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April 16, 2007

Is This Really Lit Crit?

Miko, ''Tempest'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"The basic point, as I take it anyhow, is that good and evil are built into most of us (perhaps all - I'm still holding out on Miranda), and most of us are capable of being better - especially being taught to be better" (381).

Throughout a good portion of this essay I was wondering, how is this applying the literary theory to the text? Miko seems to make a lot of assertions like the one above that to me seemed like he was making general statements about the nature of humanity that you really don't need The Tempest to make.

Of course, the ideas about the ambiguity of the ending and all the loose ends did make sense to me though. Although, I don't really see why everyone is so fascinated with the claim that it is meant to end ambiguously. In the EL 150 Intro class that I am in we have talked about a lot of what we have read this semester as being open-ended or ambiguous. And basically, what has been concluded (which I realize is very un-poststructural of us, I'm sorry) is that if everything was tied up nicely in a neat little package without any ambiguities then there really wouldn't be much for us to talk about. (Which I think we've talked about in lit crit, but I am not sure because I tend to get the two confused sometimes and often we talk about the same things in both). Now, I have read A LOT of different things this semester, and one thing I am finding at the end of a lot of what I read (more so in my young adult lit class that anywhere else) is that they just seem to end as if the author ran out of ideas or time and things are left very open-ended. Sometimes I feel like this is done well and even though there are questions I still feel satisfied when I am done. But, other times I feel unsatisfied like there should be more to the story and I think this is partially what makes the difference between a good and a bad piece of literature. When I used to play in band for about 10 years, my conductor always emphasized to us that we absolute had to nail the ending of each piece because that is what the audience would remember above all else. I feel the same way about literature. Ok that was a bit of a tangent but sometimes I just need to ramble to clear my head of all the clutter that builds up as a result of thinking about things a little too much sometimes.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at April 16, 2007 11:15 PM


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