, and at the very least more challenging. However, this is rarely attempted. I really do believe that high school students are capable of learning and applying theory in this day and age. Further, I find theory so interesting and critical for students to learn, because it can be applied outside of texts as well. For example, feminist theory isn’t just something that is applicable to texts, it is applicable to life! It is a way to look at the world and understand and challenge norms and society. However, without the information and guidance to do this with texts, how can one ever expect students to do this in the real world? I think that the advantages of introducing students to critical theories can have huge benefits, both in and out of the classroom.

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