Simile - contrasting to seemingly unalike things to enhance the meaning of a situation or theme using like or as What happens to a dream deferred, does it dry up like a raisin in the sun Hyperbole - exaggeration I have a million things to do today. Personification - giving non-human objects human characteristics America has thrown her hat into the ring, and will be joining forces with the British. Foot - grouping of stressed and unstressed syllables used in line or poem Iamb - unstressed syllable followed by stressed Made famous by the Shakespearian sonnet, closest to the natural rhythm of human speech How do I love thee?
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: Folklore, FoIkloristics, and African American Literary Criticism The importance of folklore to black literature is widely acknowledged and documented. Trudier Harris states, in fact, that "African-American folklore is arguably the basis for most African-American literature" 2.
While critics have often discussed the significance of folklore in works by black writers, however, they have consistently resisted the inclusion of folklore scholarship in their discussions, often refusing acknowledgment of a discipline that has been well-established since the beginning of the twentieth century.
In this essay I consider some reasons for this reticence and suggest some advantages to be gained from broadening the critical sphere of African American literary criti- cism to include folkloristics. Several reasons for the omission of folkloristic references and theoretical discourse from African American literary criticism are rather obvious.
Criticism of African American texts grows out of an academic tradition that disparages "folk" discourse, and has mirrored many of the perspectives of that legacy.
As noted by countless folklorists, literary critics have seldom considered the materials of folklore comparable to literature-or the discipline of folkloristics on a par with their own. These attitudes are undoubt- edly rooted in an elitist, Darwinistic perspective that regards expressive forms sanctioned by middle and upper socioeconomic classes as superior, and those associated with lower socioeconom- ic classes inferior.
In general, it is this tendentious viewpoint that has posed such problems for the discipline of folklore within the American academy. Of course, this attitude is based upon antiquated ideas of who the "folk" are. Often it does not occur to literary critics that "folk- lore infuses all levels of society" Hemenway ; that everyone is the folk, even the critics themselves; and that intellectual snob- bery toward groups with less formal education is a part of the superstitions, folk beliefs, and mythology of the upper class.
For example, the belief that literature is superior to oral traditions and, thus, that writers are more worthy of serious study than are "folk" artists is just that, a belief, as is the notion that revered aca- demic theorists have more to offer than do "folk" philosophers.
In other words, the entire way of thinking, speaking, and writing about literature is folklore, and is connected to a specific social mythology and class aesthetic, arising out of a capitalistic, Western ethos.
In light of this critique, one can easily understand the inher- ent dilemmas facing scholars of African American literature.
In fact, African American intellectuals have historically embodied the dissonance between elite and "popular" or "folk" aesthetics and, in the quest for social equality and upward mobility, have Sw. The notion of "blackness" itself has often become a locus of divergent criti- cal perspectives on African American literature.
Invariably, serious scholars must confront the contradictions between the aesthetics reflected in "folk" forms and those of the acade- my-an institutional affiliate of colo- nialization.
One sure product of the American, capitalist class system is that the human resources tapped are very limited. In ascribing to that system by choice of academic perspectives, schol- ars of African American literature have unwittingly accepted, for instance, that "great" ideas originate in the upper eschelon, which leaves the wisdom of the people on the street corner, of chil- dren, of the elderly, etc.
Thus, while critics have had to con- cede that folklore forms the core of African American literature, it has been a problematic acquiescence. The uneasiness of this acknowledgment is revealed in the absence of folkloristic citations by literary scholars, even those writing about folklore in literature e.
At times this omission strikes the read- er as ignorance resulting from less than rigorous standards of scholarship.
Henry Louis Gates, for example, constructs in his The Signifying Monkey an entire theoreti- cal paradigm around speech behavior studied primarily by folklorists, but nowhere in his entire book does he acknowledge this field.
He describes Roger Abrahams, known to those of us in the field of folkloristics and self- described as a folklorist, as "a well- known and highly regarded literary critic, linguist, and anthropologist" Ironically, Houston Baker writes: The contextualization of a work of expressive culture, from the perspec- tive of the anthropology of art, is an "interdisciplinary" enterprise.
Rather than ignoring or denigrating the research and insights of scholars in - natural, social, and behavioral sci- ences, the anthropology of art views such efforts as positive attempts to comprehend the multiple dimensions of human behavior.
Such efforts serve the investigator of expressive culture as guides and contributions to an understanding of symbolic dimensions of human behavior that comprise a culture's literature and verbal art.
Blues In his "vernacular theory" based on blues, though, Baker fails to consider the proliferation of works by folk- lorists. This disregard is all the more curious because he discusses African American folklore in an earlier book.
Long Black Song, however archaic his notion of folklore there may be. Why would one attempt to explore the aes- thetics of blues relative to African American literature but disregard stud- ies that seek to illuminate the perfor- mative, linguistic, and other cultural components of the genre?
And how can we explain the fact that certain crit- ics theorize about the folklore-based narrative styles of writers yet com- pletely neglect the enormous body of folkloristic writing on stylistic and per- formative features of oral narratives?
The literary ambivalence toward folklore is further reflected in the choice of the single folklorist that crit- ics have embraced, Zora Neale Hurston.This literary character about the essential authors and features of literature and applying the most revolves around a global conception of culture integral to both writing pure sense of “logos” (Literatura, món, literatures [Literature, World, Literatures], disciplines.
In the United States, authors such as Marshall Sahlins and James Boon built on structuralism to provide their own analysis of human society. Structural anthropology fell out of favour in the early s for a number of reasons.
Students are asked to write literary analysis essays because this type of assignment encourages you to think about how and why a poem, short story, novel, or play was written. To successfully analyze literature, you’ll need to remember that authors make specific choices for particular reasons.
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Diction is defined as the choice of words especially with regard to correctness, clearness, or . Josie Fenner ENG , Prof. C. Agatucci Midterm Literary Analysis Paper 29 October The Lord of the Rings. Some stories can affect people emotionally, but once in a while a story can call a person to escape to it.