When we read The Taming of the Shrew, I noticed that many people chose to analyze it from a feminist perspective. They discussed how the women were treated abusively, whether that was mentally and/or physically. You could craft an argument out of that, but I think the feminist lens is the most obvious one to take with this text, especially since a lot of us in this class are female. I think it’s easy for us to look at how Petruchio in particular treated Kate and say he was an abusive and controlling husband. However, you have to avoid our personal biases in 2018 and dig deeper for analysis. I wrote a lot of my blog posts about Petruchio’s treatment of Kate, but I tried to find reasons why Petruchio would have done this besides power, as Shakespeare opens up a lot to interpretation. The academic article I found also analyzes the play from a more psychological lens and discusses the biological understanding of gender at the time. It was extremely interesting to read about this perspective, which isn’t the most obvious viewpoint.
As a journalism major, I don’t always see an obvious comparison between journalism and literature. However, I think the idea of literary criticisms and theories can be compared to how journalists should not look through just one lens when writing a story. Journalism is about sharing all sides of a story in order to avoid bias and allow the public to make decisions themselves. If journalists only covered one side of the story (one lens), then they wouldn’t get the full picture. Looking at the same literary text through different literary criticisms is similar, because it can provide you with a new way of understanding a text.
I think it’s also obvious that literary criticisms challenge us to think deeper than we normally would. As I mentioned, it’s easy to look at The Taming of the Shrew and say Petruchio was wrong for his treatment of women, but so much more can be discovered if you dig deeper. I compare this to investigative journalism in a way, because stories that come out of investigative journalism are not simple to uncover and write. The most obvious example I can think of is the Watergate scandal, and how the journalists from the Washington Post spent months and months working to uncover the truth about President Nixon’s involvement. If they weren’t willing to put in the work to uncover what was hidden, then the course of history would’ve been altered forever.
I never would have thought to compare literary criticisms to journalism, but I think it’s interesting to consider the similarities and how what you learn in one course can be applied to another.