CULTURE

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The term “culture” is widely used in both the professional and personal discourse. Because the word is used so often and refers to many different aspects of humanity, literary critic and theorist Stephen Greenblatt suggests that “culture” has lost it’s meaning. In terms of literary criticism, some appropriate cultural  questions might be:

 

Why is this piece interesting?

What kinds of behavior does this piece support?

What kind of values does this piece support and do they align with my own?

Therefore, a proper cultural analysis of literature depends on the understanding a work and the culture with which that work represents. The learning is equal and dependent between the text and its context. In this way, literature and culture shift to compliment each other. Better yet, the literature is written to be a “structure of limits [and] the regulator and guarantor of movement” (228).  There is a certain social commentary in literature that depicts the many patterns of people in a culture. More specifically, “The novel had been particularly sensitive to the diverse ways in which individuals come to terms with the governing patterns of culture” (229), This justification is logical if the reader takes note of moments in history, present day and possibly the future in terms of textual interpretation.

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