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How to be a good critic?

It is the responsibility of a student to read everything from a critical point of view. In this sense, it becomes a critique on a minor scale. He should know how to appreciate and criticize a given piece of literature.

Here are some qualities of a critic.

Impersonality and objectivity

A critic should develop a sense of impersonality and objectivity. He should focus on the critical analysis, evaluation and explanation of the literary text rather than giving his own opinions. In this sense, he should negate his inner voice dictation. He should also focus on being objective while criticizing.

Avoid impressions and subjectivity

Aristotle has been praised by T. S. Eliot because he was neither impressionistic nor subjective. It is the moral duty to avoid any personal impressions or his own thinking. In this way, the credibility of criticism will be reliable.

Sense of fact and Sense of tradition

It is a very important qualification of a literary critic to have a well developed sense of fact. He should have the basic knowledge of genre, its publications and its important terminology. We should also know the biographical and logical facts about work of art. Any awareness of fact will enable the criticism to be objective and useful.

Sense of tradition refers to the fact that the critic knows and is conscious about the living literary traditions from Homer to his own day.

Ability for Comparison and Analysis

A critic should be aware of the methods of comparison and analysis. A natural critic uses his abilities of comparing and analyzing to judge the worth of a literary text in its genre. He compares and analyzes the given facts, themes, writer’s point of view and genre of literature. Both of these tools demand objectivity. These tools compels a critic to see the work as it is. For this purpose, a critic should be methodological, sensitive, intelligent, curious, passionate and acknowledged in his work.  

Flexible Outlook

A good critic never shows rigidity in his work. He does his work and finishes on the words where a new research can join its head. He always remains flexible to modify his views.

Understanding the language and structure of word

A critique cannot criticize any piece of literary work without any proper understanding of the language and structure of literary work. Catherine Belsey says, “A good critic does not possess any definite quality. He is a Jack of all trades type person. He should know something about everything. He should possess as many qualities; creative, intellectual, social, as a common person can have. He should have partialities an impartialities. He should have strong, emotional, spiritual and intellectual experiences. He should have some social, political and moral biases. He should be a person suffering different complexes.”

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