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Criticism Response


Find a scholarly article (no student papers) on one of the pieces of literature from the possible selections.  The article must be analytical in nature (not a summary of the literature) and at least one page long.  Read the article carefully, and then do as follows: 


1) First, summarize the article.  Identify author/scholar, title, overall main idea, and supporting points.  Thoroughly explain the author/scholar’s viewpoints.  Your summary should be at least 250 words long (1 decent ¶).  Please include a word count at the bottom of your summary. 


2) When you have completed the summary, carefully and thoroughly mark the article, using a legend so as to identify the following things:


a)  Information that helped me understand the literature better

b) Any *theories (not facts) the scholar has about the literature that I agree with

*You are looking for theories regarding WHY the original writer did something or how a particular element is being used.  The theory must be something that another student/scholar could challenge, not simply an observation about the work and how it was written.

c) Theories (not facts) the scholar has about the literature that I disagree with


3.  Include a correctly formatted Works Cited page that includes the article you have read and the original piece of literature.  The instructions for how to format your Works Cited page are on page 1790—1791.  A sample Works Cited page is on page 1801.  Sample citations of library database articles and articles from bound library volumes are in your documentation handout.  Samples of other source types are on pages 1791—1793.


Essay format is not necessary. 


Please type your response and format/paginate it according to MLA guidelines (A sample paper is on page 1796).


Take care to correctly incorporate source material into your text using lead—ins (1787—1788), brackets, ellipses (1787), summaries (1785) and paraphrases (1786).


This response is worth a possible ten points.  The points will be split into two equal categories:  content and accuracy.  These will then be added together to equal your total.  For content, points will be awarded based on thoughtfulness and thoroughness.  For accuracy, points will be awarded based on the four—error—per—page rule.

Genius Extraordinaire

Professor Juncker

English 1B

30 August 2007

“The Darling”

In his articles, “Chekhov’s Approach to Fiction” and “Chekhov’s Last Years: His Approach to Drama,” the scholar, Ronald Hingley, evaluates many characteristics of Anton Chekhov’s writing style.  Hingley describes Chekhov’s method of characterization as “selective,” explaining that he chooses to give brief descriptions with strong details to develop his characters rather than opting for more drawn–out and wordy descriptions.  He acknowledges that love tends to be a central theme of Chekhov’s stories, although the pattern of the relationship and how the characters interact can vary. For example, in “The Darling,” love is explored in terms of its ability to define a person and as something people seek in order to create identities for themselves.  The main character, Olenka, must always be in a relationship in order to feel any sense of self, even though that sense of self is false.  It is created by being someone’s beloved (not her own person) and by simply assuming the interests and opinions of her lovers.  Hingley commends Chekhov for creating distinctive characters rather than reverting to “ready-made patterns” when he says, “The production of this amazingly wide and diverse range of living figures can be claimed as one of his main achievements” (166). He describes the characters as frequently having a quality of sensitivity, citing Olenka’s severe responses to each instance of lost love in her life. Finally, Hingley praises Chekhov’s talent for introducing characters and settings with a sense of brevity and compactness while still “bringing them to life for his readers” (166).     Word Count:  252

Works Cited

Chekhov, Anton. “The Darling.” Literature and Its Writers: A Compact Introduction to Fiction,

Poetry and Drama. 3rd ed. Ed. Ann Charters and Samuel Charters. Boston:

Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.  108-117.

Hingley, Ronald. “Chekhov’s Approach to Fiction” and “Chekhov’s Last Years: His Approach

to Drama.” Chekhov: A Biographical and Critical Study  1966. 196-244.  Rpt. In

Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Sharon K. Hall. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale Research

Company, 1980. 165-167.