Monday, May 4, 2009

Literary Theory was terrible to read, but well worth it

Despite the fact that every time questions over Eagleton’s Literary Theory were assigned I waited until the last minute because I dreaded drudging through the book, I still undoubtedly learned a great deal from Eagleton. Prior to reading Terry Eagleton, I knew nothing about literary studies or history. I have always liked literature, but I was completely uneducated in its roots.

I think it is fair to say that almost everyone in the class thought Eagleton was fairly dry and traditional compared to all of the other works we studied; however, reading Literary Theory gave our work a nice, conventional consistency. I really like the structure of this class and how the Learning Record is used, but at times it can be slightly overwhelming. By assigning single chapters of Eagleton’s book over the entire semester, a regular, predictable pattern was established that I thought was very appealing.

Don’t get me wrong, I hated reading Literary Theory, but in retrospect I see that I am much more knowledgeable about basic literary studies of the twentieth century than I was at the beginning of the semester. The concepts of New Criticism, Structuralism, and Post-Structuralism are frequently referred to, even outside of English classes, so having this new understanding is hopefully going to be very beneficial. Grasping the basic components of literary theories is pretty essential for future English classes and general conversations and I feel like I can speak knowledgeably, to a certain extent, about each of the theories mentioned by Eagleton.

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