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Transcript
New Historicism
Michael O
Owen G
Isaac H
Four Main Points to Investigate
 The life of the author
 The social rules found in the text
 The manner in which the text reveals a
situation
 The ways in which other historical
texts can help us understand the text
Basic Background

Developed in response to the critics who
challenged the New Criticism in the 1970s

New Criticism: type of formalist literary criticism,
ignoring importance of historical context
This approach is used to criticize based on the
acknowledgment of the literary text, but also to
analyze based on the time period of the
character or the author.
 Some questions to consider while reading:



Are the events happening in the past, present or
future tense?
What is the time period and the history of the
subject?
Pros
Knowing the historical background of a
text helps to better understand the context
of a text better. In Animal Farm, by
George Orwell, if the reader did not know
the story was based on the Russian
Revolution of the 20th Century, the book
would simply be one of an odd farm tale,
where the animals take over a family farm.
Cons
The reader incorporates their own bias of
the history learned in the time period they
grew up in
The reader may be drawn away from the
actual text, and possibly focus on the
history and background of the time,
making preconceived notions about the
content instead of examining the text first.
How the Historical Approach
Connects to Our Poem
Historical criticism connects to the poem Passport
by Mahmoud Darwish because it is written about
his past experiences. The definition of the
historical/biographical approach states that it is
necessary to understand the person or
characters history to develop an understanding
about the writing. This entire poem is written in
past tense, showing that it is the history of the
writer, it is necessary to recognize this in the
story because it shows more about where the
writing comes from.