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What Is Literature?

Autor:   •  August 10, 2017  •  Course Note  •  507 Words (3 Pages)  •  645 Views

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What is literature?

Read chapter 1 of English Literature by Anthony Burgess and answer the following questions bearing in mind Eagleton’s introduction. The questions must be answered in groups of six (no less than 4 and no more than 7.) This assignment will be graded. Please respect the number of words. Hand-in date: 12th July

1. Establish a relationship between Burgess’s use of the word “value” and Eagleton’s use of this word. Why do you think that Eagleton decided to include this idea at the end of the chapter unlike Burgess who included it at the beginning? (70 words)

2. Establish a relationship between Burgess’s idea “Poets and musicians are especially experts at expressing emotions for us” with the idea that Eagleton expressed on paragraph 18. Explain the different views of these two authors regarding this topic. (70 words)

3. Compare Burgess’s ideas about “use of words” with Eagleton’s discussion on paragraph 8. (70 words)

4. Establish a relationship between the word “buckle” in Burgess’s discussion and the word “squiggly” in Eagleton’s discussion. Explore similarities and differences. (40 words )

5. Make a comparison between Burgess’s ideas and the Formalists’ ideas. Focus on the mystique of the author, the division between form and content, defamiliarization, literariness and laying bare. (100words)

1. Burgess talks about Values as a given eternal property. He suggests the examples of Truth and Beauty as different values but he insists that they have different interpretation and can be judged in different ways. Eagleton defines Literature as ‘highly valued writing’ but it’s not a stable entity because through time people have had different interpretations. He also explains that ‘values’ is a transitive term, meaning that whatever is valued by certain people in specific situations, according to a particular standard and in the light of given purposes.

1. Both extracts relate saying that socio-historical contexts are represented through artistic expressions. Burgess expresses that artists re-arrange raw materials and make art out of them through this new disposition. Eagleton says that is people who re-write literature “in the light of their own concerns”, providing a new disposition to it every time it’s read and making it valuable through centuries.

1. Burgess explains that there are two ways of understanding words. He uses two terms: denotation, which is the meaning of the words that can be found in the dictionary and connotations, which are the associations that


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