I’ve been reading the articles about applying critical lenses to YAs, and to be honest, I’m getting pretty excited about the possibilities. The Soter article helps clarify the progression of critical analysis. Particularly insightful are her thoughts on structuralism. She writes “Structuralism opened the door for those competing views of language, and among other vehicles, texts (including literature) would subsequently come to be perceived as social and cultural constructs (inventions, if you will) rather than absolutes.” (9) This seems so inherent to me, but after reading Soter’s article I realize that this was not always the case. While prestructuralist criticisms are still extremely valuable, post-structuralist criticisms give us a more holistic sense of the text (Soter has four relative views).
Using critical lenses with young adult literature is extremely practical. The Harry Potter article comes under the heading “Teaching English in the World.” The critical lenses make this title seem appropriate. We teach English IN the world, and therefore should use it to look at our world.
I really enjoyed The Harry Potter article, and may use this form for my own YA analysis of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I think that many lenses are applicable to these YA books that such a format is useful. Nevertheless, Amanda Yacashin’s article also had its advantages. Since she used one lens, she could apply a more in-depth analysis with that lens. Either way, the readings made me excited to get started, so I’m going to go finish my YA title. Allison