Permalink for this paragraph 1 Reader-Response criticism is the one area of critique that I have the most experience with. In high school, and even elementary school, I responded to my teachers’ questions, such as what I thought the text was about or what my reaction was to it. However, even with some familiarity to this concept, right after I finish reading a poem, watching a movie, or looking at a work of art, I am not able to immediately put what I think into words. My initial response, if asked my opinion right away, is usually, “I like it,” or “I don’t like it.” This is not the eloquent answer I want to give to anyone. I am always envious of the students who know right away what they believe the text is trying to convey. The particular quote from chapter 4 of Texts and Contexts that reminded me of my efforts to quickly piece together the thoughts in my head was, “The immediate impression that one gets from a painting or sculpture will be difficult to describe, of course, because it feels like an all-at-once experience” (79).
Permalink for this paragraph 1 Finally, someone has summarized what I have been struggling with; I cannot immediately voice my thoughts because the task of putting them all together in a very short timeframe is overwhelming. This “all-at-once experience” bombards my mind, so it takes me a bit longer to formulate my opinions. I know how I generally feel about a text, however it is “difficult to describe” because I do not know where to begin. With a bit of time, I am able to develop my own critique and can ascertain what I believe about whatever it is I am evaluating. Now that I know the step-by-step of Reader-Response criticism, it will hopefully help me to create an impression that I can voice more quickly.
Permalink for this paragraph 1 An additional point that I found interesting in the reading was when the author discussed how people’s responses are different depending on their previous knowledge of the text. If they know more about what to expect, they will have a richer response toward it. This caused me to consider when this has happened in my life, and I realized that it has occurred quite often. For example, before viewing a film, a friend told me that it was quirky; so, I went into watching the movie with the expectation that it would be a bit strange, and therefore was not surprised when it fulfilled that expectation. I knew what to anticipate and I had a better viewing experience because of it. On the other hand, I remember a few times that I knew very little—if anything—about a movie’s plot or genre, and because I did not know what to expect, I was repeatedly startled by certain things within it, and left either confused or unhappy about the film as a whole. Background information to texts or some previous knowledge about it is essential to having a positive response towards it.