Biographical criticism involves analyzing a literature in regards to the author’s life in order to enhance the understanding of the work. Biographical criticism can define a literature as a reflection of an author’s life. Biographical criticism is relative to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The direct connection between Lee’s own life and her only published novel is outstanding. In resemblance to the main character Scout in the novel, Harper Lee was also raised in small town in Alabama with a brother, or brothers, and was perceived by society as having manly attributes in her wardrobe and behavior. Harper Lee and Scout both had a father in law that had defended black men on trial for murder. Furthermore, the black men accused were killed in both cases.
Biographical criticism increases the analysis of literature by allowing the reader make a connection to the specific contexts in which the work was created in order to enhance the understanding of the work. Harper Lee’s life contains undeniable similarities to her novel To Kill a Mockingbird which allows the reader to make a deeper connection to the story. Although To Kill a Mockingbird was a work of fiction, the reader can draw conclusions by the use of biographical criticism that the story was in fact part non-fiction. The setting, era, and social issues in the story are all true to society of the time. The similarities drawn from the author’s life and the story allow the reader to establish a sense of what society truly resembled in Alabama at that period in time through a work of fiction. Without the connection between the authors life to the story, the reader would be oblivious to the non-fiction aspects in the work.
I have learned that biographical approach allows the author to make the novel realistic due to actual events in their life. I will compare To Kill a Mockingbird with The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. This author of this book did use his own experiences in the book since he grew up in an indian reserve with an alchoholic father. The author uses his past experiences to give more depth to the main character, for example the shock of the main character when he discovers that he is using the same text book that his mother did when she went to school is based on the authors actual experience of that event. Biographical approach can be affective because it adds depth to the story by adding elements of real life to fiction. These events that happened in the text are linked to the author's life and provide useful insight on the development of the book. There is however a problem with the biographical approach, this is that the character is not necessarily the author so it is not guarenteed that whatever the characters do may have nothing to do with the authors life. Another problem is that it can be difficult to use an exact biography of an author that has lived hundreds of years ago.
Biological criticism analyses an authors life regarding their work, it can be very helping in understanding the writing better. For example, biological criticism is shown in Alan Cumyn's 'Burridge Unbound' because Cumyn is a political activist and is extrenely interested in government decisions. In Burridge Unbound the main character was taken as a political prisoner and it follows him as he puts his life back together. The similarities are small but not non-exsistant, once the reader knows the background of the author he/she may have a better understanding and connect to the book better than before.
Biographical criticism is way of analyzing through the past of the author and their life in regards to their work. Animal Farm by George Orwell is an allegorical novel that according to Orwell the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917, and then on into the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. George Orwell published Animal Farm in 1945 soon after working for BBC’s Eastern Services in WWII doing “war work”. He wrote the book during a time of war and having lived through WWI and WWII a book about the war is something to be expected. Biographical analysis allows the reader to empathize with the author and the work.
The biographical approach uses an understanding of the author’s personal life to further analyze a piece of literature. It considers how the author’s life unintentionally shapes and affects the writing. This approach suggests that by having knowledge of the author’s own life, the work of literature can be studied more adequately. In the novel, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, characteristics of Fitzgerald’s personal life are extremely evident within the plot and the characters. Fitzgerald lived a very frivolous life style full of foolishness, alcohol and extravaganzas. Similarly, his main character, Jay Gatsby, indulges in these activities thoughtlessly and sparingly. Many of Fitzgerald’s books very closely parallel his own experiences and life style. This type of criticism is very effective because authors often unintentionally reflect their own life and personal experiences within their writing. By looking at the author of a work’s personal life, one may get a more in depth understanding of the work itself and its intentions.
Biographical criticism is a way of analyzing a novel or any literary work through the author's past. In most cases, an author will reflect their life within their own works. This is evident in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald himself grew up and lived in New York most of his life and this so this could be why The Great Gatsby is set in New York. Fitzgerald was able to see the contrast between the upper class and the lower class people of New York which is a large part of what The Great Gatsby is about. Fitzgerald did move to Minnesota for a short period of his life and that is actually where Gatsby went to College before having to go to war, even though he claimed to be an Oxford graduate. Fitzgerald also dropped out of University to join the Army for World War I. Strangely familiar to what Jay Gatsby had to do in the novel.
By using Biographical Criticism, it allows the reader to make more pure connections with the characters like Jay Gatsby and to truly understand what message the author is trying to share in each work.
Biographical criticism is the idea that the writers life has an influence on is or her work. This criticism analyzes the author’s life and the relationship it shares with their works of literature. Biographical criticism is seen in the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The main character, Gatsby, shares many traits with the author Fitzgerald. For example, Fitzgerald wife, Zelda, rejects him because he is not successful and Gatsby’s love interest, Daisy, rejects him because he is not successful. When analyzing literature I would use this theory because by understanding the writer’s life this helps to understand the authors intended meaning.
Biographical criticism is a method of analyzing a literary work in regards to its author's life. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel Tender is the Night, he draws upon a number of elements from his own life to shape the story. The book follows the tragic deterioration of a couple's marriage, Dick and Nicole Diver. At the time of their marriage, Dick is a brilliant young psychiatrist- he becomes captivated with a young patient from a mental hospital, Nicole, and becomes both husband and doctor to the woman. Pronounced 'cured' by the specialists, Nicole is allowed to leave ,using her wealth to live lavishly with her husband, goading Dick into an extravegant lifestyle not his own. Nicole was not 'cured' as people thought, however, and the story tragically follows her worsening mental state, as Dick does all he can to save her. By the time this novel was published in 1934, F.Scott Fitzgerald had lost his own personal battle to save his wife from mental illness, and their marriage from the inevetible consequences. The novel is very much a product of Fitzgeralds own expierience of struggle and heartbreak. Biographical criticism is a great approach to take when analyzing literature, as it allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the work, and to draw greater meaning.
The Biographical approach of criticizing works relies on the author’s personal background. The approach brings to light all personal dilemmas, beliefs, opinions and especially past experiences belonging to the author that have been donated to his work. This way of criticizing can reveal what the book’s intentions for the reader are, through the identification of its worth to the author. Charles Dickens witnessed his father going in and out of debtor’s prison. A character in his novel; A Tale of Two Cities, John Barsad, also frequents the debtor’s prison. This connection between the character and author is an example of the Biographical approach. This method of criticising seems very effective and nearly impossible to ignore when analysing any work of fiction.
From what can be gathered from the above post, Dickens uses his past, specifically his father's trouble with debt, in his novel. This adds meaning to the book because it gives the reader insight as to why the author gave John Barsad such a background.
F. Scott Fitzgerald also mirrors his life in his well known work, The Great Gatsby. Many characters in the novel, like Fitzgerald and his wife, lived an extravagant party lifestyle; so much so, that they developed notoriety from said lifestyle among peers. Fitzgerald was also known to be critical of the reckless Fast Twenties, the era which his novel takes place. The Great Gatsby is very much a social criticism, with its over the top characters and its contrasting rich and poor settings. Using the Biographical approach it can be seen that, through Dickens and Fitzgerald, it is an effective tool for analysis as it gives much insight to the others thoughts and emotions.
Biographical Criticism analyzes the author’s life as compared to their work. It is very difficult for the mind to create a story out of its experience, and so many authors are comfortable relaying their experiences in their work. It allows them to write better because they can describe the situations and emotions present realistically and effectively through their knowledge, and it may also provide an outlet for them to express their feelings. Harper Lee integrates many aspects of herself and her life into her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee grew up in the small Alabamian town of Monroeville in the early twentieth century, just as her protagonist, Scout, does. Scout and Lee share the same last name on her father’s side. Atticus Finch is reflective of her father, a lawyer who defended black men who were found guilty and later killed. Lee was a tomboy and an avid reader, much like Scout. Dill was modeled after Lee’s childhood friend Truman Capote. To Kill a Mockingbird is very reflective of Lee’s life, and thus she was effectively able to portray the racist situations of the South in the early twentieth century. I would use this theory when analyzing literature because it allows the reader to have a better understanding of the novel and develop an appreciation of any emotional turmoil found within the pages.
Biographical criticism is a type of criticism that helps analyze a book based on the authors past experiences. Using the biography of the author can give insight on characters, plot, and can give the reader a better understanding of the relationships between each character. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald can be criticized using this theory, the main character Jay Gatsby have similar qualities to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Both men met their dream women in the army, but never had the chance to marry her because neither of them had enough money for her. F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife would have beautiful and extravagant parties, similar to the parties that Jay Gatsby had thrown. We can also see that Jay Gatsby experienced the same struggles with women that F. Scott Fitzgerald had. Learning more about Gatsby’s character can lead to conclusions that F. Scott Fitzgerald led the same life as Gatsby did, and had the same desires and fears. I think that biographical criticism is a great way to analyze literature; it makes hidden qualities of the characters more apparent to the reader.
Biographical criticism is one that compares the characters and situations in a book to the author's own life experiences. It expands the understanding of the story by presenting the real world situations against those in the book. Biographical criticism can be used when looking at Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Conrad himself was the captain of a steamer on the River Congo like his character Marlow in the novel. Conrad even played a part in helping with the conflict in the Congo that is brought out in Heart of Darkness. He wrote this book based mostly on his real life experiences in Africa. Another character in the novel, Kurtz, is said to be a reflection of a man named Georges Antoine Klein, who was with Conrad on their trip to the Congo. I believe that biographical criticism would be useful in helping a reader find out more about the stories and situations because they would get a greater view of what is meant to be portrayed in the book.
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When taking a biographical approach to analyzing a novel, one looks at the life of the author to compare their live to events and characters from their woks. Most books tend to reflect the time in which the author lived, their views, their experiences, or people who were, or are, close to them. By comparing the life of the author to the work being studied it allows the reader to better understand where the author is coming from, and can give the story added background and meaning. An issue with this type of critique is that the reader must take care in making sure that they do not think that every author is always putting themselves into their work. If this is done some inferences might be made that are incorrect. A work read in school that this approach can be used on is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. When looking at Fitzgerald’s work a reader can see that events and people from his life influenced his work. His relationship with his wife, Zelda, leaks into the novel. In order to be able to marry her Fitzgerald had to make a name for himself first. This can be seen when Gatsby tries to win over Daisy. He makes money and a name for himself in the hope that Daisy will follow her heart and return to him. The comparison between Zelda and Daisy can also be seen in the way that Daisy liked to lavish herself. Zelda caused her husband to fall into debt with her spending habits. Depending on the circumstances this format of literary analysis might be used. If there was time to research the life of the author, or if information on their life was given it would help to give insight to possible meanings the author had. Otherwise, this format would be difficult to use in all situations since there needs to be excess research done to be able to analyze in this way properly.
Biographical Criticism is the type of criticism that analyzes an authors biography to show the relationship between their life and their literature. A novel which has biographical Criticism can be explained more effectively would be the novel, The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald incorporates his style of life into this book by showing the extravagant life by having parties everyday, the character that played him was Jay Gatsby. Fitzgerald's life was portrayed a little differently in the book, however his key points were incorporated. By reading this novel you will have a general idea of the king of life Fitzgerald was living.
What Mark has said is that through the character of Jay Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts his own life and his own interests, such as partying every day. For the readers, it is interesting to note such details, because empathizing with Fitzgerald's perspective is an effective way to understand the book.
In Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, the theme of sexuality appears to be autobiographical for Williams, who was raised in Tennessee (hence the nickname) and grew up gay in a homophobic society. This is portrayed through Blance DuBois' ex-husband, who also was homosexual. This theory is effective in most circumstances if the readers agree to what message is being delivered. Homosexuality should not be encouraged. If such case presents itself, acceptance, not ignorace, must be the only reaction towards this situation.
Biographical criticism is a method of analysing a piece of literature while referring to the author’s past life and history. This understanding of the author’s history can give greater meaning to some scenes or references made within their literature. An example of this would be the way F. Scott Fitzgerald manipulated his character Jay Gatsby, in his novel The Great Gatsby, to have lived a life that was very similar to his own. Jay Gatsby lived a life full of pleasure and fame. He always had the most extravagant parties and was loved by all the women in West Egg, Long Island during the 1920’s. Fitzgerald’s first novel gave him plenty of success and fame which evidently lead him towards an extravagant lifestyle full of partying and drinking. This lifestyle has been portrayed by many characters throughout many of Fitzgerald’s novels, most notably of course would be Jay Gatsby, which allows readers to infer that Fitzgerald’s happiest times were during those in which he was able to bask in his fame. In some cases this theory could lead the reader off track in terms of the author’s true intentions toward a specific scene or reference made. The reader would be making connections based off their own assumptions unless the author specifically dictated the reasoning towards the references, scenes, or characters. This would cause me to avoid using this theory.
Biographical criticism analyzes an author’s life in regard to their work. Knowing about an author’s life experiences can enhance the understanding of a work. Thus, knowing background information about an author’s writing such as time period, events of the time and personal background is important in fully understanding the work. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby, much of the plot as well as main characters follow life events similar to his such as: the setting in New York, where F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda resided, the use of alcohol by Gatsby which is reflected in Fitzgerald’s alcoholism, the mental breakdowns his wife had which are reflected in Daisy Buchannan’s character, the breakup and loss of Daisy from Gatsby which is reflected in the breakup of Fitzgerald and Zelda, and Daisy, like Zelda also displays a love of money and all that comes along with that, as well as a lack of loyalty. The correlation of the novel and Fitzgerald’s life is an example of biographical criticism. A look into F. Scott Fitzgerald’s past allows the reader to further connect with the novel. This type of criticism is useful when analyzing literature in that many authors writing is unintentionally shaped by their own life experiences.
Biographical Criticism analyzes an author’s life in comparison to their work, which can lead to a deeper understanding of the work. Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, incorporated many elements of her childhood into her novel, with herself being parallel to the protagonist, Scout Finch. Like Atticus Finch, Lee’s father was a lawyer who defended African Americans. Lee had a brother who was four years younger, like the character Jem, and also had a summer friend named Truman, who served as the model for Dill. At age 10, her father’s newspaper covered the case of a white woman who accused a black man of raping her, and was sentenced to death on weak evidence. This, along with other court cases, were the inspiration behind the trial of Tom Robinson. These real-life situations enforce Lee’s novel as an accurate depiction of hatred and racism in the Deep South, which makes the novel more potent and powerful to the reader. I would use Biographical Criticism because it would be ridiculous not to know how an author’s life has coloured and potentially biased their work.
1. Biographical criticism is when the life of the author is somehow incorporated in their work.
An example of this can be seen in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck Lived during the great depression. At one point in his life, he was a migrant worker that travelled from farm to farm. He was exposed to the harsh human nature during this period of time, and his experiences provided for his novel. In Of Mice and Men, both George and Lenny are migrant workers that living in the great depression and are exposed to the judgements of their fellow men.
While I understand the importance of knowing about the lives of certain authors, I myself waffle due to personal interest. There are certain authors I find more interesting than others, but I do not believe it necessary to become acquainted with every author of every book I have ever read.
Biographical criticism analyses a piece of literature with regard to the life of the author. The past experiences of a writer have a strong affect of the type of literature that they create. For example, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, author of The Great Gatsby, lived on the time period of which the setting of the novel takes place. With this knowledge of the 1920’s, Fitzgerald was able to give an accurate description of the lives of the character, and their primary motives. Fitzgerald was aware of what the people of that time period was focused on, which was the stereotypical American dream. This is an effective form of criticism. If an author is able to connect more personally with his work, it is a useful tool. With this in mind, one may not only analyze a novel, but analyze the life and upbringing of the author to gain excess information.
Biographical criticism analyzes a work of literature by comparing events and characters within the work to the author’s life. Fitzgerald and Hemingway believed that every piece of literature is autobiographical in nature; any person that writes a piece of literature will incorporate significant events or people in their lives into their work, even if it is subconsciously. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, exemplifies some aspects of biographical criticism. The setting that is used in the novel was based on the area that Fitzgerald was living while he was writing the book. Also, Zelda, Fitzgerald’s wife, would not marry him because he would not be able to support both of them with the money he was making. This is just like how Daisy Buchanan would not marry Gatsby because of his lack of wealth. Using the biographical criticism approach gives the work more meaning, and will give the reader more context as to why certain events happen or why characters act a certain way. This approach is present in most works of literature and proves to be very effective.
The Biographical Approach involves a look at the author's life, experiences and personal views and how they impact their writings. Essentially it's researching an author before reading any of their works to understand why they'd be writing the way they are. This approach can be used for almost any book ever written, but one excedingly effective example is The Aeneid. In it the author Virgil recounts the mythic tale of Rome's founding by Aeneas, however Virgil places ideals, customs, rules and values of his contemporary Romans into his story, he talks of Aeneas as if he were an average Roman like himself. Personally I would not go into depth but more often then not I will look up an author before reading, or whilst reading their works.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.