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CRITICAL APPROACHES TO LITERATURE
Quiz: Feminist Theory, Gender Studies, and Queer Theory
“Bartleby the Scrivener: A Tale of Wall Street,” by Herman Melville, deals with a copyist who answers “I prefer not to” whenever he is asked to work by his employer. Which critical approach seems most appropriate to assess the story based on this content?
o New Historicism
o Marxist Theory
o cultural studies
In Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy,” the narrator is haunted by memories of her dead father whom she pictures as a Nazi and a vampire. Which critical approach seems most appropriate to examine the meaning of the poem?
o Psychoanalytic Theory
According to the theories in this module, which of the following is true about gender?
o It is determined by biology.
o It is influenced by culture.
o It is either male or female.
o It is unchangeable.
In Anthony Trollope’s 1861 work A Ride Across Palestine, Mr. Jones travels across the desert with a woman who is dressed as a man, and he does not realize she is female. Which of the following theories could be applied to the text?
o Queer Theory because cross-dressing would have been considered a nonnormative behavior
o Gender Theory because the female character assumes behaviors that would be considered masculine by the culture
o Feminist Theory because the work deals with obstacles women had to face when traveling in the nineteenth century
o all of the above
In which of the following ways is Feminist Theory most like Marxist Theory?
o both consider how culture is built on a system of oppression
o both concentrate strongly on economics
o both look at literature for evidence of individuals’ hidden desires
o both explore the significance of gender in individual perceptions of culture
What impact has Feminist Theory had on society?
o It has provided examples of unequal distribution of wealth in society.
o It has added new works to the literature we read.
o It has taught students of literature about close reading.
o It has made readers think about the mental state of the author when creating literature.
Question 7 (6 points)
Which of the following would best justify a feminist approach to reading The Lord of the Rings?
o how few female characters appear in the entire series
o the way the male heroes represent traditional ideas of masculinity
o the love expressed between the male characters Frodo and Samwise as well as Legolas and Gimli
o the influence of the author’s experiences during World War I on the plot
Question 8 (6 points)
Which social development most directly influenced the current use of Feminist Theory as a critical approach to literature?
o First-Wave feminism
o Second-Wave feminism
o Third-Wave feminism
Question 9 (6 points)
What is the difference between gender studies and queer theory?
o They are essentially the same thing, so there is no significant difference.
o Queer theory focuses on aspects of difference from the norm while gender theory looks at the connection between gender and culture.
o Queer theory does not consider the experience of men at all.
o Gender studies does not consider GLBTQ experiences but queer theory does.
Question 10 (6 points)
What previous theories influenced the creation of Gender Studies?
o Feminist Theory
o both A and B
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