Jennifer’s Bridge to the Blog

Today in class we talked about the Reader Response Criticism and the many different vocabulary words linking to it. Since there were so many places of focus we didn’t get to linger on one topic for very long, so I wanted to focus on our discussion of gaps and how the interpretation of these gaps in addition to the facts of the text impacts a reader’s perspective. In class I pointed out that in the Great Gatsby there are many gaps in detail involving Nick, as well as Gatsby. Gatsby himself can be viewed as an entire gap in the novel which is important to derive meaning from the novel because Gatsby is the title character and he drives a lot of the plot forward. The gaps in Gatsby’s background are helpful for delving more in to Reader Response theory because if an informed reader is looking at the different versions of Gatsby they get throughout the book they are going to make interpretations based on these gaps in the character background of Gatsby. I thought it was very interesting that certain Reader Response critics think that a book is viewed by the reader through a combination of facts and the interpretation of the gaps throughout the book. The combination of facts and interpretation is a big part of Reader Response theory because this theory focuses primarily on the reader. Personally, I like the Reader Response criticism because it allows the reader’s own interpretations, not necessarily background, but opinions on gaps or facts in the text that makes a reader’s own interpretations essential for breaking down a novel such as the Great Gatsby. I thought it was very interesting how the Great Gatsby was able to play in to the Reader Response conversation very easily, as well as how the idea of an individual reader’s interpretation can shape their own meaning from the text, not necessarily a very outlandish meaning but one that vary slightly from person to person.

One thought on “Jennifer’s Bridge to the Blog

  1. briannarosem

    I agree with you completely in such terms that I like reader response criticism too for the sheer reason that it is more concentrated in the readers interpretation of the work, rather than the authors intended. Though I feel the whole idea of reader response could almost get a little “dicey” per say because readers would take this opportunity and they are creating meaning rather than interpreting it. Thus leading the the reader almost trying to become the writer figure and taking away from the authors whole point. I think all works of literature have a meaning stated by the author, but the meaning is deeply rooted within the text. With that being said, the meaning is the author and the interpretation is up to the individual reader; in hindsight this seems idealistic, in real terms, it could be rather problematic with overly optimistic readers.

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