The Reader Response Theory

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Reader response criticism is a literary critical theory. It is promoted and developed by a variety of literary theorists and critics. Depending on the person advancing the concept, the theory may take on any number of nuanced meanings. Generally speaking however, reader response criticism suggests that a text gains meaning by the purposeful act of a reader’s reading and interpreting it. The relationship between reader and text is highly valued; text does not exist without a reader. It is rather like the question of whether a tree falling in a forest makes a sound if no one is around to hear it. A text siting on a shelf does nothing. It does not come alive until reader and text are joined. Reader response theory arose in large measure as a…show more content…
It is based on philosophic grounds. The emergence of reader response theories in the field of literature teaching has shifted the exclusive emphasis on the text, while acknowledge its importance, to an emphasis on the reader. It was Louise Rosenblatt who began the march to a transactional theory of reader response, which emphasizes a mutual interaction between the reader and the text in the process of creating and recreating meaning. Texts do not come into existence alone nor do they acquire their meaning or invoke feelings unless they are read by a reader. Without a reader texts are no more than marks can a…show more content…
He was ignored by its critics or theorists. He was beside the literary curtain. If we go back to the history, we find that all the writers and the critics talked about the reader directly or indirectly. In other terms, if we talked about critics, they have readers in their mind in passive way. It means the concept of passive reader was always presented in the history of literature. Now, we cannot ignore it. Plato is the first and foremost literary critic. He says that, “poetry is a bundle of lies”. (91) It makes people immoral, emotional and sensitive. In this way, Plato talks about immature reader and Plato’s immature reader is replaced by Aristotle’s mature and sensitive reader. Aristotle says that tragedy is the part of human beings which arouse ‘pity and fear’ in audience. Aristotelian’s reader’s means mature reader. Then we discuss Horace who is famous for his concept ‘Decorum’. It means he also has a reader in his mind. He talked about sophisticated
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