Imagining Me

A Different Kind of Party

Hello there! Today I’m going to share you about my analysis of a short story entitled A Party Down at the Square. 

A Party Down at the Square by Ralph Ellison is story of a boy who witnessed a lynching for the first time. The boy, who is also the narrator of the story, lives in his uncle’s house in the Southern United States. As the story started, a bunch of men came to boy’s uncles’ house in a hurry and tell them there is going to be a party down at the square. His uncle calls the boy to come to the party at the square, while in fact the party that those men mean is a lynching of an African-American guy. Continue reading “A Different Kind of Party”

Imagining Me

Post-Structuralism and Deconstruction

Post-structuralism is a form of development of structuralism approach. The reason behind the development to become a post-structuralism is because most post-structuralist accuse structuralist of not following through the implication of the views about language on which their intellectual system is based. Post-structuralism first emerged in France, and two main figures associated with its emerging are Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida. Around this time, Barthes’s work begin to shift in character and move from structuralist phase to a post-structuralist phase. For Derrida, his method that he uses in his books is later adapted by post-structuralist. His method always involved highly detailed deconstructive reading of selected aspect, and this method is a method which known as a deconstruction and this method becomes the characteristic of post-structuralism critical method. Continue reading “Post-Structuralism and Deconstruction”

Imagining Me

Postmodernism

In 1960s, which was said as a decade that has interesting points of similarity with the 1920s where the modernism was at its height, modernism failed to regained preeminence it had enjoyed in the earlier period which led to the emerging of postmodernism. Jeremy Hawthorn explained that both modernism and postmodernism give great prominence to fragmentation as a feature of twentieth century art and culture, but they do so in very different moods. While modernist features it in such a way to register a deep nostalgia for an earlier age when faith was full and authority intact, for postmodernist, by contrast, fragmentation is an exhilarating, liberating, phenomenon, symptomatic to our escape from the claustrophobic embrace of fixed systems of belief. To sum it up, modernists mourn for fragmentation and postmodernist celebrates it. Continue reading “Postmodernism”

Imagining Me

Structuralism

Structuralism is an intellectual movement which began in France in the 1950s and is first seen in the work of the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss and later on in the literary critics by Roland Barthes. Structuralism then imported to England in the 1970s and attained spread influenced in the 1980s. According to Peter Barry, structuralism essence is the belief that things cannot be understood in isolation—they have to be seen in the context of larger structure that they are part of. Although structuralism gained its popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, its roots has been seen from Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure in the late 19th century, as Saussure was the key figure in the development of modern approaches to language study. As in the nineteenth century linguistic scholars mainly interested in historical aspect of language only, Saussure concentrated on the pattern and functions of language in use today on the emphasis of how meaning are maintained and established and on the function of grammatical structure. Continue reading “Structuralism”

Imagining Me

Liberal Humanism

Liberal humanism is a form of study that came before criticism. This approach is used to analyze literary work before the time when there is a theory to be used. Liberal humanism is the traditional approach to English studies. In the early 19th century, there is so much limitation of learning in England that can make the first quarter of the 19th century education in England is a Church of England monopoly. Those who can attend to universities are only men of white Anglo-Saxon protestant. For women and other men with different religious belief in England were banned to attend any class at that time. Later on in middle of 19th century other university opened and accepts men and women of all religion or none. This is the roots of the liberal humanism approach. Continue reading “Liberal Humanism”

Imagining Me

Postcolonial Criticism

Postcolonial criticism is a form of criticism that emerged as a distinct category in the 1990s. One noteworthy effect of postcolonial criticism is to further undermine the universalist claims once made on behalf of literature by liberal humanist critics. Postcolonial critics said that by claiming a great literature has a timeless and universal significance, it means that critics thereby demote or disregard cultural, social, regional, and national differences in experience and outlook, preferring instead to judge all literature by a single, supposedly universal, standard. Universalism is rejected by postcolonial criticism, and postcolonial critics says that whenever a universal signification is claimed for a work, then white, Eurocentric norms and practices are being promoted by the sleight of hand to this elevated status, and all others correspondingly relegated to subsidiary, marginalized roles. Continue reading “Postcolonial Criticism”

Imagining Me

New Historicism and Cultural Materialism

The term new historicism is invented by American critic Stephen Greenblatt, and his book entitled Renaissance Self-Fashioning: from More to Shakespeare which was published in 1980 is considered as the beginning of new historicism. A simple definition of new historicism is that it is a method based on the parallel reading of literary and non-literary text, and usually both texts are from the same historical period. Instead of seeing historical texts as the “background” and literary texts as the “foreground”, new historicism sees and practices a mode of study in which literary and non-literary texts are given equal weight and constantly inform or interrogate each other. On the other hand, British critic Graham Holderness describes cultural materialism as a politicized form of historiography, which means as the study of historical material (which includes literary texts) within politicized framework, and in this framework includes an offering that those literary texts have helped to shape in some way. The term cultural materialism was first used by Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield as a subtitle of their collection of essays. Dollimore and Sinfield stated that cultural materialism has four characteristic, which are; historical context, theoretical method, political commitment, and textual analysis. Continue reading “New Historicism and Cultural Materialism”