Mean As Custard (calico_pye) wrote,
Mean As Custard

The Curtains Were Blue

Hmmm - time creeps up on me and I am meant to be finishing Nights at the Circus soon, yet barely half way.  Above is very typical of what an A level student has to decipher, extrapolating meaning from a text.  Alas, the higher you go, the more complex it gets. When you start the BA English, Lit Theory shows its ugly head.  So - apply the above to levels 4,5 and 6.

Gender Theory - Does the colour blue force a man/woman/gender neutral et al., to identify themselves into one sterotypical box?

Marxist Theory - Who do the curtains belong to? Who can afford them? Who can't? Is the colour representational of a capitalist conspiracy?

Psychoanalytical Theory - The curtains represent female sexual organs - why are they blue? Are they representing sexual repression, the rejection of Oedipus, a metaphor for the lower sex drives or just a very bad colour for the bedroom?

Feminist Theory - In closing the blue curtains, is the female reclaiming her sexual identity? Is it the man's choice that they are blue? In closing the curtains, is he enforcing his patriarchal dominance over the female?

And so on....
Before you claim that the above text is ridiculous, let me assure you that it isn't.  The course is not about merely expressing how you (the reader/student) feels about this, it is about feeding it through a theory that you can plot your assignment around.  It really IS like that.  Read a batch of books that are a variation of a theme, select a theory or two, interpret those books thus constructing an argument, find secondary books that may assist that concept - then support your evidence through external academic essays and lit theory-specific books.

Rinse and repeat umpteen times during three years, but especially through the major dissertation.  The thin, bluey-greeny part of the Venn diagram is what the examiner thinks and ultimately where your BA English score lies.

Tags: ba english, literary theory, what is theory?

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