Heart of Darkness

Biographical Perspective

What Is The "Biographical Perspective ?"

This approach "begins with the simple but central insight that literature is written by actual people and that understanding an author's life can help readers more thoroughly comprehend the work."Hence, it often affords a practical method by which readers can better understand a text. However, a biographical critic must be careful not to
take the biographical facts of a writer's life too far in criticizing the
works of that writer: the biographical critic "focuses on explicating the
literary work by using the insight provided by knowledge of the author's
life.... [B]iographical data should amplify the meaning of the text, not
drown it out with irrelevant material."

Source: http://home.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/fall96/litcrit.txt

The Assignment

For our study of Heart of Darkness, you will be working with your group members to dissect each part of Conrad's story through an assigned critical lens. You group will locate  a minimum of 10 example quotes to analyze, and then post your examples to the Padlet for you literary criticism lens.

As a class, we will hold a Socratic Seminar for each part of Conrad's novella to discuss not only important content and stylistic choices, but each group's literary criticism viewpoints.

Background Information