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Evaluation And Interpretation Essay

1306 words - 5 pages

What is evaluation? And what is interpretation? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, evaluation is to ‘judge the value or condition of (someone or something) in a careful and thoughtful way,’[6] whereas interpretation on the other hand is ‘the way something is explained or understood.’[7] Both evaluation and interpretation are imperative to cognize why any piece of literature holds significance. Furthermore, while evaluation is the analysis of literature, interpretation is its empathetic understanding. In his short story “Misery” (published in 1886), Anton Chekhov illustrates a father and his great despair for his dead son. Due to the fact that “Misery” was written 128 years ago, it can be difficult for readers to fully grasp the literary text. But even though Chekhov’s stories were penned over a century ago, the principled meaning can still be conveyed into present-day society. Moreover, without formalism one cannot comprehend why Chekhov’s “Misery” is the way it is or its meaning, and without that, all Chekhov’s timeless classic is, is text and nothing more.
Formalism is a type of literary notion that has primarily to do with the mechanical intentions of a specific writing. It is the analysis of writing that is deprived of every exterior effect. Formalism discards philosophies of society or social sway, origin, and subject matter, and in its place puts emphases on methods, genera, discourse, and procedures. [8] Due to formalism one can understand what literature, more specifically Chekhov’s “Misery means. If society cannot, then literature means nothing. If society does not evaluate or interpret historical works, then people would lose their grasp on history. The same can be applied to Chekhov’s “Misery.” If one does not assess it, they will never know that it is simply a metaphorical allegory for the austerity of individual behavior. Additionally, if one does not construe “Misery” then they will not be given an empathetic understanding of the text and its meaning. Moreover, while other schools of literary criticism concentrate on explanation, account, and clarification, formalism allows one to critically analyze a body of text by focusing on such things as structure, etc. The importance of formalism is that it permits society to criticize a literary work as its own divergent piece, one without any outside interference. [8]
Though one can apply formalism to Chekhov’s ”Misery,” there are numerous schools of literary criticism that can be applied to this same short story, such as the reader-response criticism, structuralism and semiotics, moral criticism, etc. The reader-response criticism when applied to Chekhov’s “Misery” would elucidate multiple reactions depending on the lens of which one read through. [10] The reader-response criticism given by Noorbaksh Hooti and Neda Parvoti in their scholarly review (one most people provide when reading Chekhov’s work) illuminates how the author demonstrates to the reader exactly what loss and...

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