Reader response theory and the essay

This process is as much about YOU as it is about the text you are responding to. As a scholar you stand in judgment over the text.

Reader response theory and the essay

Types[ edit ] There are multiple approaches within the theoretical branch of reader-response criticism, yet all are unified in their belief that the meaning of a text is derived from the reader through the reading process.

One can therefore draw a distinction between reader-response theorists who see the individual reader driving the whole experience and others who think of literary experience as largely text-driven and uniform with individual variations that can be Reader response theory and the essay.

The former theorists, who think the reader controls, derive what is common in a literary experience from shared techniques for reading and interpreting which are, however, individually applied by different readers. The latter, who put the text in control, derive commonalities of response, obviously, from the literary work itself.

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Jeffrey Berman has encouraged students responding to texts to write anonymously and share with their classmates writings in response to literary works about sensitive subjects like drugs, suicidal thoughts, death in the family, parental abuse and the like.

A kind of catharsis bordering on therapy results.

Reader response theory and the essay

American magazines like Reading Research Quarterly and others publish articles applying reader-response theory to the teaching of literature. He analyzed their selections in light of their goals in reading.

In an appendix, "Literature in the Reader", Fish used "the" reader to examine responses to complex sentences sequentially, word-by-word. Sincehowever, he has turned to real differences among real readers.

Aug 16,  · The Reader Response Essay: Where the Reader Meets the Text. Reading Response Essays. Summarizes what you read. Gives your reaction to the text. Your reaction will be one or more of the following: Agreement/disagreement with the ideas in the srmvision.coms: Aug 16,  · The Reader Response Essay: Where the Reader Meets the Text. Reading Response Essays. Summarizes what you read. Gives your reaction to the text. Your reaction will be one or more of the following: Agreement/disagreement with the Reviews: In his essay on reader-response criticism, Steven Mailloux explains that Fish, Iser, and other reader-response critics actually had very different approaches to .

He explores the reading tactics endorsed by different critical schools, by the literary professoriate, and by the legal professionintroducing the idea of " interpretive communities " that share particular modes of reading.

InNorman Holland drew on psychoanalytic psychology in The Dynamics of Literary Response to model the literary work.

Reader response theory and the essay

Each reader introjects a fantasy "in" the text, then modifies it by defense mechanisms into an interpretation. Inhowever, having recorded responses from real readers, Holland found variations too great to fit this model in which responses are mostly alike but show minor individual variations.

Holland then developed a second model based on his case studies 5 Readers Reading. An individual has in the brain a core identity theme behaviors then becoming understandable as a theme and variations as in music.

This core gives that individual a certain style of being—and reading. Holland worked with others at the State University of New York at BuffaloMurray Schwartz, David Willbernand Robert Rogersto develop a particular teaching format, the "Delphi seminar," designed to get students to "know themselves".

Richard Gerrig in the U.

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He has shown how readers put aside ordinary knowledge and values while they read, treating, for example, criminals as heroes. In Canada, David Miallusually working with Donald Kuikenhas produced a large body of work exploring emotional or "affective" responses to literature, drawing on such concepts from ordinary criticism as " defamiliarization " or " foregrounding ".

Two notable researchers are Dolf Zillmann and Peter Vordererboth working in the field of communications and media psychology.

Both have theorized and tested ideas about what produces emotions such as suspensecuriositysurprise in readers, the necessary factors involved, and the role the reader plays. Jenefer Robinson, a researcher in emotion, has recently blended her studies on emotion with its role in literature, music, and art.

Uniformists[ edit ] Wolfgang Iser exemplifies the German tendency to theorize the reader and so posit a uniform response. For him, a literary work is not an object in itself but an effect to be explained.

But he asserts this response is controlled by the text. For the "real" reader, he substitutes an implied reader, who is the reader a given literary work requires. Within various polarities created by the text, this "implied" reader makes expectations, meanings, and the unstated details of characters and settings through a "wandering viewpoint".

In his model, the text controls. Another important German reader-response critic was Hans-Robert Jausswho defined literature as a dialectic process of production and reception Rezeption—the term common in Germany for "response". For Jauss, readers have a certain mental set, a "horizon" of expectations Erwartungshorizontfrom which perspective each reader, at any given time in history, reads.

Reader-response criticism establishes these horizons of expectation by reading literary works of the period in question. Both Iser and Jauss, and the Constance School they exemplify, return reader-response criticism to a study of the text by defining readers in terms of the text.

In the same way, Gerald Prince posits a "narratee", Michael Riffaterre posits a "superreader", and Stanley Fish an "informed reader. Objections[ edit ] Reader-response critics hold that in order to understand a text, one must look to the processes readers use to create meaning and experience.

Traditional text-oriented schools, such as formalismoften think of reader-response criticism as an anarchic subjectivismallowing readers to interpret a text any way they want. Some reader-response critics uniformists assume a bi-active model of reading: Others, who see that position as internally contradictory, claim that the reader controls the whole transaction individualists.

In such a reader-active model, readers and audiences use amateur or professional procedures for reading shared by many others as well as their personal issues and values. While readers can and do put their own ideas and experiences into a work, they are at the same time gaining new understanding through the text.

This is something that is generally overlooked in reader-response criticism. Extensions[ edit ] Reader-response criticism relates to psychology, both experimental psychology for those attempting to find principles of response, and psychoanalytic psychology for those studying individual responses.

Post- behaviorist psychologists of reading and of perception support the idea that it is the reader who makes meaning.A view of literary interpretation associated with the American critic Stanley Fish. It holds that meaning does not reside in the text, but in the mind of the reader.

The text functions only as a canvas onto which the reader projects whatever his or her reactions may be.

Writing for Success: Reader-Response: English Composition I OCF

The text is a cause of. Critical reading: [from the ENGL Syllabus] "A reader response asks the reader [you] to examine, explain and defend her/his personal reaction to a srmvision.com will be asked to explore why you like or dislike the reading, explain whether you agree or disagree with the author, identify the reading's purpose, and critique the text.

Reader-response criticism attempts to describe what happens in the reader’s mind while interpreting a work of fiction. This type of literary criticism recognizes that like writing, reading is a creative process. In his essay on reader-response criticism, Steven Mailloux explains that Fish, Iser, and other reader-response critics actually had very different approaches to .

Reader-Response Theory Introduction. NEXT ; In a Nutshell. When you think about literature, you probably think of authors and texts. Authors write literary works. Aug 16,  · The Reader Response Essay: Where the Reader Meets the Text.

Reading Response Essays. Summarizes what you read. Gives your reaction to the text. Your reaction will be one or more of the following: Agreement/disagreement with the ideas in the srmvision.coms:

Reader Response Theory - Sample Essays