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There are several methods of formal literary criticism. They often go by different terminology depending on which expert one consults, but some of the main ones are: Formalist, Deconstruction, Reader Response, Psychoanalytic, Feminism, Historical, Cultural, Biographical, New Criticism, etc.
Feminist Criticism views literature as a reflection of society, so this might be the easiest one to discuss with regard to your question. This method of literary criticism adopts a feminist point of view in reading literature. Feminist Criticism opposes what it considers a patriarchal and male-centered culture. This criticism also opposes women stereotypes in literature and anything that presents the oppression of women by society or elements of society (men). It observes and challenges the role women play in literature and concerns itself with the appropriateness of that role. It seeks to raise awareness about the oppression of women and in order to promote change in the culture that causes such oppression. Feminist critics analyze literature and point out and debunk sexual stereotyping. They favor works that focus on the many strengths of women in literature and favor those writers, men and women, who present women in a positive light.
To analyze literature from this point of view is to consider how the female characters are depicted in the work, and this usually means a consideration of their role in their society. What types of situations are they placed in? What is their relationship to other characters and each other? How do they relate to the male characters? What are their vocational roles (do they have any)? What are their attitudes? What are the attitudes of the other characters towards them? How powerful are the female characters?
Given the tone of the question, I am not sure there is a right or correct answer. Much of this is going to be dependent on how the individual answers it and explains their reasoning. For my bet, I think that the Marxist school of literary criticism views literature in a social or material context. Much of the Marxist school of thought seeks to bring a social or contextual understanding to literature, ensuring that it is not purely viewed in a vacuum devoid of social context or social construct. For the Marxist literary critic, literature itself is a reflection of economic or material reality and advances an agenda from this premise. This seeks to connect literature to society, ensuring that one is mindful of the conditions that both give rise to literature and the conditions that are addressed by the literature. The discussion of the element of class and material inequality is of vital importance to the Marxist critic and to analyze this in literature occupies the utmost of importance. For the Marxist, literature and society go together quite well.
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