Can't I have them all!?


" In different works and in different fictional modes the distribution of emphasis varies; and in some works one of these interests may be far more important than the others. When a work concerns itself seriously with more than one of these interests, it must bring its various impulses into harmony if it is to be organically unified." -Paris 217

In this theory article, I found myself wondering how we are all suppose to make the "right" choice and will there ever be an time in literary criticism where we will need the "right" answers. If we are asked to pick one of the many interests, and call it the most important standing out from the others, what makes us right? Because literature is so objective, aren't there many different "more important" points? It really depends on the readers-response! Either I am making connections or I am completely WRONG! hahah However, I feel like I am beginning to understand and accept that they are really all connected and it's difficult to write under just one school of thought.

SO I guess my finally question is why can't we look at the literature as a whole? Is it too big to look at the multiple emphasis?


The "AW" question of "Is it right?" has been an issue since I started college. I have learned, as I bet you have, that literature does not have one specific answer, but several educated and well thought out close readings, criticim's, analysis, and more.

I think as, students and literature scholars, we are suppose to take an interest, for example, and analysis it to the best of our ability. Would you agree?

In addition, if we look at literature as a whole, then wouldn't we be underestimating the power of literature. In other words, if we look at the big picture, then won't we miss the individual pieces?

By using different types of criticism's or schools of thought, then we are able to see literature in many different ways instead of one way or "Aw, that's the overall meaning."

Good job with this blog, Bethany!

If I understood your question, you can't look at literature as a whole because all authors have different styles. Some authors are better for mimetic criticism, Paris and some other critics argue, because of their focus on what is realistic. Other authors might pay more attention to sentence structure and word choice so formalism is better (which is not to say you can't use both at the same time!). Also, it would be difficult to examine a poem mimetically, especially a really short poem for what would you base your analysis off of?

As for the good old question of what is right, I've given up on that...we're all, to some extent, right and wrong.

I agree with Derek and Angela. I don't think you can look at literature as a whole. The different types of criticisms would be too numerous to be able to apply to one work, that I think it would be hard to ever finish the analysis. However, I think that you can use different parts of some forms of criticisms to support your main claim. I agree that it would be nice to look at literature as a whole, but I think that there would not be too many published criticisms because of the time that it would take to thoroughly apply every criticism.

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