Now that we have finished A Christmas Carol, I want you to apply one of the three lenses we talked about at the beginning of our reading to craft an analysis of the book. Those lenses, if you’ve forgotten, where Biographical, Historical, and Mythological (I’m also adding Marxist).
When applying a lens to your analysis, you simply consider the work in light of the lens you’ve chosen. For instance, if you chose the Biographical Lens, you will talk about the text in light of the author’s personal history. An example might be if I were writing about Shakespeare’s King John, I might consider the fact that Shakespeare lost his son when analyzing the scene in King John where a character, Constance, bemoans the loss of her song, saying things like “Grief fills the room up with my empty child.” I would consider how Shakespeare’s own personal experience might have affected his writing.
For this assignment, you will choose one of the aforementioned lenses and apply it to A Christmas Carol.
You must make an explicit connection between your chosen lens and at least one aspect of the novel
You must demonstrate how that connect influences your reading/understanding of the text
Must have a clear, concise, and argumentative thesis in your introduction.
You must make use of at least one source, other than the novel. The source should be related to your lens of choice (for instance, if you choose the historical lens, you might find a relevant article about the history of the time period.
Note: You may also find an essay of criticism which supports your read and quote from it to bolster your argument.
Note: You must cite any information from this or any other source you might use (even if you’re paraphrasing or summarizing).
You must include at least 2 quotations from the text of A Christmas Carol to make your argument. You must properly integrate these quotes into your writing and provide context, explanation, and analysis that show/illustrate how they support your assertions.
The paper should be at least 3 paragraphs long, and at least 500 words long
Historical Criticism: Historical Criticism explores how understanding the time and place a work was written can help readers more thoroughly understand that work. Historicism doesn’t just look at what was happening at the time of writing, but how those events, people, cultural influences and so on help the reader better understand what the author’s up to.
Ultimate Question: HoHow does it reflect the time in which it was written?
1. How accurately does the story depict the time in which it is set?
2. What literary or historical influences helped to shape the form and content of the work?
3. How does the story reflect the attitudes and beliefs of the time in which it was written or set? (Think
beliefs and attitudes related to race, religion, politics, gender, society, philosophy, etc.)
4. What other literary works may have influenced the writer?
5. What historical events or movements might have influenced this writer?
6. How would characters and events in this story have been viewed by the writer’s contemporaries?
7. Does the story reveal or contradict the prevailing values of the time in which it was written? Does it
provide an opposing view of the period’s prevailing values?
8. How important is it the historical context (the work’s and the reader’s) to interpreting the work?w do the author’s times influence the text?
WRITE THRU HISTORICAL LENS
Example: In analyzing Macbeth from a historical lens, the critic might consider the fact that King James I, who held the English throne at this time, had formerly been King James the VI of Scotland. He might also consider that an attempt had been made on James’ life by a group of English Catholics in the Gunpowder Plot. After researching these historical events, the critic would consider how Macbeth’s assiniation of KIng Duncan and the fact that James himself would be a descendant of Banquo influence our reading of the play.