February 25, 2007

Characterization as a Mode of Mimeses

Paris, ''The Uses of Psychology'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"A careful examination of the nature of realistic fiction as modern criticism is coming to conceive it will show that in certain cases it is proper to treat literary characters as real people and that only by doing so can we fully appreciate the distinctive achievement of the genre" (Keesey 217).

We are told to avoid plot summary and characterization in a piece of fiction, but Paris's essay shows us that characterization has an important role in the conventions of a modern mimetic criticism. I can understand that there is a relationship between the characters as a real person, or at least someone who we understand has meaning in their lives, or a goal to accomplish. Although it is fiction, the characters must take a real and effective role in order to display a deeper meaning in the text. While many can find meaning in the text, with the importance of fiction, and especially plays, the characters or the narrator are the ones who create an implication in our minds that they are real, emotional, goal-oriented human being with a task at hand: finding a philosophical truth through their personas or actions. I think that mimetic criticism becomes more and more interesting, and I can actually find a possible relevance for why we are to see "Everyman."

Posted by The Gentle Giant at February 25, 2007 8:40 PM

I haven't seen "Everyman" yet, but from what I've read, taking a psychological approach will allow us to get more in touch with our characters and I think even perhaps get closer to author intent.

Posted by: Erin at February 28, 2007 1:46 PM

I agree with you Erin. Although there is no author, there definitely is authorial intent based off of the culture and the society that the author was associated with. Not to mention, the reality of Everyman as any man is definitely perfect for this week's discussion.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at April 4, 2007 9:46 PM
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