Literature

Charles E Bressler

Charles uses this quotation to bring to life the role a reader plays in bringing the story to life. The use of Henry James preface aids in explaining the diversity in meaning literature tends to be subjected to by the difference in knowledge and beliefs of readers. Charles uses this quotation to bring out the diversity in meaning that can arise from a single text. Just like a house has a million windows (Bressler 65), a text can be subjected to many meanings based on how each reader engages himself in the text. Moreover, no matter how many times a text is interpreted, reading it afresh brings new meaning. Types of Readers There are two ways that a book should to be read. the active and passive ways. The former is where a reader fully engages in what the writer is trying to bring out, and he (the reader) creates in his mind images and scenes that bring this to life. It involves synthesizing, visualizing, predicting and making a connection with the literature. The reader’s mind is so engaged in the text that he can predict the scenes that follow, and ask questions as he tries to obtain knowledge from all the available sources. On the other hand, passive reading is a situation whereby a reader has a negative attitude towards reading. In this context, the reader reads without thinking critically or rather reading purely for information or rather as a summary of a given assignment. It involves reading without reasoning, and the reader expects the author to motivate an interest in him or her. A passive reader can be easily distracted when studying. The reader usually resists compelling study systems and other memory strategies. In passive reading, there is no connection between the text and happenings in the real life. Most readers, especially students, can be categorized as passive readers. This is so considering the form of reading they involve in is for the purpose of passing examinations which after they forget all they have read. A passive reader can make a transition to being an active reader by adopting a positive attitude towards reading. He or she can start by trying to visualize the scenes the writer has created in literature, predicting the next move and asking the question that that critic part of the text (Rosenblatt 54). Classification of Reading According to Rosenblatt, efferent reading is reading for the sole purpose of obtaining knowledge. This entails concentrating on the writer’s message, as opposed to the intended message. This reading conveys a similar meaning of the literary work to all readers since no alterations on the text. The reader obtains information from the text without adding any information to it. Aesthetic reading emphasizes on the inclusion of the reader’s feelings and images in bringing the writer’s text to life. Rosenblatt focuses on aesthetic reading revealing the importance of both the reader and text have in influencing the meaning of the text. This reading is controversial as each reader has the mandate to create their own story leading to conflicting opinions on the intended message. Currently, majority of the universities and colleges use the efferent reading approach for the common understanding of text by all students. However, Rosenblatt would advocate

Back To Top