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The Reader Response Theory

When you think about literature, most probably you think about authors and texts. Of course, authors are used to writing literary works, accordingly, it’s not about them to decide what a text means, yeah? The same applies to readers. That’s so sad, but we, readers have always been secondary to authors. We are just readers and nothing else.

Perhaps, you’ve never heard of Reader-Response theory, but it really exists and it says that readers are just as significant as the authors, writing literary works for them. Well, if a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The same can be said about The Iliad and also about War and Peace. So, if there aren’t’ any readers around to get through those hundreds of pages, then we can say that this particular text doesn't exist at all.

You should let it blow your mind, though Reader-Response theorists are assured that readers are active participants, creating a literary work in the process of reading it. As Reader-Response theorists state, the actual meaning of a text exists somewhere between the words on the page and the audience’s mind.

The enormous contribution of Reader-Response theorists was to call attention to the supreme importance of the audience in the making of literary meaning. Reader-Response theorists are used to asking questions like: How do you feel when we read such a poem, or a passage from this particular novel? Why do you feel that way?, and so on. They’re assured that such questions really help to understand literature in the proper way.

Why should readers care?

Of course, very often you had a feeling that you understood nothing from a newly read book. At first, you think that you’re too stupid, but then you realize that it’s just another boring stuff. On the other hand, some books make you so excited that you’re eager to jump up and hurry up to tell everybody how great this book is. It’s just part of being a reader, isn’t it?

Some texts move you, others don’t. They confuse you or they have things clarified for you. Characters in a novel might remind you of real folks in your life or a description in a poem might remember some childhood incident. In general, a high quality book can even change your life. It works differently for any person, for anyone it’s a totally personal experience.

That's the very essence of Reader-Response theory. The given theory enables you to take your own personal feelings as well as your own perspective into account when you analyze a particular literary text.

When you think about literature, most probably you think about authors and texts. Of course, authors are used to writing literary works, accordingly, it’s not about them to decide what a text means, yeah? The same applies to readers. That’s so sad, but we, readers have always been secondary to authors. We are just readers and nothing else.

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Assignment ID
100001336
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CREATED ON
August 26, 2016
COMPLETED ON
August 27, 2016
Price
$19
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July 27, 2016
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