Structural elements like plot, characters, symbolism, etc. are the building blocks from which authors construct texts. Formalists consider how structural elements of the text contribute to the author’s message. Use the Elements of Literature Checklist to keep track of the elements of texts and how they're used.
Postmodern criticism recognizes that literature is social and can be understood from multiple points of view. It seeks inclusiveness, opening the discussion to dominant and minority voices. Use the VisualLit Critical Perspectives page to learn about postmodern approaches to literature.