Three theories are particularly suitable: New Criticism, Historical Criticism and Psychological Criticism.
Three theories are particularly suitable: New Criticism, Historical Criticism and Psychological Criticism.Each of these three, or perhaps a combination of two of them, can enable the writer to explore his or her argument in detail and select relevant and convincing evidence from the text to support this.Irving’s story can enable students and pupils to develop their critical reading and writing skills while at the same time learning to appreciate the value and importance of “good” literature.
They are also sufficient to demonstrate my key claims.
In terms of New Criticism, which focuses on linguistic and stylistic features in the text and the presence of opposites and contrasts as a means of creating meaning, there are a number of interesting features to note.
All page references refer to the electronic version of Irving’s story at
In paragraph one, for example, the mystery and danger of the setting are established in such phrases as “thickly wooded” in line 2, trees of “immense size” in l.4, and “ill gotten” treasure in line 11.
While my primary focus is on university students, I shall demonstrate in the latter part of my paper that Irving’s tale can also be adapted for use at high school.
My comments are based on a project conducted in 2005 at an American middle school.Writing helps individuals to engage with others and to produce alternative versions of reality.It provides the conditions for production and transformation based on the writer’s thoughts and understanding.The results of this project, highlighted in the article “Trading Spaces with Tom Walker: Moving the Devil out of Fourth Hour”, are briefly summarised and discussed.Irving’s short story was published in 1824 as part of Washington Irving’s collection of short stories was generally poorly received by critics, who described it as “unoriginal”.I raise an important question for readers and writers of academic texts: “how do we promote critical thinking that will result in writing that conforms to well-defined procedures for the collection and processing of data while at the same time maintaining and demonstrating a personal motive, approach and set of ideals?” As we engage in research, we sign up, consciously or unconsciously, to beliefs, values and attitudes of which we may or may not be aware.That the story is “well-known” lends validity; as in all well-structured stories, this important idea is repeated in the conclusion, where the narrator notes that “the story has resolved itself into a proverb”.The second paragraph focuses on human contributions to the misery of the place.What other sources are available, and how do these compare in academic quality and critical thinking with those found on the Internet?These are particularly important questions for undergraduates who are only just beginning to learn how to critique texts in a convincing way and to present their critique in a manner that is acceptable to the Academy.