THE IMPORTANCE OF LITERARY CRITICISM IN LITERARY STUDIES
Literary criticism has important role in literary studies since several years ago. This is because criticism can see the whole aspect of literary work, based on the critic used in seeing the literary work. It is not only matter of how to read and understanding the work but how to interpret the text within the work. Furthermore, criticism can be used to analyze and see thing beyond the text, how the work relate to daily life, social community and the relationship within the community. Of course, critic as basic word of criticism is totally different with review or report about literary work. Critics not only talk about good or bad about literary work, not only talk about the weakness but also about the strengthens of literary work. That is why the literary criticism is important in literary studies.
Literary criticisms see the literary work from some point of views. For instance; social aspect, economy, psychology, history, and philosophy. Those aspects can enrich our knowledge as reader base on what aspect that become our focus because critics as tool for the reader to understanding what literary work talk about, what message that will be deliver to the reader. This is in line with what Tyson (2006) stated that “critical theory, I think you will find, provides excellent tools for that endeavor, tools that not only can show us our world and ourselves through new and valuable lenses but also can strengthen our ability to think logically, creatively, and with a good deal of insight”. It means that literary criticism can improve our capability in reading comprehension in order to understand broader about literary work.
As a tool in literary studies, critic plays an important role in doing studies or analysis about literary work. Applying criticism make our focus on certain aspect or element of literary work sharper than reading as usual. The reader can focus on an aspect as his/her interest toward the literary work. For instance; focus on structure, history, philosophy, or may be psychology within the literary work. This is because there are some literary criticisms proposed by some experts based on his focus study.
Furthermore, in literary studies needed specific analysis to know specific aspect toward literary work. It is because each reader has different interest based on his/her background knowledge or critical theory that used to study the work. By applying certain critic to the literary work, it will be possible the reader knows what others do not know because different point of view. that is the principle of criticism as Alhemiry argued “to understand something accurately which is misunderstood by "other" is one of the principles of criticism.” It is clearly that criticism help the reader to understand the work through specific point of view to know something that the others do not understand within the the literary work.
Alhemiry, N. The Importance of Literary Criticism for University student. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/6555621/The_Importance_of_Literary_Criticism_for_University_student
Blow, M. (2011). Analyzing Characters with WALTeR. Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/classroom_solutions/2011/03/analyzingcharacterswithwalter
Guerin, W. L., Labor, E., Morgan, L., Reesman, J. C., & Willingham, J. R. (2005). A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature (5 ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Tyson, L. (2006). Critical Theory Today (2 ed.). New York: Routledge.
Voiklis, J., Cusimano, C., & Malle, B. (2014). A Social-Conceptual Map of Moral Criticism. Proceeding of 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 1700-1705.