The Giant Wisteria in the light of reader response theory
Reader-response criticism is a group of approaches for understanding literature .It has in common an emphasis on the reader's role in the creation of the meaning of a literary work. Reader-response surfaced as a reaction to the textual emphasis of New Criticism from 1940s to 1960s in the West and its apparent extremes. Whereas the first persist that the authority or the intention of the author, the psychology of the reader as well as his mentality are key factors in creating the meaning of the text, the latter assert that only which is within a text is part of the meaning of a text (Wikipedia, 2006).The term includes theorists which segment very little besides the attention of the reader.
Theorists of Reader- response criticism consider the reader very much and they provoke him to be an active participant in literary texts. Thus, readers’ role is much taken into account. Generally speaking, readers’ responses can be categorized into three reactions: reader’s psychology, culture, and linguistic milieu. According to Reader- response criticism, the ultimate meaning of any literary text is embedded in the reader’s mind. In other words, the reader is a ‘producteur’ rather than a ‘consommateur’ (Henderson & Brown, 1997). Some sustain that the psychological upshot of a literary event reveals the environs of a culture's ideology, so that the reactions to a literary work can be an instrument for historical analysis. This last approach, sometimes called "reception aesthetics" rather than "Reader -response," is the approach taken by some followers of Hans-Georg Gadamer, most notably Jauss.
In his book, Literature as Exploration, Louise M. Rosenblatt points out:"the student must be free to grapple with his own reaction... to be given the opportunity and the courage to approach literature personally, to let it mean something to him directly" (p. 66). In other words, Reader-response criticism states that literature should be viewed as a performing art in which each reader constructs his or her own, possibly typical, text-driven performance (Rosenblatt, 1995).For my part, I utterly agree with Rosenblatt. Reader should be given the occasion in giving his/her own interpretation, reflect his/her own experience, and loom literary texts by his/her own language, consequently the following paper would exert a grand deal of effort in attempting to construe ‘ the Giant Wisteria’ in the light of this approach, thus attaching Rosenblatt’s words.
Like many literary theories, Reader- Response theory has a group of assumptions. One...