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00 Quarter 3 – Module 6:
Critiquing a Literary Selection Using
Structuralism and Formalism
0 Approach
English – Grade 10
Alternative Delivery Mode
Quarter 3 – Module 6: Critiquing a Literary Selection Using Structuralism and
Formalism Approach
First Edition, 2020

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English 10
Quarter 3 – Module 6:
Critiquing a Literary Selection Using
Structuralism and Formalism
Introductory Message
For the facilitator:

Welcome to the English 10 Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) Module on

Critiquing a Literary Selection Using Structuralism and Formalism Approach

This module was collaboratively designed, developed and reviewed by

educators both from public and private institutions to assist you, the teacher or
facilitator in helping the learners meet the standards set by the K to 12 Curriculum
while overcoming their personal, social, and economic constraints in schooling.

This learning resource hopes to engage the learners into guided and
independent learning activities at their own pace and time. Furthermore, this also
aims to help learners acquire the needed 21st century skills while taking into
consideration their needs and circumstances.

In addition to the material in the main text, you will also see this box in the
body of the module:

Notes to the Teacher

This contains helpful tips or strategies
that will help you in guiding the learners.

As a facilitator you are expected to orient the learners on how to use this
module. You also need to keep track of the learners' progress while allowing them to
manage their own learning. Furthermore, you are expected to encourage and assist
the learners as they do the tasks included in the module.

For the learner:
Welcome to the English 10 Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) Module on
Critiquing a Literary Selection Using Structuralism and Formalism Approach

The hand is one of the most symbolized parts of the human body. It is often
used to depict skill, action and purpose. Through our hands we may learn, create
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This module was designed to provide you with fun and meaningful
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will be enabled to process the contents of the learning resource while being an active

This module has the following parts and corresponding icons:

What I Need to Know This will give you an idea of the skills or
competencies you are expected to learn in the

What I Know This part includes an activity that aims to

check what you already know about the
lesson to take. If you get all the answers
correct (100%), you may decide to skip this

What’s In This is a brief drill or review to help you link

the current lesson with the previous one.

What’s New In this portion, the new lesson will be

introduced to you in various ways such as a
story, a song, a poem, a problem opener, an
activity or a situation.

What is It This section provides a brief discussion of the

lesson. This aims to help you discover and
understand new concepts and skills.

What’s More This comprises activities for independent

practice to solidify your understanding and
skills of the topic. You may check the answers
to the exercises using the Answer Key at the
end of the module.

What I Have Learned This includes questions or blank

sentence/paragraph to be filled in to process
what you learned from the lesson.

What I Can Do This section provides an activity which will

help you transfer your new knowledge or skill
into real life situations or concerns.

Assessment This is a task which aims to evaluate your
level of mastery in achieving the learning

Additional Activities In this portion, another activity will be given

to you to enrich your knowledge or skill of
the lesson learned. This also tends retention
of learned concepts.
Answer Key This contains answers to all activities in the

At the end of this module you will also find:

References This is a list of all sources used in developing

this module.

The following are some reminders in using this module:

1. Use the module with care. Do not put unnecessary mark/s on any part of the
module. Use a separate sheet of paper in answering the exercises.
2. Don’t forget to answer What I Know before moving on to the other activities
included in the module.
3. Read the instructions carefully before doing each task.
4. Observe honesty and integrity in doing the tasks and checking your answers.
5. Finish the task at hand before proceeding to the next.
6. Return this module to your teacher/facilitator once you are through with it.
7. Write all your answers on a separate sheet of paper.

If you encounter any difficulty in answering the tasks in this module, do not
hesitate to consult your teacher or facilitator. Always bear in mind that you are not

We hope that through this material, you will experience meaningful learning
and gain deep understanding of the relevant competencies. You can do it!

What I Need to Know

This module was designed and written for the learners. After going through
this module, the learner is expected to:

1. evaluate the text content, elements, features and properties using a set of
criteria and over-all artistic value and elements of a given selection
(structuralism and formalism)
2. explain how the elements specific to a genre contribute to the theme of a
literary selection and the information contained in the material viewed in
terms of accuracy and effectiveness

What I Know

Directions: Choose the letter of the correct answer from the choices below. Write
your answer on a separate sheet of paper.

1. In literature, what refers to the attitude of a writer toward a subject and their
A. tone B. mood C. point of view D. setting
2. What refers to the leading character, hero or heroine in a story?
A. antagonist B. protagonist C. character D. author
3. Which of the following is something concrete that stands for something abstract?
A. symbol B. mood C. tone D. theme
4. Which of the following refers to the location and time in which the action of a
narrative takes place?
A. character B. point of view C. theme D. setting
5. What is the development of a character and their motivation through their
thoughts, actions, appearance, dialogue and interactions with other characters?
A. symbolism B. antagonist C. characterization D. protagonist
6. Which character does not grow or evolve over time?
A. dynamic B. antagonist C. protagonist D. static
7. Which of the following is an example of hyperbole?
A. "I'm stuffed! I must weigh 1,000 pounds
B. "You lost power, overslept and had no blow dryer? Wow! It must be your
lucky day!"
C. "Watch out for her sensitive back. She got a little sun yesterday!"
D. "The wind whispered in my ear."
8. Which of the following is an example of understatement?
A. "The wind whispered in my ear."
B. "I'm stuffed! I must weigh 1,000 pounds!"
C. "Watch out for her sensitive back. She got a little sun yesterday!"
D. "You lost power, overslept and had no blow dryer? Wow! It must be your
lucky day!"

9. Which is a fictitious prose story of considerable length and complexity portraying
characters and usually presenting a sequential organization of actions and
A. short story B. play C. drama D. novel

10. What figure of speech refers to the opposite of what is expected to occur?
A. irony B. simile C. hyperbole D. metaphor

Lesson Critiquing a Literary Selection

1 Based on Structuralism and

Formalism Approach

Structure or form is the arrangement of story elements according to purpose,

style and genre. Structure doesn’t just happen on its own. Rather, it is carefully
considered by the author to make sure their intended meaning is conveyed.

In order for a story to be truly immersive, the structure must play the part of
a skeleton. In other words, the structure supports the story to ensure the most
powerful delivery of elements, yet in a manner unseen and not easily identified by
the reader.

What’s In

Directions: What is your favorite movie? Try to recall the scene in your favorite
movie and answer the questions below. Write your answers on a separate sheet of

Title of the Somebody Wanted But So Then

movie Who is the What does What is the How does What is the
main the main problem or the result or
character? character conflict? problem outcome?
want? get solved?

What’s New

“Structuralism” can be viewed as an extension of “Formalism” in that that

both “Structuralism” and “Formalism” devoted their attention to matters of literary
form (i.e. structure) rather than social or historical content; and that both bodies of
thought were intended to put the study of literature on a scientific, objective basis.
“Structuralism” relied initially on the ideas of the Swiss linguist, Ferdinand de
Saussure. Like Plato, Saussure regarded the signifier (words, marks, symbols) as
arbitrary and unrelated to the concept, the signified, to which it referred.

“Formalism” is, as the name implies, an interpretive approach that

emphasizes literary form and the study of literary devices within the text. The work
of the Formalists had a general impact on later developments in “Structuralism”
and other theories of narrative. “Formalism,” like “Structuralism,” sought to place
the study of literature on a scientific basis through objective analysis of the motifs,
devices, techniques, and other “functions” that comprise the literary work.

What Is It

In literary theory, structuralism is an approach analyzing the narrative
material by examining the underlying invariant structure. For example, a literary
critic applying a structuralist literary theory might say that the authors of the West
Side Story did not write anything "really" new, because their work has the same
structure as Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In both texts, a girl and a boy fall in
love (a "formula" with a symbolic operator between them would be "Boy + Girl")
despite the fact that they belong to two groups that hate each other ("Boy's
Group - Girl's Group" or "Opposing forces") and conflict is resolved by their death.
The versatility of structuralism is such that a literary critic could make the
same claim about a story of two friendly families ("Boy's Family + Girl's Family") that
arrange a marriage between their children despite the fact that the children hate
each other ("Boy - Girl") and then the children commit suicide to escape the arranged
marriage; the justification is that the second story's structure is an 'inversion' of the
first story's structure: the relationship between the values of love and the two pairs
of parties involved have been reversed.
Structuralistic literary criticism argues that the "novelty value of a literary
text" can lie only in new structure, rather than in the specifics of character
development and voice in which that structure is expressed. One branch of literary
structuralism, like Freudianism, Marxism, and transformational grammar, suggest
both a deep and a surface structure. In a Freudian literary interpretation, the literary
text is based on the deep structure grounded in the life and death instincts; the
Marxist reading will interpret the conflict between classes in the text as rooted in the
deep structure of the economic "base."

 It recognizes that the significance of each word within a text is determined by
internal as well as external factors; i.e. historical, biographical and cultural
 Structuralist critics analyzed material by examining underlying structures,
such as characterization or plot, and attempted to show how these patterns
were universal and could thus be used to develop general conclusions about
both individual works and the systems from which they emerged.
 Structuralism regarded language as a closed, stable system, and by the late
1960s it had given way to post structuralism.

Formalism viewed literature as a distinct and separate entity, unconnected to

historical or social causes or effects. It analyzed literature according to devices
unique to literary works and focused on the “literariness” of a text: words were not
simply stand-ins for objects but objects themselves. Formalists advanced the concept
of defamiliarization, arguing that literature, by calling attention to itself as such,
estranged the reader from ordinary experience and made the familiar seem new.
Formalism’s tendency to collapse form and content is somewhat similar to New
Criticism’s approach, though its main influence was on structuralism.

 It refers to critical approaches that analyze, interpret, or evaluate the inherent

features of a text.
 Its features include not only grammar and syntax but also literary devices
such as meter and tropes.
 This approach reduces the importance of a text’s historical, biographical, and
cultural context.

What’s More

Directions: Analyze the structure and form of the text and answer the questions
below. The following excerpt is taken from The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, a
19th-century horror novel.

I can say now neither what determined nor what guided me, but I went
straight along the lobby, holding my candle high, till I came within sight of the tall
window that presided over the great turn of the staircase. At this point I precipitately
found myself aware of three things. They were practically simultaneous, yet they had
flashes of succession. My candle, under a bold flourish, went out, and I perceived,
by the uncovered window, that the yielding dusk of earliest morning rendered it
unnecessary. Without it, the next instant, I saw that there was someone on the stair.

I speak of sequences, but I required no lapse of seconds to stiffen myself for a third
encounter with Quint. The apparition had reached the landing halfway up and was
therefore on the spot nearest the window, where at sight of me, it stopped short and
fixed me exactly as it had fixed me from the tower and from the garden. He knew me
as well as I knew him; and so, in the cold, faint twilight, with a glimmer in the high
glass and another on the polish of the oak stair below, we faced each other in our
common intensity. He was absolutely, on this occasion, a living, detestable,
dangerous presence.

1. How do the text structures interest you as a reader?

2. How do the structures and language use show the change in the narrator’s
3. Explore how the writer presents a character/setting/event. Support your
ideas by referring to its language and structure using relevant subject

What I Can Do
Directions: Read the excerpt “The Appearance of the Sorcerer” by Elias Canetti from
The Tongue Set Free. Then answer the guide questions in Independent Activities 1
and 2.

I could tell how much I had changed by my grandfather’s visits. He came to

Zurich only when he knew I was alone. The tension between him and Mother must
have grown; for several years he avoided her, but they corresponded regularly.
During the war, he received postcards telling him our new addresses; later, they
exchanged formal and impersonal letters.

No sooner did he know that I was at the Yalta than he showed up in Zurich.
He got a room at the Hotel Central and asked me to come by. His hotel rooms,
whether in Vienna or Zurich, all looked alike, the same smell prevailed in all of them.
He was wrapped up in his phylacteries, reciting the evening prayers, when I arrived;
while kissing me and bathed in tears, he continued praying. He pointed to a drawer,
which I was to open in his stead; inside lay a thick envelope of stamps, which he had
gathered for me. I emptied the envelope on the lower bureau and examined them,
some I had, some I didn’t have, he kept a watchful eye on the expressions of my face,
which revealed delight or disappointment to him in rapid alternation. Unwilling to
interrupt his prayer, I said nothing, he couldn’t stand it and interrupted the solemn
tone of his Hebrew words himself with an interrogative: “Well?” I emitted a few
inarticulate, enthusiastic sounds; that satisfied him, and he went on with his

prayers. They took a fairly long time, everything was established, he skipped nothing
and shortened nothing; since it proceeded at maximum speed anyhow, nothing could
be accelerated. Then he was done, he tested me to see whether I knew the countries
from which the stamps came, and he showered me with praise for every right answer.
It was as if I were still in Vienna and only ten years old, I found it as bothersome as
his tears of joy, which were flowing again. He wept as he spoke to me, he was
overwhelmed at finding me still alive, his grandson and namesake, grown a bit more,
and perhaps he was also overwhelmed at being still alive himself and being able to
have this experience.

As soon as he was done testing me and had wept himself out, he took me to a
non-alcoholic restaurant, where “restaurant daughters” waited on tables. He had an
eager eye for them and it was impossible for him to order anything without a detailed
conversation. He began by pointing to me and saying: “My little grandson.” Then he
totted up all the languages he knew, there were still seventeen. The “restaurant
daughter,” who had things to do, listened impatiently to the tally, which didn’t
include Swiss German; as soon as she tried to get away, he put a propitiating hand
on her hip and let it lie there. I was embarrassed for him, but the girl stood still;
when he was done with his languages and I raised my bowed head again, his hand
was still in the same place. He took it away only when he started ordering, he had to
confer with the “restaurant daughter,” which required both hands; after a long
procedure, he wound up ordering the same as always, a yogurt for himself and coffee
for me. When the waitress was gone, I tried talking to him: I said this wasn’t Vienna,
Switzerland was different, he couldn’t act like that, someday a waitress might slap
him. He didn’t answer, he felt he knew better. When the waitress returned with
yogurt and coffee, she gave him a friendly smile, he thanked her emphatically, put
his hand on her hip again, and promised to stop by on his next visit to Zurich. I
wolfed down my coffee just to get away as fast as possible, convinced, all appearances
notwithstanding, that he had insulted her.

I was incautious enough to tell him about the Yalta, he insisted on visiting me
there and announced his coming. Fräulein Mina wasn’t at home, Fräulein Rosy
received him. She took him through the house and the garden, he was interested in
everything and asked countless questions. At every fruit tree, he asked how much it
yielded. He asked about the girls who lived here, their names, backgrounds, and
ages. He counted them up, there were nine, and he said that more could be put up
in the house. Fräulein Rosy said that almost each one had her own room, and now
he wanted to see the rooms. She, carried away by his cheeriness and his questions,
innocently took him into each room. The girls were in town or in the hall, Fräulein
Rosy saw nothing wrong with showing him the empty bedrooms, which I had never
seen. He admired the view and tested the beds. He estimated the size of each room
and felt that a second bed could easily be added. He had retained the countries of
the girls and he wanted to know where the French girl, the Dutch girl, the Brazilian
girl, and especially the two Swedish girls slept. Finally, he asked about the sparrow’s
nest, Fräulein Mina’s studio. I had forewarned him that he would have to look at the
paintings very carefully and praise some of them. He did that in his way: like a
connoisseur, he first halted at some distance from a picture, then approached it and

attentively studied the brush strokes. He shook his head at so much expertise and
then broke into enthusiastic superlatives, while having enough cunning to use Italian
words, which Fräulein Rosy understood, instead of Ladino words. He knew some of
the flowers from his garden at home, tulips, carnations, and roses, and he asked
Fräulein Rosy to convey his congratulations to the painter on her expertise: he had
never seen anything like it before, he said, which was true, and he asked whether
she also painted fruit trees and fruit. He regretted that none were to be seen and he
ardently recommended an expansion of her repertoire. He thus stunned both of us,
neither Fräulein Rosy nor I had ever thought of it. When he began asking about the
cost of the paintings, I glared at him, but futilely. He stuck to his guns, Fräulein Rosy
drew out a list from the last exhibition and informed him of the prices. There were a
few that had been sold for several hundred francs, smaller ones were less, he had
her give him all the prices in a row, instantly added them up in his head, and
surprised us with the handsome sum, which neither of us had known. Then he
grandly threw in that it didn’t matter, the important thing was the beauty, la
hermosura, of the paintings, and when Fräulein Rosy shook her head because she
didn’t understand the word, he swiftly interrupted me before I could translate it and
he said in Italian: “La bellezza, la bellezza, la bellezza!“.

Then he wanted to see the garden again, this time more thoroughly. In the
tennis court, he asked how large the grounds belonging to the house were. Fräulein
Rosy was embarrassed, for she didn’t know; he was already measuring the tennis
court with his paces, the length and the width, he had already computed the number
of square meters, blurted it out, and: reflected a bit. He compared the size of the
tennis court with the size of the garden and also with the size of the adjacent meadow,
made a shrewd face, and told us how big the lot was. Fräulein Rosy was
overwhelmed, the visit, which I had so feared, was a triumph. For the early evening,
he took me to a performance in the Wald theater over the Dolder. When I came home,
the ladies were waiting for me in their room. Fräulein Mima couldn’t forgive herself
for being away, for an hour I heard them sing Grandfather’s praises. He had even
figured out the size of the grounds correctly, a true sorcerer.

Independent Activity 1: Structuralism: Read the questions carefully and answer

based from the story above “The Appearance of the Sorcerer” by Elias Canetti from
The Tongue Set Free.

1. What themes or patterns are constantly repeated in the story?

2. How does this relate to culture as a whole?
3. How is theme related to the setting of the story?
4. How do the author’s used of figures of speech affect the meaning of the story?
5. How does the story create and resolve the conflict?

Independent Activity 2: Formalism: Use the graphic organizer to evaluate the text
content, elements, features and properties of “The Appearance of the Sorcerer” by
Elias Canetti from The Tongue Set Free.

What makes
the setting

What is the
motivation for Who is telling
The Appearance of the story?
the decisions
and actions the Sorcerer

What lesson
does the author
What is the want you to
conflict in the learn from the
story? story?

What I have Learned
Directions: Write your answers on a separate sheet of paper.

I have learned that in critiquing a literary selection I need to

I also learned that structuralism approach is
_____________________________while formalist approach is

Directions: Read and answer the statements carefully. Write ✓ if the statement is
correct and X if not. Write your answer on a separate sheet of paper.

______1. A critique is a genre of academic writing that briefly summarizes and

critically evaluates a work or concept.
______2. It is important to have a thorough understanding of the work that will be
______3. The body of a critique includes a summary of the work and a detailed
______4. Structure or form of a literary selection is the arrangement of story elements
according to purpose, style and genre.
______5. The structure does not support the story to ensure the most powerful
delivery of elements.
______6. Structuralism recognizes that the significance of each word within a text is
determined by internal as well as external factors; i.e. historical,
biographical and cultural contexts.
______7. Structuralism refers to critical approaches that analyze, interpret, or
evaluate the inherent features of a text.
______8. The formalist approach reduces the importance of a text’s historical,
biographical, and cultural context.
______9. In formalism the features include only grammar and syntax.
______10. Formalism analyzed literature according to devices unique to literary works
and focused on the “literariness” of a text.

Additional Activities

Directions: Read the poem and answer the following activities using the Formalism

1. Copy the lines that contain poetic devices.

2. What larger questions about society does this reading raise for you?
3. Complete the statement below. Read the rubric for scoring. (25 pts)
Based on a formalist approach we think the poem means

On the Subway
By Sharon Olds

The boy and I face each other.

His feet are huge, in black sneakers
laced with white in a complex pattern like a
a set of intentional scars. We are stuck on
opposite sides of the car, a couple of
molecules stuck in a rod of light
rapidly moving through darkness. He has the
casual cold look of a mugger,
alert under hooded lids. He is wearing
red, like the inside of the body
exposed. I am wearing dark fur, the
whole skin of an animal taken and
used. I look at his raw face,
he looks at my fur coat, and I didn't
know if I am in his power-
he could take my coat so easily, my
briefcase, my life-
or if he is in my power, the way I am
living off his life, eating the steak
he does not eat, as if I am taking
the food from his mouth. And he is black
and I am white, and without meaning or
trying to I must profit from his darkness,
the way he absorbs the murderous beams of the

nation's heart, as black cotton
absorbs the heat of the sun and holds it. There is
no way to know how easy this
white skin makes my life, this
life he could take so easily and
break across his knee like a stick the way
his own back is being broken, the
rob of his soul that at birth was dark and
fluid and rich as the heart of a seedling
ready to thrust up into any available light.

Rubric for Critiquing a Poem

CATEGORY 5 4 3 2
Comprehension Student clearly Student seems to Student Student has
understands the understand most understands some trouble
poem and of the poem and parts of the poem understanding
accurately accurately answers and accurately most parts of the
answers questions most questions answers some story or answers
related to the related to the question related to are incomplete.
story. poem. the poem.
Analysis Insightfully Accurately Describes some Has trouble
describes several describes a couple dominant elements identifying the
dominant of dominant and poetic devices dominant
elements and elements and used by the poet, elements and
poetic devices poetic devices used but has difficulty poetic devices
used by the poet by the poet and describing how used in the
and thoughtfully accurately relates these relate to the poem.
relates how they how these are used meaning or feeling
are used by the by the poet to of the poem.
poet to reinforce reinforce the
the theme, theme, meaning,
meaning, mood, or mood, or feeling of
feeling of the the poem.
Ideas Ideas are insightful Ideas are focused Ideas are not Ideas are vague.
thought-provoking but may not be focused to the
and focused to the consistently poem.
poem. insightful or
Writing Skills Answers are well Answers are well Answers are not Answers do not
& Mechanics stated, and stated, but rarely clearly stated. make logical
supported with supported with Several sense.
evidence from the evidence from the mechanical errors Mechanical
reading. No errors poem. Minor, grade inappropriate to errors strongly
in grammar, appropriate errors grade level, but affect readability
sentence in grammar, not strongly
structure, or sentence structure affecting
spelling. or spelling. readability.

Additional Assessment What I Have
Activities 1. ✓ Learned
2. ✓
3. ✓
Answers may
4. ✓ Answers may
5. X vary
6. ✓
7. X
8. ✓
9. X
What I can Do What’s More What’s In What I Know
1. A
Answers may Answers may Answers may 2. B
vary vary vary 3. A
4. D
5. C
6. D
7. A
8. C
9. D
10. B
Answers Key

An excerpt of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Retrieved from

Elias Canetti – Prose. Nobel Media AB 2021. Wed. 20 Jan 2021.

On the Subway by Sharon Olds. Retrieved from

Structuralism in literary theory and literary criticism. Retrieved from

Vince Brewton, Literary Theory. Retrieved from

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Office Address: Diosdado Macapagal Government Center,

Maimpis, City of San Fernando (P)
Telefax: (045) 598-8580 to 89; (045) 402-7003 to 05
E-mail Address: