Give A Brief Account of Richards Practical Criticism

Here, in this blog post, we will give you a brief account of richards practical criticism. Developed by I.A. Richards, this renowned approach revolutionized literary analysis by shifting the focus to the reader’s response and personal experience. 

We will explore how this method emphasizes extracting meaning directly from the words on the page, rather than relying on historical context or authorial intention. 

Join us as we unravel the power of subjective interpretation and the profound insights it offers, allowing for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the nuances within literary works.

Give A Brief Account of Richards Practical Criticism


Richard’s practical criticism is an approach to studying literature that focuses on how each reader personally understands and connects with a text. It says there is no single right way to interpret a poem or story.

According to Richards, the meaning of a literary work is different for every person because we all bring our own feelings, experiences, and thoughts to what we read. So, when we read something, it’s important to pay close attention to the words, pictures, and structure to see how it affects us.


Practical criticism encourages us to actively engage with the text and ask ourselves questions about how it makes us feel and think. By doing this, we can better understand the text and appreciate its artistic qualities.

In short, Richard’s practical criticism tells us that everyone has their own unique understanding of literature, and by exploring our personal reactions, we can discover more about the text and its meaning.

What is Practical Criticism in Literature

Practical criticism in literature is about how readers understand and react to a text. It says there isn’t one right way to interpret a poem or story. Instead, it focuses on each person’s own thoughts and feelings.

To practice practical criticism, readers look closely at the words, pictures, and structure of a literary work. They think about how it makes them feel and what it reminds them of in their own lives.

By actively thinking and responding to the text, readers can understand it better. Practical criticism understands that everyone has different ideas and that’s okay. It values the different meanings that readers find in a text.


In summary, practical criticism is about how readers make sense of a text in their own way. It looks at how the words and ideas affect them and appreciates that everyone can have a different understanding.


Practical Criticism Essay Examples

Practical criticism involves studying books closely and giving objective opinions. In this essay, we’ll look at three examples using simple language. Let’s explore practical criticism in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “1984.”

Example 1: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee This book tells the story of Scout, a young girl in the segregated South. It reveals the unfairness of racial prejudice through Scout’s innocent viewpoint. The author, Harper Lee, describes characters and moral dilemmas to show the injustice in society. It’s a powerful book that teaches us to fight prejudice and injustice.

Example 2: “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald Fitzgerald’s novel criticizes the American Dream and the excessive lifestyle of the 1920s. Through the character Jay Gatsby, it shows that wealth doesn’t always bring happiness. The story exposes the emptiness behind the glamorous facade of that era. Symbols like the green light and Doctor T. J. Eckleburg’s eyes add meaning to the story.

Example 3: “1984” by George Orwell “1984” portrays a society ruled by Big Brother, where individual freedom is suppressed. Orwell criticizes authoritarianism and the manipulation of truth. The book warns us about protecting our freedoms and questioning those in power. Orwell’s use of language, like Newspeak and doublethink, creates a chilling atmosphere.

Conclusion: Practical criticism helps us understand books better. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Great Gatsby,” and “1984” use language, characters, and themes to criticize society. These examples show how literature can challenge norms and make us think. By studying books closely, we gain deeper insights into their messages and relevance to our lives.

Practical Criticism Examples

Here are simplified examples of practical criticism:

Example 1: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling In this book, J.K. Rowling tells the story of Harry, a young boy who discovers he’s a wizard and goes to a magical school. The practical criticism here is about friendship, bravery, and the power of love. Rowling shows us how important these things are through exciting adventures and interesting characters.

Example 2: “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins “The Hunger Games” is set in the future, where teenagers are forced to fight each other on live TV. The practical criticism in this book is about power, inequality, and manipulation. Collins wants us to think about the consequences of a society that values entertainment over human lives.

Example 3: “Animal Farm” by George Orwell “Animal Farm” is a story where animals on a farm represent real people and events from the Russian Revolution. The practical criticism here is about totalitarianism and the abuse of power. Orwell shows us how leaders can become corrupt and manipulate others for their own gain.

Example 4: “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen “Pride and Prejudice” is a classic romance that talks about social class, marriage, and personal growth. Austen’s practical criticism is about the expectations society puts on women. She wants us to question these expectations and focus on true love and genuine connections, rather than just appearances.


These examples of practical criticism show how authors use stories to share important messages and make us think about society, relationships, and the world around us.

Features of Practical Criticism

Here are simplified features of practical criticism:

  1. Paying Close Attention: Practical criticism involves carefully reading and looking closely at a text to understand its different parts like language, characters, themes, and structure.
  2. Giving Fair Evaluation: Practical criticism aims to give a fair assessment of the text, looking at its strengths and weaknesses without personal biases.
  3. Understanding and Analysis: Practical criticism involves understanding the meaning of the text and analyzing its deeper layers, like the author’s intentions, symbols, and themes, to see how they connect to bigger ideas.
  4. Noticing Literary Techniques: Practical criticism looks at how the author uses literary techniques like descriptions, comparisons, and figurative language (such as metaphors or similes) to make the writing more effective and interesting.
  5. Considering Historical and Cultural Context: Practical criticism acknowledges the importance of understanding the time and culture in which the text was written. This helps to understand the author’s choices and the meaning of the work.
  6. Making Connections: Practical criticism encourages finding connections between the text being analyzed and other works of literature or bigger ideas in society, history, or philosophy. It helps to see the broader picture and deepen the understanding.
  7. Forming Informed Opinions: Practical criticism values forming opinions based on analysis and evidence from the text. It encourages independent thinking and expressing one’s perspective using support from the text.

These simplified features of practical criticism help readers to carefully examine texts, understand their meaning, and form their own well-supported opinions about them.

What is Practical Criticism Theory

Practical criticism theory is an approach to studying literature that focuses on the reader’s personal understanding and interpretation. It says that there isn’t just one right way to understand a poem or story. 

Instead, it believes that the reader’s own thoughts, feelings, and experiences are important in making sense of a text.

Practical criticism theory suggests that we should read a text closely, paying attention to its words, images, and structure. It encourages us to think about how the text makes us feel and what it reminds us of in our own lives.

The theory says that each reader brings their own unique perspective, so there can be different interpretations of the same text. It values diverse viewpoints and encourages readers to explore different meanings.

In summary, practical criticism theory tells us that our personal understanding of a text is valuable. By closely reading and reflecting on our own responses, we can better appreciate and make sense of what we read.

Practical Criticism Solved Examples

Here are simplified examples of practical criticism applied to literary works:

Example 1: “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger In “The Catcher in the Rye,” practical criticism involves looking closely at how the author uses words and symbols to show the main character feeling disconnected from society. By studying the repeated idea of people being fake and the way the story is told from the character’s perspective, we can see it as a criticism of how society can be hypocritical and the challenges of growing up.

Example 2: “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare Practical criticism of “Romeo and Juliet” means paying attention to how Shakespeare uses beautiful language and comparisons in the famous balcony scene. By understanding the vivid descriptions, comparisons, and the rhythm of the characters’ words, we can see how Shakespeare explores themes like love, fate, and the power of words to express strong emotions.

Example 3: “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien In “The Lord of the Rings,” practical criticism involves looking at how Tolkien creates a detailed world and connects characters and themes. By studying the different creatures, maps, and the structure of the adventure, we can understand how Tolkien builds a complex fantasy world while exploring ideas about friendship, sacrifice, and the dangers of power.

Example 4: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee Practical criticism of “To Kill a Mockingbird” means examining how Harper Lee develops the characters, their speech, and the storytelling style. By analyzing the perspective of the main character, Scout, and her observations of racism in the Southern United States, we can see how Lee explores themes of understanding, fairness, and the complexities of society.

In practical criticism, readers closely study the words, symbols, themes, and structure of a literary work. By understanding these elements, they can gain a deeper appreciation of the author’s intentions, the social context, and the broader messages in the stories.


In conclusion, a brief account of richards practical criticism is a helpful way to understand and appreciate literature. He focused on closely reading the text itself, paying attention to things like language and structure. 

By looking at these brief account of richards practical criticism, he believed we could discover the deeper meanings in a literary work. Richards reminded us to be objective and set aside personal biases. 

His approach highlighted the importance of the words on the page and how they create meaning. Overall, Richards’ practical criticism helps us analyze and enjoy literature by exploring its different layers and interpretations.


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