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Literature: Reading and Writing with Critical Strategies / Edition 1

Literature: Reading and Writing with Critical Strategies / Edition 1

by Steven J Lynn

ISBN-10: 0321113497

ISBN-13: 9780321113498

Pub. Date: 07/01/2003

Publisher: Longman

Steven Lynn's ground—breaking Literature: Reading and Writing with Critical Strategies energizes literary study by demonstrating, step by step, how to use critical approaches to engage literary texts and evolve critical arguments. Plentiful examples demonstrate the process of thinking and writing about literature—progressing from a blank page to


Steven Lynn's ground—breaking Literature: Reading and Writing with Critical Strategies energizes literary study by demonstrating, step by step, how to use critical approaches to engage literary texts and evolve critical arguments. Plentiful examples demonstrate the process of thinking and writing about literature—progressing from a blank page to an insightful response and, ultimately, to a final essay —using a variety of critical theories as invention strategies. A richly diverse selection of classical and contemporary works —short stories, poems, and plays — is included.

Product Details

Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
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6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

Table of Contents

Critical Theories: Checklists (inside front cover).

Preface for Instructors.

Letter to Students.


Tom Wayman, “Did I Miss Anything?”

1. Reading: How Meaning Is Made.

Who Makes Meaning?

Lewis Carroll, “Jabberwocky.”

Are Some Readings Wrong?

Suggestions for Readings.

Your Right to Read and Write.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

2. Writing: How Invention Strategies Shape the Process.

Brendan Gill, from Here at the New Yorker.

New Criticism.

Reader-Response Criticism.

Deconstructive Criticism.

Biographical, Historical, and New Historical Criticism.

Psychological Criticism.

Feminist Criticism.

Other Critical Strategies.

3. Literature: Why It Matters.

What Isn't Literature?

What Is Literature?

Robert Frost, “It Bids Pretty Fair.”


4. Read Poetry Creatively: Reader-Response Criticism.

Reflection: The Creative Reader.

David Wagoner, “This is a Wonderful Poem.”

Strategies: Using Reader-Response Criticism.

John Burnside, “The Sand Merchant's Wife.”

Inventing, Shaping, Drafting: Student Examples.

Elements: Symbol, Image, Personification, Allegory, Allusion.

Gjertrud Schnackenberg, “Supernatural Love.”

Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, “Earth's Complaint.”

Practice: Environments.

Mark Strand, “The Garden.”

Joy Harjo, “For Anna Mae Aquash Whose Spirit Is Present.”

Caroline Fraser, “All Bears.”

Emily Dickinson, [“Through the Dark Sod”].

Robinson Jeffers, “Carmel Point.”

Suggestions for Writing.

5. Read Poetry Closely: New Criticism.

Reflection: The Organic Text.

Archibald MacLeish, “Ars Poetica.”

Strategies: Using New Criticism.

Gwendolyn Brooks, “The Mother.”

Inventing, Shaping, Drafting: Student Example.

Lucille Clifton, “forgiving my father.”

Elements: Voice, Speaker, Tone, Point of View, Irony.

Stephen Shu-ning Liu, “My Father's Martial Art.”

Useful Terms for New Criticism.

Seamus Heaney, “Digging.”

Practice: Ties That Bind.

Richard Wilbur, “The Writer.”

Theodore Roethke, “My Papa's Waltz.”

From The Gospel of Luke, “The Prodigal Son.”

Gregory Djanikian, “Immigrant Picnic.”

Suggestions for Writing.

6. Read Poetry Playfully: Deconstruction.

Reflection: An Open Space.

John Ashberry, “Paradoxes and Oxymorons.”

Strategies: Using Deconstructive Criticism.

Langston Hughes, “Cross.”

Useful Terms for Deconstruction.

Elements: Figures and Forms.

Derek Walcott, “Fredericksted, Dusk.”

William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 17.”

Practice: Good and Evil.

Linda Pastan, “Ethics.”

Robert Lowell, “For the Union Dead.”

Eli Mandel, “Houdini.”

John Donne, “Death Be Not Proud.”

Johannes Vermeer, Woman holding a Balance (painting).

Linda Pastan, “Woman Holding a Balance Vermeer, 1664.”

Margaret Atwood, “Spelling.”

Suggestions for Writing.

7. Read Fiction Powerfully: Political Criticism.

Reflection: The Useful Text.

Elizabeth Tallent, “No One's a Mystery.”

Strategies: Using Political Criticism.

Ernest Hemingway, “A Very Short Story.”

Inventing, Shaping, Drafting.

Elements: Character, Setting, Theme.

William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily.”

Aesop, “The Fox and the Grapes.”

Practice: Idealisms.

Langston Hughes, “Thank You, M'am.”

Tobias Wolff, “Say Yes.”

John Updike, “A & P.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Birthmark.”

Suggestions for Writing.

8. Read Fiction Contextually: Historical, Biographical, and New Historical Criticism.

Reflection: Real Life.

Charles Johnson, “Moving Pictures.”

Strategies: Using Biographical, Historical, and New Historical Criticism.

John Cheever, “Reunion.”

A Biographical Essay.

Inventing, Shaping, Drafting.

Elements: Plot and Structure.

Ellen Malphrus, “Thanksgiving on the Chicken Bone Express.”

Practice: Missing Persons.

John Cheever, “The Swimmer.”

John Cheever, “The Country Husband.”

Suggestions for Writing.

9. Read Drama Thoughtfully: Psychological Criticism.

Reflection: Someone's Mind.

Michael Hamburger, “A Poet's Progress.”

Strategies: Using Psychological Criticism.

Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach.”

Inventing, Shaping, Drafting: Student Essays.

Elements: Scene, Set, Actor, and Director.

From Shakespeare, Hamlet.

Practice: Brain Storms.

Terence McNally, Andre's Mother.

Suggestions for Writing.


10. The Elements of Fiction.

Engaging the Story.

The Nature of Fiction.

Suggestions for Reading Stories.

T. Coraghessan Boyle, “The Hit Man.”

Janette Turner Hosptial, “Morgan Morgan.”

Recognizing Elements: Character, Point of View, Plot, etc.

Student Examples.

Stories to Experience.

John Edgar Wideman, “The Weight.”

Zora Neale Hurston, “Sweat.”

11. Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Flannery O'Connor: Two Case Studies.

Reading Gilman's “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper.”

Writing about “The Yellow Wallpaper”: Critical Viewpoints.

Elaine Hedges: The Initial Appearance and Early Reception.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Autobiographical Insight.

Barbara Ehrenreich and Deidre English: Historical and Political Stance.

Loralee Pike: New Critical, Psychological, Feminist Blend.

Jean Kennard: Reader Response and Meta—Criticism.

Judith Fetterley: Reader Response and Feminist Criticism.

John Harvey Kellog: Historical Materials.

Janet Beer: Psychological Film Criticism.

Richard Feldstein: Deconstruction.

Douglas Tallack: Deconstructing Feminist Criticism.

Reading O'Connor's “Revelation.”

Flannery O'Connor, “Revelation.”

Writing about “Revelation”: Critical Viewpoints.

C. Ralph Stevens: Biographical Sketch of O'Connor.

Margaret Earley Whitt: The Biographical Context of “Revelation.”

Flannery O'Connor: On the Genre of the Short Story.

Margaret Turner: More Biographical Background.

Flannery O'Connor: On Her Motivation.

Marshall Bruce Gentry: Close Reading and Textual Evidence.

Richard Giannone: Historical and Biographical Materials.

12. More Stories.

Al-Shaykh, “Keeper of the Virgins.”

James Baldwin, “Sonny's Blues.”

Claudia Smith Brinson, “Einstein's Daughter.”

Raymond Carver, “Cathedral.”

Kate Chopin, “The Storm.”

Sandra Cisneros, “One Holy Night.”

Amanda Davis: “Louisiana Loses Its Cricket Hum.”

Rita Dove, “The Vibraphone.”

Louise Erdrich, “Wild Geese.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Babylon Revisited.”

Ernest Gaines, “Just Like a Tree.”

Brendan Gill: “The Knife.”

James Joyce, “Araby.”

Garrison Keillor, “Zeus the Lutheran.”

Doris Lessing, “A Woman on the Roof.”

Alice Munro, “How I Met My Husband.”

Joyce Carol Oates, “Nairobi.”

Frank O'Connor, “My Oedipus Complex.”

Cynthia Ozick, “The Shawl.”

Grace Paley, “A Conversation with My Father.”

Katherine Anne Porter, “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall.”

John Steinbeck, “The Chrysanthemums.”

Amy Tan, “Two Kinds.”

James Thurber, “The Catbird Seat.”

John Updike, “Deaths of Distant Friends.”


13. Elements of Poetry.

Dealing with Difficulty.

William Meredith, “A Major Work.”

The Nature of Poetry.

Mark Strand, “Eating Poetry.”


“This Is Just to Say.”


How to Read a Poem.


Emily Dickinson, “The Soul selects her own Society.”


Robert Francis, “Catch.”

A Sonnet Unfolded.

Shakespeare, Sonnet 93.

Recognizing Kinds.

Stances: Apostrophe, Aubade, Carpe Diem, Eclogue, Elegy, Ode, Pastoral, and Valediction.

Forms: Narrative, Lyric, Dramatic; Rhyme and Rythym.

Open versus Closed Form.

Denise Levertov, “Advent 1966.”

Robert Southwell, “The Burning Babe.”

Poems for Making Sense.

Shakespeare, 138.

William Carlos Williams, “Red Wheelbarrow.”

Gary Snyder, “Some Good Things to Be Said for the Iron Age.”

Robert Graves, “Down, Wanton, Down.”

Richard Wilbur, “A Late Aubade.”

14. Poetic Conversations.

Two Stars.

John Keats, “Bright Star.”

Robert Frost, “Choose Something Like a Star.”

An Odd Couple.

Ben Jonson, “Still to Be Neat.”

Robert Herrick, “Delight in Disorder.”

The First Couple.

Genesis 1:26-28, 2:7-10, 2:15-3:24.

William Butler Yeats, “Adam's Curse.”

Stevie Smith, “How Cruel Is the Story of Eve.”

Ted Hughes, “Theology.”

Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Never May the Fruit Be Plucked.”

Louise Gluck, “The Apple Trees.”

John Milton, from Paradise Lost.

Swine Songs.

Galway Kinnell, “Saint Francis and the Sow.”

Sylvia Plath, “Sow.”

Thom Gunn, “Moly.”

William Cowper, The Love of the World Reproved.

Charles Tomlinson, “On a Pig's Head.”

Richard Eberhart, “The Groundhog.”

Paul Muldoon, “Hedgehog.”

A Bowl of Plums for Wordsworth.

William Wordsworth, “The World Is Too Much With Us.”

Kenneth Koch: “Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams.”

Helen Chasin, “The Word Plum.”

Grace Stone Coats, “Wild Plums.”

Denise Levertov, “O Taste and See.”

Amy Clampitt, “Nothing Stays Put.”


William Wordsworth, “Afterthought.”

Stephen Crane, “A Man Said to the Universe.”

Theodore Roethke, “Root Cellar.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias.”

James Fenton, “God, A Poem.”

Thomas Hardy, “The Oxen.”

Wallace Stevens, “Anecdote of the Jar.”

Mark Strand, “Keeping Things Whole.”

Gerard Manley Hopkins, “God's Grandeur.”

Amy Clampitt, “Lindenbloom.”


Anthony Hecht, “Dover Bitch: A Criticism of Life.”

John Broehm, “Sea of Faith.”

Fred Dings, Chains of Change.

Cathy Song, “Waterwings.”

William Shakespeare, “Like as the waves.”

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses.”

Love Among the Sheep.

Christopher Marlowe, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.”

Sir Walter Raleigh, “The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd.”

John Donne, “The Bait.”

Robert Herrick, “To Phillis to love, and live with him.”

C. Day-Lewis, “Come, live with me and be my love.”

William Carlos Williams, “Raleigh Was Right.”

James Dickey, “The Sheep Child.”

Caryn Crabb, “The Passionate Businessman to a Foxy Chick.”


Diane Wood Middlebrook,

“February Afternoon, In a Boat in the Seine” (draft).

“February Afternoon, In a Boat in the Seine” (published version).

Patrick Armstrong, “The Wright Brothers” (draft).

James Dickey, Annotations on “The Wright Brothers.”

Patrick Armstrong, “Kitty Hawk” (published).

Robert Frost, “In White” (draft).

Robert Frost, “Design” (completed).

Peter Brueghel the Elder, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (painting).

W. H. Auden, “Musee des Beaux Arts.”

Dannie Abse, “Breughel in Naples.”

Alan Devenish, “Icarus Again.”

15. Robert Frost and Gwendolyn Brooks: Two Case Studies.

Reading Robert Frost.

“Mending Wall.”

“The Road Not Taken.”

“After Apple Picking.”


“Out, Out——.”

“Fire and Ice.”

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

“Desert Places.”

“Neither Out Far Nor In Deep.”

“Provide, Provide.”

“Nothing Gold Can Stay.”

“Sitting by a Bush in Broad Sunlight.”

“The Need of Being Versed in Country Things.”

“It Bids Pretty Fair.”

“Once by the Pacific.”

“The Most of It.”

Writing about Robert Frost: Critical Viewpoints.

Donald Greiner: On Frost's Critical Reception.

Malcolm Cowley: New Critical Analysis.

H. A. Maxson: Survey of Various Approaches to Frost.

Karen Kilcup: Feminist View of Frost.

Mordicai Marcus: Biographical versus Formal Readings of Two Poems.

Robert Frost: On Poetic Creativity.

Reading Gwendolyn Brooks.

“Sadie and Maude.”

“the ballad of chocolate Mabbie.”

“A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi. Meanwhile, a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon..”

“The Chicago Defender Sends a Man to Little Rock.”

“Langston Hughes.”

“The Sundays of Satin-Legs Smith.”

“Gay Chaps at the Bar.”

“God Works in Mysterious Ways.”

“do not be afraid of no.”

[“What shall I give my children?”].

[“And shall I prime my children?”].

[“First fight. Then fiddle.”].

“The Bean Eaters.”

“We Real Cool.”

Writing about Gwendolyn Brooks: Critical Viewpoints.

Paul Engle: New Critical and Biographical Stances.

Harvey Webster: Political Criticism.

Kenny Jackson Williams: Historical Influences.

Gertrude Reif Hughes: Feminist Criticism.

Brooke Kenton Horvath: New Criticism.

R. Baxter Miller: Reader—Response.

Joanne Gabbin: Political Criticism.

16. More Poems.

Suggestions for Reading Poetry.

Diane Ackerman, “Driving Through Farm Country at Sunset.”

Maya Angelou, “My Arkansas.”

Margaret Atwood, “Siren Song.”

Margaret Atwood, “Variation on the Word Sleep.”

W. H. Auden, “In Memory of W. B. Yeats.”

Imamu Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones), “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note.”

Aphra Behn, “Love Armed.”

Louise Bogan, “Women.”

Anne Bradstreet, “The Author to Her Book.”

William Cullen Bryant, “To a Waterfowl.”

Robert Burns, “Oh, My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose.”

Countee Cullen, “Incident.”

e. e. cummings, “anyone lived in a pretty how town.”

Kwame Dawes, “Umpire at the Portrait Gallery.”

Emily Dickinson, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.”

Emily Dickinson, “'Faith Is a Fine Invention.”

Emily Dickinson, “God is a Distant, Stately Lover.”

Emily Dickinson, “I Heard a Fly Buzz—When I Died.”

Emily Dickinson, “I Like to See It Lap the Miles.”

Fred Dings, “The Divers.”

John Donne, “The Canonization.”

Rita Dove, “Motherhood.”

John Dryden, “A Song for St. Cecilia's Day.”

John Dryden, “To the Memory of Mr. Oldham.”

Richard Eberhart, “The Fury of Aerial Bombardment.”

Robert Francis, “The Pitcher.”

Michael Harper, “Dear John, Dear Coltrane.”

Robert Herrick, “To the Virgins to Make Much of Time.”

A. E. Housman, “Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now.”

Langston Hughes, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.”

Langston Hughes, “The Weary Blues.”

Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B.”

Luisa Igloria, “Dinakdakan.”

Galway Kinnell, “The Bear.”

Philip Larkin, “Study of Reading Habits.”

Li-Young Lee, “Persimmons.”

Denise Levertov, “To the Snake.”

Richard Lovelace, “To Aramantha, That She Would Dishevel Her Hair.”

Amy Lowell, “Patterns.”

Claude McKay, “If we must die.”

Claude McKay, “America.”

W. S. Merwin, “For the Anniversary of My Death.”

W.S. Merwin, “Leviathan.”

Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Love Is Not All.”

Howard Nemerov, “The Goose Fish.”

Wilfred Owen, “Dulce et Decorum Est.”

Dorothy Parker, “Resume.”

Sylvia Plath, “Metaphors.”

Dudley Randall, “Ballad of Birmingham.”

John Crowe Ransom, “Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter.”

Ishmael Reed, “Naming of Parts.”

Adrienne Rich, “Aunt Jennifer's Tigers.”

William Shakespeare, [“When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes”].

William Shakespeare, [“Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts”].

Stevie Smith, “Not Waving But Drowning.”

William Stafford, “Traveling through the dark.”

Jonathan Swift, “A Description of the Morning.”

Dylan Thomas, “Fern Hill.”

Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.”

John Updike, “Ex-Basketball Player.”

Walt Whitman, “O Captain! My Captain!.”

Richard Wilbur, “The Death of the Toad.”

William Carlos Williams, “Spring and All.”

James Wright, “A Blessing.”

William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming.”


17. Elements of Drama.

The World's a Stage.

Getting the Play off the Page.

Recognizing Elements: Conflict, Resolution, Act, and Play.

Douglas Adams, scene from The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Writing about Drama.

Susan Glaspell, Trifles.

Understanding the Play.

Journal Entries: Student Example.

A Writing Plan: Critical Strategies.

Essay on Trifles: Student Example.

18. Sophocles and Shakespeare: Three Case Studies.

Oedipus the King.

Oedipus and the Rest of Us.

Aristotle and Tragedy.

The Greek Theatre.

The Play Itself.

Sophocles, Oedipus the King.

Writing about Oedipus the King: Critical Viewpoints.

Historical and Cultural Criticism.

James Hogan.

New Critical Reading.

Bernard Knox.

Psychological Reading.

Sigmund Freud.

A Comment on Freud.

Adrian Poole.

Martha Nussbaum.

Suggestions for Writing.

Hamlet Casebook.

The Weight of Hamlet.

The Author, The Theatre, The Play.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

Writing about Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: Critical Viewpoints.

H. D. F. Kitto.

Eleanor Prosser.

Maynard Mack.

Coppelia Kahn.

Elaine Showalter.

Janet Adelman.

John Updike.

Midsummer Night's Dream.

Your Shakespeare.

Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream.

Writing about a Midsummer Night's Dream.

Critical Viewpoints.

Sidney Homann.

C. Walter Hodges.

David Bevington.

Norman Holland.

Richard Wilson.

Shirley Nelson Garner.

Douglas Green.

Phillip McGuire.

Leonard Tennenhouse.

Louis Montrose.

19. More Plays.

Marsha Norman, The Laundromat.

David Ives, Sure Thing.

August Wilson, The Janitor.

Catherine Celesia, Anything For You.

Milcha Sanchez-Scott, The Cuban Swimmer.

Appendix A: Research and Documentation.

Investigating the Work.

The Purposes of Research.

How to Do Research.

The Writing Process.

A Sample Research Paper.

Appendix B: Editing and Revising.






The Hard-to-Please Reader.


Checklist: Revising.

Appendix C: Biographies of Poets.

Works Cited.

Glossary of Literary Terms.

Index of First Lines of Poems.

Index of Authors and Titles.

Index of Literary and Critical Terms (inside back cover).

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