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Formalist Criticism: Age Of Innocence - Writing Assignment (Essay Sample)


This assignment asks you to work with Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence to apply Formalism to analyze the selected work. You must incorporate quotes from the poem, all documented in MLA format.
The paper should have the following elements:
a meaningful title;
a clear introduction to the theory that you will be applying to the chosen text in your opening paragraph
a clearly identifiable thesis statement at the end of the introduction that explains what the application of this theory will reveal about the poem;
at least three body paragraphs, each of which contains a topic sentence and supporting sentences;
specific evidence (examples and quotes) from the chosen poem in the body paragraphs to support your analysis;
a clear conclusion.

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Formalist criticism: Age of Innocence.
Formalism deals with the critical approaches that are used in analyzing, interpreting or the evaluation of inherent features of a particular text. The features evaluated include syntax, grammar and literary devices such as tropes and meter. Formalization involves the study of a text without considering any outside influence. Therefore, issues like culture, history, biography and cultural contexts are not considered (Baldick 2014). Hence, the use of formalism to analyze Edith Wharton’s poem “The Age of Innocence” reveals that one can read and understand the poem in a different manner depending on how they interpret it.
The narration of “Age of Innocence” is written in the third person of the or rather describing a member of the society which makes it appear as the story really happened. In addition, most fiction stories use the third person to describe the story. A good example is the use of phrases such as “He did not in the least wish the future Mrs. Newland” (Wharton 2015). Narrating the poem in the third person was a good choice because it makes it easy for the reader to understand the flow of the story. As a result, this makes it for the reader to believe the fact that Edith was describing a person she knew. Hence, this makes the reader eager to read the whole poem in order to understand every detail.
Also, the imagery that Edith presents in th...
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