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How to Think Deeply


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Title: How to Think Deeply

How to Think Deeply
A Guide to Theory And Its Use
What is Theory Used For?
While I will help you become better writers, I
will not teach you how to write better.
- Shark
  • Theories can help us gain a better understanding
    of writing, pictures, and other forms of
  • In writing, theories can be used to analyze a
    text, and to think more deeply about the text.

  • Feminist Theory
  • Marxist Theory
  • Satirical Analysis
  • Archetypal Theory
  • Historical Analysis
  • Logic and Fallacies
  • Existential Theory
  • Psychological Analysis
  • Framing
  • Diction
  • African American Narrative
  • Jeremiad
  • Rhetorical Analysis

Feminist Theory
Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into
philosophy and theory. Analyzes the roles of the
male and female characters.
  • Rigney's Pattern, a feminist theory, includes
  • Rejection of the father figure and dread of
  • Expression of the divided self in the form of a
  • Annihilation of male authority figures and of the
  • Search for the metaphoric mother and discovery of
    the mother within the self.
  • Return from psychosis.

Examples of Use
  • Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper Bethany
  • Analysis of Dream Children Eliza Gowell

Overwhelmed by the expectations to take care of
herself for his sake, her submissiveness to her
husbands prescriptions are the true causes of
her problems. The narrator has a fear of
engulfment by her monotonous life of prescribed
rest, which is intensified by the yellow
wallpaper. Fear leads to the desire to escape,
as is symbolized by her frequent mention of
windows, from which she has an expansive view,
but no means to access it. The bars represent
her husband, or all men, restricting her, or all
women. She, like the doppelganger, is kept still
at daylight, strangled by the pattern of society.
At night when the world and its laws are asleep,
both try to escape the monotonous, strangling,
confusing pattern of life.
  • The narrator exemplifies Rigneys pattern as she
    struggles solitarily over her purpose within her
  • Though unable to recognize the phenomenon, Janes
    unconscious appears to have invented an alter ego
    of herself in the semi- developed aspirations of
    escapingher situation. Theseshow themselves
    through the expression of her doppelgangerher
    inside feelings are reflected in her spiritual
    double, pacing within the wallpaper.

Archetypal Theory
According to Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung,
archetypes are patterns transmitted from one
generation to the next as part of our human
psychological heritage. They are part of what
Jung calls the collective unconscious. That area
of the mind that is hidden from conscious thought
and is basically the same for all of human kind.
Jung defined an archetype of any pattern that
reoccurs in course of human thought process, an
archetype can be a recurring symbol or image,
character type, or story pattern.
Symbols and Images
water birth-death-resurrection, creation,
purification, redepmtion, fertility and growth,
unconscious sun creative thinking, engery and
enlightenment, wisdom, spiritual vision tree
life, growth, symbol of immortality colors
red- blook, sacrafice, passion, disorder green-
growth, hope, fertility blue- highly positive,
secure, tranquil, spiritual purity yellow-
enlightenment, wisdom
numbers 3- light, spiritual awareness, unity,
male priniciple 4- associated with the circle,
life cycle, four seasons, female principle,
earth, nature, elements 7- the most potent of all
symbolic numbers, symbolizes the unity of 3 and
4, the completion of a cycle, perfect
order desert spiritual aridity, death,
hopelessness concave symbols female or womb
symbols phallic symbols male symbols
Examples of Use
  • Analysis of Fault Lines Tye Stien
  • Analysis of The Machine Stops Bethany

  • Alexander describes the narrative as a snake
    swallowing its own ending. The use of the
    snake analogy both lends to the sinister quality
    of the narrative as snakes are typically viewed
    as symbols of evil in most cultures, but also
    describes it as futile and unending.

  • As Vashti passes over lighthouse towers, ruined
    trees, peninsulas, and mountains (all male
    symbols according to Freud), she refutes them as
    foolish. The flight attendanyt says of the
    mountains, let me show you them. Vashti was
    deliberately exposed to male symbols that should
    have pointed her towards the machine, but she
    asks that the images be covered with a metal
    blind, and sees them in a deep shadow. All
    the trees have been destroyed, showing that
    Vashti would not see eye to eye with Kuno in time
    to saver herself.
  • While Vashti notes the brown earth and the white
    snow, along with their archetypes of mystery and
    death, Kuno sees the rosy colors of passion,
    which, according to the archetype, will be paid
    for with blood and disorder. The rosy colors
    foreshadow the stopping of the machine, which
    emits a false sense of calm with its blue
    communication plates.

Historical Analysis
Historical analysis is the use of history and
historical events, in order to explain or analyze
a piece of writing, painting or other form of
expression. You can use historical analysis to
support other claims you may make about a piece
of writing, or to draw conclusions based on a
writing's connections with historical
events. Historical analysis can also include
references to assertions made by prominent
historical figures, such as Niccolo Machiavelli,
who wrote The Prince, and Andrew Carnegie, who
wrote Gospel of Wealth.
Examples of Use
  • Analysis of The Singer Solution to World
    Poverty Bethany Pennington
  • Analysis of passage from Democracy in America
    Willoughby Smith

  • Singers attempt to take up the rich mans
    burden violates the imperfect yearnings of the
    human soul and is not as simple as he asserts
    it to be.
  • When Peter Singer suggests that the hardworking
    rich give all the extra money they have to show
    for their hard work to others, he speaks nobly,
    but attempts to create a world comparable to
    Marxs where a few do the work and the rest
    benefit so that the once wealthy have only as
    much as the once-poor. Such taking up of the
    rich mans burden could potentially leave the
    world more full of burden than it was before.

  • In a way, De Tocqueville's relaxed bond of human
    affection, characterized by the democrat, is
    similar to the relations between people described
    in Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince. One of
    Machiavelli's main assertions about human
    relations, particularly of those between prince
    and subject, was the idea of keeping a man just
    within reach, but never too close, since he could
    be either friend of foe at any given time.
    Though the prince is a member of the aristocratic
    generation, Machiavelli often referred to the
    power of the people, typically a democratic idea,
    but also of the trust between people, an
    aristocratic idea from De Tocqueville.

Existential Theory
Existentialism is the belief that human beings
live in a purposeless world and must seek to
define a purpose for themselves. Existentialists
divide existence into two categories authentic
existence and inauthentic existence. Inauthentic
existence is defined as living in a general
conformity, where one does not seek to do for
oneself, but, rather one lets oneself be defined
and directed by others. Authentic existence is
defined as living in autonomy. One seeks to
define oneself and create goals, transcending
enculturation. One who lives authentically is
not directed by others is said to own oneself.
Examples of Use
  • Analysis of The Machine Stops Ryan Marinelli

  • Vashti accepts the culture given to her, and is
    defined by it, whereas Kuno transcends
    enculturation. Vashti is engulfed in the Book of
    the Machine and the Machine itself. She looks to
    it for help, and worships it If she was hot or
    cold or dyspeptic or at loss for a word, she went
    to the book, and it told her which button to
    press. The book tells her what to do in any
    circumstance, and in this way provides her
    culture. Vashti held the book reverently in her
    hands. She then began to worship the book
    Then, half ashamed, half joyful, she murmured,
    O Machine! O Machine! and raised the volume to
    her lips. Thrice she kissed it, thrice she
    inclined her head, and thrice she felt the
    delirium of acquiescence. Vashti accepts this
    religion at one point she even recognizes her
    acquiescence. By accepting this given
    religion, and worshipping it, Vashti is leading
    an inauthentic life. Kuno seeks to transcend
    enculturation. He escapes to the surface of the
    earth, where he completely forgets about the
    Machine And as for the machine, I forgot all
    about it, says Kuno. Kuno escapes the culture
    forced upon him, which illustrates his

Framing is a rhetorical strategy defined by
George Lakoff in Don't Think of an Elephant. Of
course, the first thing to come to mind when you
read the title is, more than likely, an
elephant. Lakoff describes framing as the use of
certain words to create a desired frame through
which one's audience will see one's
presentation. Lakoff warns against the use of
the negative, for it only emphasizes that which
one wishes to avoid emphasizing. Hence the name
of his book, Don't Think of an Elephant.
Examples of Use
  • Analysis of Revolutionary New Insoles Combine
    Five Forms Of Pseudoscience Eliza Gowell

  • The satire uses adjectives before introducing the
    noun to positively or negatively effect the
    reader through preconceived notions gathered at
    the beginning of the phrase with the adjective.
    This framing of the description rather than the
    subject make the reader more aware of the
    situation. In the article, adjective framing can
    be found in quotes such as Stressed and
    sore-footed Americans, scientific-sounding
    literature, and intelligent-looking man.
    These act to influence the outlook of the reader
    of Americans as hurting, the literature as
    scientific, and the man such as intelligent, even
    though they are necessarily so.

African-American Narrative
  • Robert Stepto classified African-American
    literature into two categories ascension
    narrative and immersion narrative.
  • Ascension Narrative
  • Self-creation.
  • Movement toward a symbolic north, away from home.
  • Literacy.
  • Loneliness, insight.
  • Movement beyond limitations of the group.
  • The self as free from community and group.
  • Linear plot.
  • Immersion Narrative
  • Centrality of healing and recovery.
  • Movement to a real or symbolic south.
  • Orature, vernacular, speech of the folk
  • Community and its rituals.
  • Movement beyond individual limits of power.
  • Self as anchored in family and communtiy.
  • Circular or recursive plot. Reanchored in past
    and tradition.

Examples of Use
  • Analysis of Governor Adlai E. Stevenson Kim

  • and now he is immersing himself into them. This
    serves to address the feelings, beliefs, and
    emotions of the senate in a way that he will
    sympathize with them. He continues to appeal to
    their emotions by complementing their work the
    State of Illinois and its local governing bodies
    already have enough to do. This use of pathos
    makes the governors veto more effective. The
    evolution of the governor throughout the veto
    from a prophet-outcast to a part of the senate
    also alludes to an immerison narrative. Because
    an immersion narrative is characterized by an
    individual going into a community, and stresses
    the relationship, power, and rituals of a
    community, this enhances the fact that
    restricting cats would be an unfair restriction
    on the community.

Marxist Theory
  • Marxist theory or Marxism, is based on the
    beliefs of Karl Marx.
  • Basic ideals of Marxism
  • Capitalism is based on the exploitation of
  • There is a constant class struggle among those of
    different interests.
  • Classes have some level of class consciousness.
  • There are many different schools of thought which
    further expand upon the primary ideals of Marxism.

Examples of Use
  • Analysis of The Pie Ben Hopkins

  • Gary Soto is driven to steal the pie in the
    German Market not through boredom but at the
    hands of poverty. The father, who in 1950s
    America was the primary bread winner, was dead
    which left the mother to provide solely for the
    family I nearly wept trying to decide which to
    steal. Due to the financial status of Garys
    family, he could only indulge his sweet tooth
    through thievery. In a society based on the
    ideals of Marxism, a family damaged by such a
    loss would be part of the community where the
    fruits of the citizens labors would be shared so
    all could live equally.

Satirical Analysis
  • Analyzing the use of satire and its desired and
    actual effects.
  • Techniques
  • Irony Saying one thing and meaning another.
  • Exaggeration.
  • Understatement.
  • A list with one or more items which do not follow
    the other items.
  • Figures of speech such as simile, metaphor, and
  • Deadpan tone Saying outrageous things in a low
    key way.

Examples of Use
  • Analysis of Governor Adlai E. Stevenson's Veto
    Statement Tye Stien
  • Analysis of Revolutionary New Insoles Combine
    Five Forms Of Pseudoscience Eliza Gowell

  • The irony of Adlais tone is present on several
    different levels within his argument. On the
    surface he simply states the facts of the law,
    but by using clever word choices Adlai subtly
    mocks his foundations of the law as well as the
    law writers. One particularly glaring example of
    Adlais mockery is the use of the term imprison
    to define the caging of cats It would permit
    any person to capture or call upon the police to
    pick up and imprison, cats at large. Not only
    is the use of imprison an ironic term to define
    the confinement of cats, due to the connotations
    of the word prison and the primarily human
    nature of its inmates, but it also criticizes the
    laws use of police to arrest cats as if they
    were human criminals.

  • The Onion's intention in its fake press releas is
    to embody how corporate America markets products
    to the public. The use of satire in the article
    is intended to shed light upon the gullibility of
    Americans in their consumer fanaticism, and
    ultimately enlighten them. The strategies of
    satire that the Onion employs center around Tar
    Motta, in outrageous praise of the product, to
    back consumers in a corner by threatening, and
    also through positive and negative framing of

Logic and Fallacies
Analysis of logic may be used to discern
arguments which are based on false reasoning. It
may also be used to explain why an argument is
correct however, doing so is unnecessary as an
argument should have sound logic
anyways. Terms Deduction The process in which
one reasons from broad examples to draw a
specific conclusion Induction The process in
which one reasons from specific examples to draw
broad conclusions. Syllogism The formula for
deductive reasoning. Draws conclusions based on
the relationship between major premise and minor
premise. For example All of those men were gods
(Major Premise). He is one of those men (Minor
Premise). Therefore, he was a god
(conclusion). Fallacies False
reasoning. Fallacies Begging the question
assuming something to be true that really needs
proof. Ignoring the question a question is set
up so that the argument is shifted to new ground
or an appeal is made to emotion, having nothing
to do with the logic of the case. Equivocation
using the same word with different
meanings. Non-sequitur It does not follow. The
conclusion does not follow the premises. Faulty
dilemma the major premise presents a choice
that does not exhaust all options. Post Hoc Ergo
Propter Hoc After this, because of this.
Saying an event causes something which follows
because it proceeds the next event. Argumentum ad
hominem Attacking the character rather than the
argument. Ad misericordiam appeal to
sympathy. Hypothesis contrary to fact Use of a
premise which goes against fact. Composition
Arguing that a group has the qualities of its
members. Division Arguing that the individual
has the qualities of the group. Dicto simpliciter
An argument based on simplified
generalizations. Contradictory premises The
premises argue against themselves or contradict
each other. Overgeneralizing/Hasty generalization
Too few instances presented to accurately
conclude anything. False analogy Wrongful
comparisons of dissimilar situations. Ad
vericundiam Appeal to authority. For example
It's true because the President said so. Ad
populum Appeal to the crowd. Self-evident
truths Using things which everyone knows but
are, in reality, unproven. Guilt or Innocence by
association He reads one of those radical
books. He must be must be a radical. Either/or
Posing a question or situation which offers only
absolute extremes, and no middle ground.
Examples of Use
  • Analysis of Revolutionary New Insoles Combine
    Five Forms Of Pseudoscience Eliza Gowell

  • Several fallacies are employed in the article by
    the Onion as a means by which to dis-convert the
    audience to the Gospel of MagnaSoles. They use
    appeal to authority fallacy in an effort to
    convince readers that important people like it,
    so they should to. They do this through the
    introduction of the quote by Helene Kuhn of
    Edison, NJ. The relatively rare style by which
    they quote her is appropriate only for the
    introduction of important people with relatively
    important things to say, in the
    clause-name-clause style. This makes the
    consumers feel like they should know who she is,
    because she is important, and that they should
    like the product only because she does. Another
    fallacy used it the Lokis Wager Fallacy. In the
    article, Helene Kuhn sings the praises of
    MagnaSoles, and ends her quote with Just try
    and prove that MagnaSoles didn't heal me! This
    embodies the Lokis Wager Fallacy because since
    MagnaSoles cannot be disproven from working, and
    cannot be defined in an argument, its working
    can't be discussed. This fallacy itself, is a
    fallacy because it is an ignoratio elenchi, and
    works as a red herring to draw attention away
    from the argument of the real question of whether
    or not MagnaSoles really work.

Psychological Analysis
Psychological analysis applies human psychology
to characters in a text, or to explain or
describe the actions of an author when analyzing
a work of nonfiction. Freud explained the human
mind as containing three parts the id, the ego,
and the super ego. He defined the id as the
source of desire and want, the superego as the
source of righteousness and morals, and the ego
as the mediator, who keeps the mind
intact. Defense mechanisms are techniques which
the ego uses in order to satisfy the needs of the
id and superego when compromise is unachievable.
They often result in the distortion of
reality. Some common mechanisms include
displacement, the shifting of feelings from an
unattainable to a more attainable object
repression, the forgetting or self-removal of a
thought reaction formation, the replacing of an
unacceptable feeling with its opposite
projection, the placement of ones feelings onto
someone else regression, the return to a former,
less mature self.
Examples of Use
  • Analysis of The Geometry of Love Bethany
  • Analysis of The Pie Eliza Gowell
  • Analysis of The Pie Ryan Marinelli

  • Throughout the story, Charlies actions reflect
    that he is not subconsciously where he
    consciously believes himself to be in a perfect
    order and balance.
  • Though Charlie notes that forgetfulness was a
    course of action that he had tried before and
    consciously claims to seek a different method of
    dealing with Mathilda, he still pursued
    forgetfulness consciously in his ego. He empties
    himself of bother and represses Mathildas
    remarks so that they fall short of where he
    stands. When Mathilda was unhappy in Rome,
    Charlie heartlessly forgets her sadness,
    covering up his difficulties with Euclidean
    Theory. While he should be upset when his wife
    is troubled, he remains calm and happy.
    Instead of facing relational issues with genuine
    intent to repair them, Charlie Mallory seeks
    Euclid. He then subconsciously pretends to
    forget anything that worries him, carrying the
    deceiving conviction of innocence in his
    conscious self and believing himself to be in
    perfect Freudian balance.

  • Directly after the crime, Soto undergoes the
    defense mechanism of reaction formation. This
    occurs when one replaces an unaccetable feeling
    or urge with the opposite. Soto experiences this
    because subconciously, he recognizes it is wrong
    to steal. Yet he rationalizes this with the
    opposite that it is good to steal. Sitting on
    someone's lawn, licking his fingers, Soto
    believes that the best things in life come
    stolen, and this is an attempt to heal the pain
    he feels from his misdeed.

  • Gary Sotos super ego is constantly trying to
    reign in Sotos behavior. Soto expresses this
    when he says, I was holy in almost every bone.
    The superego attempts to influence young Soto,
    but unfortunately, it is unable. Without
    something positive for the young Soto to focus
    his mind on, he loses touch with his superego and
    its morals. Instead the id gains control
    Boredom made me sin, said Soto. The ids
    desires now outweigh the morals of the superego.
    Therefore, the superego loses control of the
    mind, and the id takes its place as the
    controlling force. Although the superego still
    has influence, the id is the deciding factor in
    young Sotos actions. When he goes to the German
    Market, young Soto sees a vast assortment of
    pies. He stands in front of the pie rack, his
    sweet tooth gleaming and the juice of guilt
    wetting his underarms, while deciding which pie
    to take. The gleaming sweet tooth represents the
    desires Soto remembers experiencing as a youth,
    which stem from the id. It beckons Soto to steal
    an apple and satisfy his inner desires. In
    response, the superego creates a sense of guilt,
    as shown by the sweat under Sotos arms.
    Although Soto steals the pie, his superego still
    has some influence on his actions.

Diction is one's word choice. When analyzing
diction you analyze possible reasons for choice
of word, and you may then analyze the
connotations of this word choice. Framing is
closely related and somewhat dependent on word
Examples of Use
  • Analysis of The Pie Ryan Marinelli

  • Sotos diction and choice of details implies a
    feeling of guilt which Soto feels to this date.
    According to Soto, Cross-eyed Johnny told him,
    Your hands are dirty. Out of context, a
    statement such as this would seem irrelevant, but
    Sotos remembrance of this illustrates his guilt.
    The dirty hands of the youthful Soto represent
    Sotos dirty past, deeds, and conscience. This
    is a result of Soto disobeying his superego as a
    youth. The superegos harsh actions cause guilt
    to this date, even though Soto eventually
    realized his mistake. Soto says that he was
    scared of being thirsty for the rest of his
    life, when he was panicking. This thirst
    connotes Sotos desire for fulfillment. Upon
    arriving home, Soto gets some water, and then
    says, The water soon filled me more than the
    pie. Soto reveals through this statement that
    he learned his lesson. The pure water, which was
    attained due to a thirst for fulfillment and
    righteousness, was more satisfactory than that of
    the pie, which was attained in the process of
    greedy desire. This connotes the lesson that
    that which is attained through pure methods is
    more satisfactory than that attained by greed and

Jeremiad is a form of speech formed by
African-American culture. In a jeremiad the
speaker adopts the stance of the prophet outcast,
evoking the prophets from the Old Testament and
the New Testament. This is signaled by metaphor
and allusion by the speaker. The rhetorical
structure of jeremiads is split three ways. It
is a consideration of promises in America's
historical documents, a criticism of failed
fulfillment of promises, and prophecy that
America will achieve greatness and happiness.
Examples of Use
  • Analysis of Governor Adlai E. Stevenson's Veto
    Statement Kim Carlomagno

  • His language also serves to isolate him from the
    community, and establish his stance as the
    prophet-outcast. He talks about the cat owners,
    bird-lovers, city-dwellers, and villagers, but
    does not categorize himself into any of these
    groups. Stevenson says he has a fresh outlook
    on the bill, which illustrates that this is a
    problem he has not been exposed to, and
    therefore, he is set apart from the bill. This
    prophet-outcast stance functions to make the
    governors veto of the bill seem superior to the
    opinions of the bird advocates without
    trivializing the nature of the bill.

Rhetorical Analysis
Rhetorical analysis analyzes rhetoric, or what an
author does for specific effect. For example, if
an author wore a red shirt because his audience
wore red shirts, then one could infer that the
author has worn a red shirt in order to mimic or
connect with his or her audience. The three
primary appeals in rhetoric are logos, the appeal
to logic, pathos, the appeal to emotion, and
ethos, the appeal to the self or appeal of
character. When using rhetorical analysis you
may also consider kairos, the moment or
opportunity as it relates to the presentation or
speech, and the audience. Rhetorical analysis
may incorporate theories in order to analyze the
rhetoric of a piece of writing.
Examples of Use
  • Analysis of Revolutionary New Insoles Combine
    Five Forms Of Pseudoscience Eliza Gowell

  • Another way to establish the ethos with the
    audience is through modesty, as a way to appeal
    to the likeability of the character. The onion
    uses meiosis, a type of understatement for
    MagnaSoles. MagnaSoles is not just a shoe
    insert says the article, which frames it in a
    way to make the reader think it is using modest
    by saying just, yet also proving it is a whole
    lot more than a shoe insert.

  • Mr. Sharkovitz's A.P. English 11 Class, 2007-2008

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