Genre and Form

When proposed with the question of what the difference between genre and form is, my immediate response is that there is either a substantial juxtaposition between the two, or an overwhelming similarity that Ray is trying to get us to identify. Naturally, I think that the most basic difference between the two is how people perceive them. The norm is to think of genre as a category of content, i.e. comedy, mystery, romance, rather than what style is involved. Form is accepted as the way something is written and how it is formatted. We then, however, run into overlap where the type of form a piece entails is seen as a genre. Poems, for example, is considered a genre of writing. They can be in divided into sub-categories of content, but a poem itself is identified by formatting characteristics. So how does this discourse come into play? How can we differentiate the two?

The premise of poems being considered a genre of writing contradicts my basic perception of what a typical category of genre is. When I personally think about genre in the simplest form, it includes things like plot, characters, settings, and action rather than focusing on the style or format of the piece itself. Take the book Go Ask Alice for example. When I think of it, I consider the genre to be young adult fiction, instead of it being grouped into another category like poetry. The entirety of the story is written as if someone were writing in a diary, which can be seen as a form of poetic language. The plotline and characters, however, justify it as more of a fiction novel rather than an artistic piece of poetry. The overlap between genre and form in this example is prominent, as I feel as if the words are used interchangeably at times. In conclusion, however, the main difference between the two can be identified by the type of characteristics that the populus uses to define them.


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