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Title:Structural Patterns and Principles of Design: An Archetypal Analysis of Four Selected Literary Works and Implications for Teaching Literature in the Secondary Schools
Author(s):Turner, Dixie Mae
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Walker, Jerry L.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Education, Secondary
Literature, American
Abstract:This dissertation deals with the problem of literary study in the secondary schools. The criticism and teaching of literature has been based on the work or its relationship to the world, the author, or the reader. Literary meaning is often sought outside the work itself. Close explication of discrete works is important at times, but it does not add to students' knowledge of literature as a unified and conceptual whole. In order to teach the form and structure of literature, teachers can consider the teaching of archetypal literary criticism. Each literary work is treated as an object of art: one that is part of a total design or literary universe.
The research is based on the theoretical and conceptual framework of Northrop Frye. The method of analysis is content analysis; the content of four selected works is analyzed for structural units or patterns called archetypes. The sources of evidence are "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote, The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, "Dark Girl" by Arna Bontemps, and "Mother to Son" by Langston Hughes. In the analysis of each work, archetypes of theme, story shape, events, and characters are identified and described. Archetypes of images and symbols are analyzed and classified into Leland Ryken's categories of literary experience: ideal and unideal. The analysis is qualitative or nonnumerical, and the level of measurement is nominal.
The results of this study show that an associative relationship exists between archetypes and literature. Archetypes can be found in all works; they structure each discrete work; they connect and relate all works to each other. Archetypal literary criticism allows literary works to be identified and placed in a literary context, and it allows for the study of literature to be centripetal rather than centrifugal.
The conclusions of the study indicate that archetypal literary criticism can be a meaningful approach to the teaching of literature in the secondary schools. The teaching of archetypal literary criticism focuses on structural patterns and principles of literature and archetypes as basic concepts that give literature its wholeness.
Issue Date:1988
Description:307 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8815433
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1988

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