Literary Criticism

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What points should be included in a literary appreciation?

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The term "literary appreciation" requires analysis of how an author uses form, structure and technique to create meaning in combination with well reasoned and soundly supported personal opinion in relation to a literary work. It melds minimal description and analysis of a work with your own personal response.

In education, literary appreciation can be used for assignments at various academic levels and is a critical part of the Cambridge IGCSE exams taken by students up to 19 years old in which they are asked to respond to a work in a way that blends critical literary thinking with the development of insights about the author's meaning--as expressed through form, structure and techniques--in relation to people and cultures. 

Along with theme, a good starting point for this genre is to look at the characters in the literary work and what they learn and experience as the work progresses. As well as thinking about their experiences, examine how the author gives you an idea of the moral and psychological natures of the characters. You might mention any details which are especially effective in displaying character and the relationship between the narrator and the characters

Next, you should cover a carefully developed opinion, based on many quotations about the work, and what you have learned from your reading and how you can apply it to your own life. For example, the plot of Pride and Prejudice might make you think about the reasons why you shouldn't judge people quickly and superficially or George Orwell's 1984 might make you think about the relationship between language and truth. 

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