According to the schools of literary criticism that have gradually developed in the 20th and 21st centuries, it is of significance to point out that there are various different critical strategies for reading that aid in understanding language, social sciences, as well as humanities. There are key strategies that are discussed in the book ‘Critical Strategies for Reading’ in The Bedford Introduction to Literature by Michael Meyer which may be listed as formalist, biographical, sociological, historical and psychological strategies.
The formalist strategy is more or less different from artistic quality of literary works as it focuses on the formal elements of a work such as the language used, structure and tone among others. Biographical strategy, on the other hand, is dissimilar as it entails comprehending the author’s life history with an aim of helping the reader to understand the piecework more clearly.
Briefly Describe Each Critical Strategy That Focuses on Social Context
Due to this social context, sociological strategy is employed to emphasize the nature and consequences of social forces which shape relationships between men and women in the male dominated world. Additionally, the historical strategy focuses on the artistic quality of literary works in the sense that it depicts how directly the literature works reflects the period in which it was written, for instance, male chauvinism in the American society. In this context, we are told that Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale choose to secrete the evidence, because they know that Minnie Wright will receive just treatment in a male subjugated society.
According to Meyer in his work, The Bedford Introduction to Literature, the psychological strategy lays emphasis on phenomena such as subconscious desires, dreams, and sexual oppression among others. From this context, Attorney Henderson views Minnie Wright as a sloppy housewife and not as a woman who may have been abused by her husband.